Talk:Portuguese Mozambique

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What is this Portuguese East Africa?[edit]

Can somebody give me an official Portuguese legal or constitutional reference that this "Portuguese East Africa" ever existed? Thanks Teixant (talk) 01:01, 22 June 2008 (UTC) Hey my names Paul! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.75.37.2 (talk) 19:21, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page from Portuguese East Africa to Mozambique (overseas province), as per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 05:08, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


It is doubtful whether the name "Portuguese East Africa" was ever officially used - escudo banknotes issued during this period assert they are payable "in the dependencies of the province of Mozambique" rather than in a "Portuguese East Africa." More people are familar with the colony under the new name than under the current one. I also have extensive information to post from the US Government's Area Handbook for Mozambique (1967) that would also be more appropriate under a new title. Gws5597 (talk) 17:45, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Weak Oppose - I think people commonly refer to the modern state as Mozambique, indeed, what they refer to specifically the former colonial construct as is likely a bit more iffy. As it is, we would need to disambiguate anyway, though this might be of sufficient shortness to merge into the mozambigue article. --Narson ~ Talk 18:26, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Whether the term was ever officially used, I couldn't say -- it may well be an artifact of the English language rather than reflecting Portuguese usage. The term did have some currency though, for example: The Catholic Encyclopedia, The New International Yearbook, 1910, The International Geography. Which name is more appropriate is a valid topic for discussion, but we should not think that there is no basis for the name. olderwiser 18:31, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose We should use artifacts of English usage, rather than official forms; we are, after all, the English Wikipedia. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:57, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
    • ... if and only if the artefact is the predominant use - a crucial caveat. In my experience and reading, the current titles are more common than those proposed in this case, however. Knepflerle (talk) 14:24, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Support The terms Portuguese East Africa were used mostly in English, and the Portuguese usage was more of an association with similar French usage. As stated above, there are no stamps or bank notes from Portuguese East Africa as there are from French West or Central Africa. I think that Wikipedia should be more than linguistic artifacts. No doubt the term Portuguese East Africa should be included in Wikipedia but mentioned only as as artifact, not as a substitute to Mozambique. I took the liberty to quote an article of the Portuguese Constitution of 1933 (when the colony of Portuguese East Africa - and Portuguese West Africa - was suppose to have existed) to show that legally it was considered a location rather than a political unit. The Portuguese version first, followed by my English translation:

Constituição Política da República Portuguesa
Parte 1
Das garantias fundamentais
Título 1
Da Nação Portuguesa
Artigo 1º O território de Portugal é o que actualmente lhe pertence e compreende:
1º Na Europa: o Continente e Arquipélago da Madeira e dos Açores;
2º Na África Ocidental: Arquipélago de Cabo Verde, Guiné, São Tomé e Príncipe e suas dependências,
S. João Batista de Ajudá, Cabinda e Angola; 3º Na África Oriental: Moçambique;
4º Na Ásia: Estado da Índia, Macau e Timor e respectivas dependências.

Political Constitution of the Portuguese Republic
Part 1
On fundamental rights
Title 1
On the Portuguese Nation
Article 1 - The territory of Portugal is what currently belongs to her and includes:
1st In Europe: Mainland and Azores and Madeira Islands;
2nd In Western Africa: Cape Verde Islands, Guinea, S.Tome and Principe and its dependences, S. João Batista de Ajudá, Cabinda and Angola;
3rd In Eastern Africa: Mozambique;
4th In Asia: India, Macao and Timor and their respective dependences.
Teixant (talk) 21:08, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Whether the terms were ever official is irrelevant, they were and are the common names of these territories at this particular time in history. Andrewa (talk) 12:06, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

At the moment, this discussion page covers analogous proprosals for Portugese East Africa and West Africa. This seems entirely sensible, since the issues are (much) the same. (In both cases, Portuguese presence further north in Africa, later lost, should be added to the article, and that may be a difference between the two.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:03, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Regarding Andrewa's comment, I disagree with the view that facts such as official terms are irrelevant, that is not my view of what Wikipedia should be. But what really shocks me is the part where it is stated that "...they were and are the common names"!!!!! Excuse me! Mozambique has been independent for 33 years and you still want to call it Portuguese Eastern Africa? If regarding the colonial period is just wrong, regarding the present is scandalous...but one must be prepared for everything even in a so-called "encyclopedia"! Teixant (talk) 14:52, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I understood Andrewa's comment to mean that PEA is used in current writing and historical writing to refer to the historical colony; not that it is used in current writing to refer to the current country. I will leave him to clarify, but if that is what he means, I agree. PEA refers to the colonial period, and has been used consistently to refer to that period for many years right up to the present. Anyone claiming that PEA is widely used today to refer to the current state of Mozambique would find it impossible to support that statement with evidence. Knepflerle (talk) 15:25, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
That's exactly what I mean. Glad someone understood me! Andrewa (talk) 03:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
that is not my view of what Wikipedia should be... have a look at Wikipedia:official names and consider joining in the discussion on its talk page, as this issue is exactly what the proposal there seeks to clarify. But currently, official Wikipedia policy is that official names are marginally relevant at best. Andrewa (talk) 03:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Can you give me evidence that current and/or historical writing in English refers to colonial Mozambique more often as Portuguese Eastern Africa rather than Mozambique? Unfortunately I am not a professional historian and I don not know where to get the information to disprove my view....Teixant (talk) 15:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

It would be a difficult one to prove and disprove due to this referring to a specific period of Mozambique's history (So references to mozambique in the modern context etc will cloud simple search results). It should be mentioned that the onus is on those requesting the move though. Official use is not really the wikipedia standard, though we do mention official names in the lead, as it would lead to articles not being where a reader would expect them. --Narson ~ Talk 17:42, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Again, see WP:NC. There need to be powerful reasons to depart from this policy, and all that has yet been given is a personal opinion that the policy is wrong. Andrewa (talk) 03:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
The onus of proof is on those proposing the move. What evidence is there that historical writing prefers the name Mozambique? Where I've seen it used, it's been of the form Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique) or similar phrasing. Andrewa (talk) 03:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Further discussion[edit]

Well, it seems that the discussion on the topic is frozen. I may be too late (could not do it before for professional reasons) but nevertheless I tried! Since I had no evidence to back up my assertion that the term Portuguese East Africa should be secondary to that of Mozambique (referring o the colonial period, of course) I tried to request the opinion of people that know a lot more than I do, scholars in Lusophone Africa and especially on Mozambique. Therefore, I sent the following query to the H-Net Discussion Network that discusses Lusophone African Studies, H-Luso-Africa:

"I recently started an argument regarding history writing. The argument is about what term was and is used more often in historical writing in English to refer to colonial Mozambique? Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa?

Thank for your opinion"

So far I have gotten 5 replies, and my interpretation of those replies is that PEA was really secondary and definitely so after around 1945.

But, although it does not count anymore, you can follow the discussion on:

http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=lx&sort=3&list=H-Luso-Africa&month=0809&week=&user=&pw=

and take your own conclusions. Thanks for your attention. Teixant (talk) 21:48, 27 September 2008 (UTC)


Well, to make a short story long...I am posting here the answers I got (in Engish) for tour reading pleasure:

1-I suspect that the answer depends to some extent on when the reference was made. Portuguese East Africa was, it is my impression, used more frequently before World War II. When Mozambique became technically an integral part of the Portuguese nation, rather than a colony, Mozambique became more common. Moreover, I don't think "Portuguese East Africa" was widely used by Portuguese writing in English -- I think it was more commonly used by Anglophone writers in Great Britain or in South Africa. These are, however, just impressions.

2-I have a small database on Mozambique myself, where I did a search on the term "Portuguese East Africa," that turned up only 17 references out of about 2200 citations. Half of those references were in articles by Dora Earthy. Since the whole database is on Mozambique, it would be difficult for me to search on that term as a contrast - presumably nearly all of the other sources used that name rather than PEA. The database is skewed to items I have used, so it isn't complete or inclusive in any way - but it appeared that mainly missionary sources used the PEA term, including one use by H. Junod, and a missionary memoir that was published in 1959 (most of the references were much earlier). The other sources included a British Govt. economic survey from the 1930s and a Terence Ranger article from 1963, but I think it was a term that was rarely used, even by writers in English.

3-Dear Lusophone Africanists: I agree with HM and KS, the term 'Portuguese East Africa' was rarely used, but when it was used it was during the period largely before 1955 and largely by Anglophone writers and observers. I recall English speakers in southern Africa in the 1960s referrring to "P.E.A." in a familiar tone, but by then the usage was even rarer, and not used at all among Lusophone people. When in 1951 Portugal's Constitution of 1933 was amended to change the references to the overseas territories from "colony" to "Overseas Province," PEA began to be used less, even by Anglophones. As an overseas province or whatever the legal term Lisbon preferred, the reference was to "Mozambique" not Portuguese East Africa. Regards,

4-I would agree with HM: pre-1939 "Portuguese East Africa" would have been relatively common; post-1945 Mozambique would have been standard. But I suspect the change had less to do with Portugal's wayward constitutional arrangements than with, at some subliminal level, a retreat from the unashamed nomenclature of European possession amidst the "winds of change".

5-For what it's worth, the US Library of Congress lists 22 works whose titles include "Portuguese East Africa", ranging in date from 1900 to 1968. A similar search for "Mozambique" in titles comes up with 961, ranging from 1824 to the present.

6-I agree with the previous messages about the use of "Mozambique" in history writing. I would just add that, where I found an extensive use of the term "Portuguese East Africa" was in the government documents and private letters of local Rhodesian officials.

7-I would just add a personal anecdotal note on my encounter with the term Portuguese East Africa for Mozambique. My aunt and uncle both worked as colonial officials in Tanganyika and later in Tanzania in the late 50s and early 60s. They always, even now, refer to Mozambique simply as "Portuguese East". Given that they worked in official gov. capacities - (colonial nursing service and forestry commission) it is likely that the term reflects official documentation of the 50s. Hope this helps.

And this private message:

I have not done any 'scientific' data searches on this, but having worked on these materials for the past thirty years, my sense is that Portuguese East Africa was used by British and particularly South African writers into the 1950s. The same writers were apt to refer to Lourenço Marques as Delagoa Bay. That pattern continued among some white South Africans into the 1970s. Perhaps Lourenço Marques and Mozambique didn't just roll off the tongues of English and Afrikaans speakers. Again, it is just my sense of the material - nothing scientific. Teixant (talk) 23:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Requested move II[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:06, 27 January 2012 (UTC)



Mozambique (Portugal)Portuguese Mozambique – The current title just seems awkward. Also, the article on the Portugese colony of India is called Portuguese India. Cristiano Tomás (talk) 00:32, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Support Current title is very awkward. Walrasiad (talk) 01:50, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Support per Walrasiad. Cliftonian (talk) 00:21, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Comment Editors should also see the parallel discussion in Talk:Angola (Portugal)#Requested move. Walrasiad (talk) 17:58, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, thank you for this :) Cristiano Tomás (talk) 19:31, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.