Camões houses in Constância and Mozambique need investment

This Monday, the Chamber of Constância claimed support from the State to “open in Portugal a House worthy of the Memory of Camões”, a request supported by the management of the Casa Memória Association, in the â part of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the poet’s birth.

“We, at this moment, have a Casa Memória built and the only thing missing is to provide it with financial and human resources to be able to function permanently”, the president of the local Chamber, Sérgio, told Lusa Oliveira (PS), noting that “alone, the municipality and local entities cannot do it”.

“These celebrations in Camões allowed us to reaffirm Constância as the most Camonian land in Portugal, and project our municipality on a national and international level”, stated Sérgio Oliveira, demanding government support for the “permanent opening” of the House Memory of Camões.

“On the day that the Camões project in Constância is complete, or, better said, reaffirmed, because the Camões project is dynamic and will never be closed, the council’s affirmation will be very And the reaffirmation of this project will be done with the permanent opening of the Casa Memória de Camões. On the day this comes to fruition, Constância will become the National and International Center for the study. the deepening of Camões”, stressed the mayor.

The Casa Memória de Camões began to be designed and built 50 years ago, but until today it has never been opened to the public and tourists, with regular activities, like what happens in other countries, with other historical figures, such as in Spain, with Casa Cervantes, or in England, with Casa Shakespeare, which Sérgio Oliveira regrets.

On the ruins that people point out as having been those of the house that welcomed him, the Casa-Memória de Camões was built to perpetuate the poet’s memory of the Ribatejo village.

Constáncia today marked the 500th anniversary of the birth of Camões with the laying of a wreath next to the poet’s statue and a historical recreation in the context of the Pomonas Camonianas, with the park of snacks, in the riverside area, transformed into an immense 16th century market, portraying the time in which the poet lived, involving the population, the school community and associations in the municipality.

In Constância, there is also the Camões Monument by master Lagoa Henriques and the Jardim-Horto Camoniano, designed by the architect Gonçalo Ribeiro Teles, which presents most of the plants mentioned by Camões in his work and is considered one of the most vivid and unique monuments erected in the world to a poet.

Sérgio Oliveira said that “it would have every meaning for the Ministry of Culture to have a special look here and that this time, when the 500th anniversary of Camões’ birth is marked, this house would be equipped with what is fundamental to be functioning”, with daily openings, alongside regular study and research activities, he defended.

“We are one of the few countries that does not have a house dedicated to Camões and the study of his life and work”, noted the mayor, stating that he has already sought to raise awareness among the current Minister of Culture to provide the House with the necessary contents, resources human and financial, to make Casa Memória a house of study, as in his view it is “difficult for there to be a land that celebrates Camões like Constância” does.

Casa de Camões in the popular imagination on the Island of Mozambique

The building that the oral tradition of the Island of Mozambique has identified for centuries as the house where Camões lived needs work, although the door with oriental motifs has been restored, as the 500th anniversary of his birth is locally marked. of the poet.

With wooden gates crafted in Goa, which were rehabilitated several years ago, Casa de Camões currently has part of the interior in ruins. This former slave trading post was probably inhabited by Luís Vaz de Camões (1524-1580) during one of his visits to the lands where the Portuguese discoverers fought and traded, between the eastern coast of Africa and India.

Born 500 years ago, on June 10, 1524, in Lisbon, the poet-soldier lived and wrote for around two years on the Island of Mozambique, on the old Rua do Fogo, where he also felt that love “it’s a fire that burns without being seen.”

Perhaps the beloved Bárbara was not a proper name, but the allusion to “a slave who resided outside the City of Stone and Lime and who, therefore, was considered barbarian, was not a citizen”, Investigator Maurício Pedro Régulo told the Lusa agency.

In the 16th century, Camões “brought a revolution to Portuguese-speaking literature”, added the Mozambican historian and academic.

Recognizing that popular tradition has contributed to “immortalizing the figure of Camões”, both on the Island of Mozambique and in the country, which in 1975 became independent from Portugal, he highlighted that, in Mozambique, the universal value of the Portuguese poet’s work “is best known to literate people”.

“The other part of the population may not realize this other dimension”, he admitted.

On the streets of the island, where natives of the Muslim majority live peacefully with Christians, 14-year-old Abdul Bachir wanted to show Lusa where Casa de Camões is.

He knows perfectly well who the Portuguese was who faced “forceful dangers and wars”, between the “Western Lusitanian beach” and Macau, in China, passing through North Africa, Mozambique and India.

The young follower of Muhammad’s precepts insisted on the importance of visitors visiting the statue of Camões, just 100 meters from the legendary house on Rua do Fogo.

Later, on the beach next to the statue of Vasco da Gama, the talented Abdul, who on the island – a World Heritage Site since 1991 – has a reputation as a poet, began to recite verses of his own about the seamanship and the audacity of navigators.

The bronze statues of Camões and Gama, as well as the Casa de Camões and several buildings from the colonial era, are part of the island’s tourist itinerary, designed by the Municipality in collaboration with Camões – Instituto da Cooperation and Language.

The local municipality presents Camões as a “landmark in the multifaceted history of the Island of Mozambique”, which sang as a “small island” in the Indian Ocean in “Os LusÃadas”, having influenced “the local people” in a “positive and motivating way.”

The poet’s statue was inaugurated in 1970 by the governor-general of the then colony of Mozambique, Baltazar Rebelo de Souza, father of the current President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

“President Samora Machel, during his visit to Portugal, in October 1983, stated that Camões was not the exclusive heritage of the Portuguese”, but also of Mozambicans “through the Portuguese language”, which is now “a symbol of freedom, independence and sharing”, highlights the municipality in a virtual tour of the World Heritage island.

Maurício Régulo, professor at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at Lúrio University, led a visit to the island’s monuments and architectural heritage, which until Monday hosts a Portuguese-Mozambican program commemorating the 500th anniversary of Camões’ birth .

Under the theme “Camões, Palavras de Fogo”, it is a partnership between the Lúrio University, in Nampula, and the Cooperativa Arte-Via, based in Lousã, district of Coimbra, having been conceived as an extension of the International Literary Festival of the Interior (FLII).

“Camões continues in schools, it is a reference in teaching”, confirmed MaurÃcio Régulo, who considers it “very important to preserve its legacy”, but underlining the need to hold Portuguese-Mozambican events, as “not all we can get to know” the poet’s heritage.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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