How do traditional healers in Maouto, Mozambique, manifest their authority in public and in private space?
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This thesis examines the ways in which traditional healers manifest their authority in public and in private space in Maputo, Mozambique. A distinction is made between local and foreign healers since they demonstrate different forms of behavior in public space. It is suggested that there is a connection between the (absence of) manifestation of authority in public space and (il)legitimacy and that claims to authority are mainly made in private space. Moreover, drawing from theory as well as from evidence gathered in the field, it is argued that there is a strong correlation between discourse, power and the creation or maintenance of hierarchies. This thesis points out that the co-existence of various authorities in different spaces does not necessarily constitute a potential for conflict. On the contrary, the example of traditional healers in Mozambique shows that alternative (informal) authorities can contribute to the reconciliation and stabilization of troubled societies.