99% Of the people of Ibo are of Muslim faith. This is because of the strong Arab influences in Mozambique history. In addition, islanders still respect and practice old Mozambique tribal customs and tribal religions. The common theme of daily life on Ibo Island is a creative cultural expression. A way of life made beautiful by the people. Ibo’s history has resulted in a hybrid community with unexpected splashes of European, Indian, Arabic and Chinese influences. This community, with roots reaching deep into the world, have created a way of life unique to Ibo. A way of life that captures the imagination of our guests.
The brightly colored capulana is the traditional cloth that Mozambican women wear as wrap-around skirts. Traditionally on Ibo Island, women do not buy their own capulanas, but rather the men choose and purchase the cloths for their women. If a woman owns many capulanas it is a symbol of affluence and status. A man is expected to pay lobolo if he wants to take a bride. On Ibo, it is known as ‘Mari’ and it is a process of negotiation with the parents of the bride to be. Negotiations usually include money and depending on affluence, goats, cattle, and dwellings.
Part of the island’s charm is how intimately involved Ibo’s community is with their faith and traditions, and it is yours to explore and understand as guests at Ibo Island Lodge.