Luiz Henrique Passador, “Eating Alone” or When Modernity Feeds Tradition
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PASSADOR, Luiz Henrique. “Eating Alone” or When Modernity Feeds Tradition: Money and Magic in Southern Mozambique. in: Vibrant – Virtual Brazilian Anthropology, v. 5, n. 2. July to December 2008. Brasília, ABA. Available at http://www.vibrant.org.br/issues/v5n2/luiz-henrique-passador-eating-alone-or-when-modernity-feeds-tradition/
The 1992 peace agreement allowed the establishment of a globalized market economy in Mozambique, in which “traditional” forms persist amid the impact of these changes. The strong monetarization of the economy, combined with a scarcity of formal jobs and money in circulation places great pressure on the search for money and triggers conflicts experienced under the terms of the “traditional” systems. The result is a growing monetarization of “tradition” and consequent inflation of prices charged by curandeiros who are sought to provide spells to guarantee “traditional” means of obtaining benefits in a competitive market. The poorest turn to the churches for protection from the spells sold by the curandeiros; while the rich are regularly open to accusations of practicing sorcery. It is an environment in which globalized “modernity” deepens the search for “traditional” mechanisms to obtain benefits, triggering conflicts and associating money to sorcery and evil magic fueled by “ambition”.
Keywords: Mozambique sorcery market