October 13, 2014

1295 MOZAMBIQUE - Inhambane, Land of Good People

Located 470 km northeast of Maputo, Inhambane, Terra de Boa Gente (Land of Good People), one of the oldest settlements on Mozambique's eastern coast, is now a sleepy historic town with only about 55,000 inhabitants. The settlement owes its existence to a deep inlet into which the small Matamba river flows. Two protective sandy headlands protect the harbor and form a sandbank. Muslim and Persian traders were the first outsiders to arrive to the area by sea and traded pearls and ambergris. The area became well known for its local cotton spinning and production by the Tonga tribe.

When Vasco da Gama rounded Africa in the late 15th century, he pulled into Inhambane to replenish stocks and to explore, and named it Terra de Boa Gente. The Portuguese eventually established a permanent trading post at settlement in 1534. The port gradually grew as an ivory and slave trading centre, particularly in the 18th century under mostly Indian control. It was destroyed in 1834 by Soshangane, but grew rapidly in the second half of the century as a town of Portuguese East Africa. However, in the 20th century the status of the town declined and the economic situation worsened as Maputo became the main centre.

The city is now home to a museum and a market and is known for its nearby beaches of Tofo and Barra. The central market located along the main boulevard called simply Mercado Central offers numerous foods, ranging from a colorful array of spices and vegetables to prawns, fishes and cashew nuts. Motor and dhow taxis sail from the town to Maxixe. The town of Inhambane has one of the largest working fleets of dhows on the Swahili Coast.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a joint series issued in 2010 at the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the AICEP, the association of Portuguese speaking countries, which includes 9 members (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Timor Leste).

Inhambane - Wikipedia

Sender: Carlos
Sent from Maputo (Maputo / Mozambique), on 10.09.2014
Photo: Solange dos Santos & Dominique Andereggen

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