Abstract

This study is framed by a broader discussion on politics in sub-Saharan Africa Islamic societies, and their relationship with the state. Amongst other things, it discusses the religion and lineage “powers” amongst the Macua groups, in particular the amakha, the Islamized Macua groups that lives in Nacala coast (north of Mozambique). The focus is on the lineage authorities – muwene / pwiamwene – and the Muslim authorities, embodied in the historical figure of the political-religious dignitaries – sheikhs, xehes. The study aims to understand, on the one hand, if the lineage and religious powers intercept each other in the present context, and, on the other hand, whether they mediate together the relationship between the population and the state. In other words, the purpose of this study is to broaden our understanding on the instruments and mechanisms held by both religious and lineage powers that allows presenting themselves as state interlocutors, by competing against each other.