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Lourenço Marques. Their level of schooling and employment, and thus their social
standing, often depended on their relationship to white fathers (or kind-hearted godfath-
ers), some of whom maintained multiple households—one with a white wife in the city,
the other with an African companion in the slums (Honwana 1988; Penvenne 2005). 2
The rate of children born from interracial relationships in Lourenço Marques declined
dramatically following World War II as more white women immigrated to the city, the
white community grew, and with it the social stigma attached to unions that did not
propagate whiteness (Castelo 2007).
The 1960 census counted 122,460 blacks living in Lourenço Marques. Most Africans
have borne out, many originating from the immediate vicinity of the city sometimes
looked with condescension on “newcomers” from other districts, who were often in
more desperate situations. African women were largely shut out of waged work, and
single women lived in particularly precarious circumstances. Many brewed traditional
beer illegally to get by, others resorted to prostitution (Sheldon 2002; Frates 2002). A
number of Africans were from the distant north of the colony and the nearby Comoros
Islands and shared affinities with the Muslim Swahili culture of the East African coast,
while those from the south tended to belong to the Catholic Church or Protestant de-
nominations. Among the most important distinctions to be made, though, the one that
for an African in Lourenço Marques was the ultimate determinant of one's place in the
colonial-era hierarchy, was that between indígena and assimilado .
Figure 10.3 Population of Lourenço Marques/Maputo, 1940-97.
As with most European colonial regimes, the Portuguese had long cultivated a class
of more privileged Africans (Honwana 1988; Penvenne 1989, 1991, 1995). Under the
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