Documenting the Chopi people's connection to nature

For the Chopi people in the Inhambane province of Mozambique, the mbila (plural: timbila), a xylophone made of wooden slats and dried fruit peels or gourds, is more than an instrument. It implies a harmonious relationship with nature that permeates Chopi society. As climate change drastically alters the ecology, impacting agriculture, the Chopi’s main source of subsistence, this project seeks to understand and record how their ancestral beliefs, knowledge, and practices have established connections to nature. Led by a master timbila player, ethnomusicologist, and filmmaker, the team is working in the rural area of Canda to document the often unnoticed sounds of the ecosystem, the manufacture of instruments, the content of lyrics, and how the Chopi’s strategies for mitigating socio-environmental change are reflected in their music and oral culture. The project includes video concerts throughout the Southern Corridor of Mozambique.