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Correia de Matos, Maria Leonor M. M. (1969) Portuguese Law and Administration in Mozambique and Their Effect on the Customary Land Laws of Three Tribes of the Lake Nyasa Region. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The study that follows has two purposes. The first is to show how the present statutory land law in Mozambique evolved out of previous experiences in other parts of the Portuguese world: in what way the perpetual leaseholds which now constitute the main form of European land tenure closely resemble the former prazos; how the prazos can he traced back to an agrarian contract known to mediaeval Portugal and indeed to ancient Greece and Rome; and, finally, how the feudal system of granting powers of sovereignty to certain noblemen (donatarios), practised since the early l5th Century in the Portuguese islands of the Atlantic and, later, in Brazil and Angola, contributed to the prazo system. In the second place this study is concerned with an analysis of the impact produced by Portuguese law and administration on the customary land laws of three tribes of the north of Mozambique. For reasons discussed throughout the work and summarised in the final chapter, changes produced on customary land law were only minimal.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:31

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