South-South Transnational Spaces of Conquest: Afro-Brazilian Pentecostalism, Feitiçaria and the Reproductive Domain in Urban Mozambique

In: Exchange
Linda van de Kamp Tilburg University, School of Humanities, Department of Culture Studies Tilburg The Netherlands

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Brazilian Pentecostals are establishing new transnational Christian connections in Africa. Focusing on Mozambique, this paper examines the specific logic of cultural mixing that is emerging in the South-South contact of African and Brazilian Pentecostals. This South-South connection is based on a particular framing of the transatlantic history in Afro-Brazilian concepts of evil, such as macumba and feitiçaria. The South-South transnational features of Afro-Brazilian Pentecostalism enhance a need to spiritually scrutinize, combat and transcend aspects of ‘African culture’ in the reproductive sphere of marriage, sexuality, family, money and work. Upwardly mobile Mozambican women, who are conquering new cultural positions, are finding this South-South transnational Pentecostal space attractive. Afro-Brazilian Pentecostalism and upwardly mobile women find and reinforce each other in their capacities to challenge and move frontiers in the national sphere around reproductive issues. However, the powerful atmosphere of conquest that South-South Pentecostalism consequently creates has to be carefully manoeuvred by the women to not let their accusations of feitiçaria rise against themselves.

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