O regime dos prazos na Ilha de Moçambique, 1763-1800

Translated title of the contribution: The prazo system at Mozambique Island, 1763-1800

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Unlike most other parts of the Portuguese empire, it was not until the 1760s that municipal institutions were transferred to Portuguese East Africa. Despite this singularity, the study of municipalities in colonial Mozambique has received scant attention in the literature. The aim of this paper is to reflect upon Mozambique Island municipality from the date of its creation (1763) until the end of the eighteenth-century regarding access to land and property rights. It does this by examining how land located in Mozambique Island and its outskirts was framed under Portuguese colonial rule, and by analysing the impact of the municipality creation regarding property matters. It argues that the legal system framing land tenure and landownership in Mozambique Island was also the prazo system of Mozambique and that, from 1763 onwards, the direct domain over land was shared between the Captaincy’s general government and the municipal council.

Translated title of the contributionThe prazo system at Mozambique Island, 1763-1800
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)31-53
Number of pages23
JournalLer História
Issue number76
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • East Africa
  • Land
  • Mozambique
  • Portuguese empire
  • Prazos
  • Townships


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