Ground breaking ceremony in Mozambique

Ground breaking ceremony in Mozambique

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Sep 13, 2012
  • comments

The Manica Football for Hope Centre just broke ground, a very important tradition and event in Mozambique. Design Fellows, Paulo Fernandes and Alina Jeronimo give us their insight:

It was a traditional shona ceremony based on ancestral traditions.
There was a local leader blessing the start of the works to "protect" the land, the workers and the building from "bad" outside influences. We asked the priest if we could get help to speed up the construction process and complete the project early. If accomplished, we will have to sacrifice an ox.

The priest chose a tree through which to communicate with the ancestors and to invoke protection. Men and women were separated and performed different sounds and rhythms. At the end everyone drank (primarily the priest, though even the tree was offered a smidge) red wine to ensure protection!

These kinds of customs are very important to the community. There isn't a contractor or construction company large or small that would think of breaking ground without this ceremony...so right now we hope the process continues to flow smoothly!