Mozambique a territory on the east coast of South Africa, nominally belonging to Portugal, and placed under a governor-general, although the actual possessions of Portugal consist only of a few stations, and her authority in the country is inconsiderable. It extends from Cape Delgado, in lat. 100 41' S., to Delagoa Bay, 26° S., and is estimated to have an area of 380,000 square miles, settled by a population of about 350,000. The chief river, the Zambesi, divides it into two portions — Mozambique proper on the north, and Sofala on the south. The coasts, which comprise large tracts of cultivated soil, yielding rich harvests in rice, are fringed with reefs, islands, and shoals, and between Delagoa Bay and Cape Corrientes, and from Mozambique, the principal station, to Cape Delgado, the shores are high and steep. The forests yield valuable ornamental woods; ivory is obtained from the hippopotami that haunt the marshes; and gold and copper are found and worked. The elephant, deer, and lion inhabit the jungle; crocodiles are found in the rivers, and numerous flamingoes on the coasts. The rainy season lasts from November to March. The summer heat is very great, and the climate, which is fine in the elevated tracts, is unhealthy on the low shores and the swampy districts. Besides numerous fruits and vegetables, the grains are rice, millet, maize, and wheat. Fish and turtle are caught in great quantities on the islands and reefs; pearl-fishing is a source of considerable profit, cattle, sheep, and goats are numerous, and the principal exports are grain, gold-dust, honey, tortoise-shell, cowries, gums, and amber. The natives of this country are mainly Kaffirs (q.v.), and but very few of them have any inclination to accept Christianity as exemplified by the Romanists, who are its only exponents there. In the capital of Mozambique, of like name, with a population of 8522, there are only 270 Christians reported in the census. The natives who live along the coast are called Makooas or Makoonas. They are an athletic and ugly race of people, of the most ferocious aspect and savage disposition. They are fond of tattooing their skins, and draw a stripe down the forehead along the. nose to the chin, which is crossed in a direct angle by another line from ear to ear, so as to give the face the appearance of being sewed together in four parts. They file their teeth to a point, so as to resemble a coarse saw; and suspend ornaments of copper or bone from a hole in the gristle of the nose. Their upper lip protrudes in a very remarkable degree, and this they consider as so principal a point of beauty that they endeavor to make it still longer by introducing into the centre a small circular piece of ivory, wood, or iron. They dress their hair in a very fantastic manner, some shaving one side of the head, others both sides, leaving a kind of crest from the front to the nape of the neck, while a few of them wear simply a knot of hair on their foreheads. Their females greatly resemble the Hottentot women in the curvature of the spine and protrusion of the hinder parts, and when past the prime of life are said to present the most disagreeable appearance that can be conceived. The natives are fond of music and dancing, but their tunes and motions are unvaried and monotonous. Their favorite instrument is called ambira, which is formed by a number of thin bars of iron of different lengths, highly tempered, and set in a row on a hollow case of wood. about four inches square, and closed on three sides. It is played upon with a piece of quill; and its notes, though simple, are sufficiently harmonious, sounding to the ear, when skilfully managed, like the changes upon bells. They are armed with spears, darts, and poisoned arrows, and possess also a considerable number of muskets, which they procure from the Arabs in the northern districts, and sometimes even from the Portuguese dealers. They are formidable enemies to the settlement, and have been rendered desperate in their hostilities by the nefarious practices of the traders who have gone among them to purchase slaves. There are also many Arabs in Mozambique, but they remain steadfast in their faith to the Koran and its Prophet.
This coast had been known to the Arabs, and its ports frequented by their traders, for centuries before its discovery by Europeans, and all the information possessed by the latter on the subject was chiefly drawn from the vague accounts of Ptolemy and the Periplus of the Emrthrean sea. It was first discovered by the Portuguese in the year 1497, who found the whole of the coast in the possession of the Arabs; but the fame of its goldmines and the convenience of its ports, as resting-places for the Indian trade, led them to attempt the expulsion of the original settlers. This the Portuguese easily accomplished by their superiority in arms'; and in 1508 they had conquered Quiloa, gained a footing in Sofala, and built the fort which still stands on the island of Mozambique. They gradually encroached on the Mohammedan possessions on the River Zambesi, and about the year 1569 they completely cleared that part of the river from Arabs by putting the whole of them to death. In their attempts to reach the gold-mines of the interior, the Portuguese were not very scrupulous as to the means which they employed, and have furnished, in the history of the East, a parallel to the atrocities of their Spanish neighbors in the West. But theirs was a harder task, and the natives of Africa maintained a nobler struggle for the independence of their country than the feebler South American race; and after nearly four centuries of possession the Portuguese content themselves with acting on the defensive, occupying the coast along the line of the River Zambesi, and maintaining their influence in the country by exciting the native powers against one another. The government of Mozambique is even now in a most inefficient state, being, in most places, more in the hands of native chiefs than of the Portuguese. In former times the slave-
trade was carried on here extensively; and from 1846 to 1857 four governors-general were removed by their government for countenancing, if not actively engaging in it. The principal settlements are Mozambique, Quilimane, Sena, and Tete. The colony is divided into six districts, and is ruled by the governor-general and his secretary, assisted by a junta. The country being in the hands of a Roman Catholic government, religion and education are supervised by about twelve Roman Catholic priests, and no Protestants are tolerated in the diffusion of their creeds. It is a matter of general comment that the morality of Mozambique is at the lowest ebb, and that the Romanists are responsible for this condition. In 1873 Sir Bartle Frere visited Mozambique and the adjoining countries, and negotiated for the suppression of the slavetrade (see Livingstone, Last Journals).