Cape Verde Islands


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Cape Verde Islands

 

(Ilhas do Cabo Verde), a country situated on the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic Ocean on the western shore of Africa. It occupies an archipelago that consists often islands and five islets divided into two groups: the northern group, the Windward Islands (Ilhas de Barlavento), and the southern group, the Leeward Islands (Ilhas de Sotavento). The largest islands are Santo Antão, Boa Vista, São Nicolau, Sal, and Sao Vicente (Windward group) and Sao Tiago, Fogo, and Maio (Leeward group). Area 4,033 sq km. Population, 250,000 (1970). Most of the islanders are mulattoes, descendants of African slaves who were brought to the islands (16th-19th centuries) and mixed with the Portuguese; about one-third are Africans from Guinea (Bissãu, or Bissao) of the Balante, Fulbe, and Mandja tribes; approximately 3 percent are Portuguese. Portuguese is the official language, but a Creole dialect is widely spoken. The majority of the population is Catholic. The administrative center is the city of Praia (population, 13,100 in 1960).

Natural features. The islands are young volcanic formations on an immersed Precambrian crystalline socle broken up by faults. The shores are mainly steep and rocky, with few good natural harbors; the most important one is the bay of Mindélo on Sao Vicente. The landscape is mountainous with many volcanic cones, craters, and calderas. The highest peak is the active volcano Fogo (2,829 m) on Fogo Island. The climate is tropical. It is affected by trade winds. Average monthly temperatures are 22°-27°C, and annual precipitation is 100–150 mm. The river network is poorly developed. Vegetation is of a desert and semidesert type; fauna is limited. The islands are characterized by the absence of mammals, except goats, rabbits, rats, and several other animals bred by Europeans. There are many aquatic birds, and the coastal waters are rich in fish.

History. The Cape Verde Islands were discovered by Portuguese expeditions between 1456 and 1460. The first Portuguese colonists arrived on the uninhabited islands in 1462 and declared them a Portuguese colony in 1495. In the late 15th century and in the 16th century the Cape Verde Islands be-came a center of slave trade in the region of the Guinea shore of Africa. With the decline of the slave trade, which was the main source of wealth of the Portuguese colonists and which was definitively outlawed in 1876, there was mass emigration from the Cape Verde Islands to the USA and other countries.

After World War II (1939–45), Portugal and its NATO allies modernized the ports and the airports on the Cape Verde Islands. The Portuguese colonialists used the islands as an intermediary base in the war against the national liberation forces on Guinea (Bissau), Angola, and Mozambique. The national liberation movement on the islands, which has been growing since the 1950’s, is closely linked with the independence struggle of the people of Guinea (Bissau), which is a Portuguese colony. This struggle is directed by the African Party of Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands, the PAIGC, which was founded in 1956. The PAIGC considers Guinea (Bissau) and the Cape Verde Islands a unit and has underground local party organizations on the islands.

Economy. In the colonial period most of the land belonged to Portuguese landowners, who rented tracts of it for cultivation to métayer tenants.

In 1960 agriculture employed 40.2 percent of the working population; 51.9 percent worked in service industries. Farming and fishing are traditional occupations of the population. Maize, sweet potatoes, beans, manioc, peas, red peppers, and tomatoes are grown for internal consumption. Coffee, bananas, and sugarcane are grown specifically for export on plantations; so are, to a lesser extent, peanuts, tobacco, castor beans (exported in the form of castor oil), and indigo. Animal husbandry is practiced widely on the islands; in 1969–70 livestock consisted of 16,000 head of cattle, 21,000 goats, 3,000 sheep, 14,000 pigs, and 7,000 donkeys. Industry is represented by fish processing (dried, salted, and canned fish is exported), alcohol production from sugarcane, and the production of soap, vegetable oil, and cement. Salt and pozzolana are mined and exported. Handicrafts, which are widely developed on the islands, include pottery and basket weaving. In 1968 there were 1,500 km of automobile roads and 1,700 automobiles on the islands. The main port is Mindélo on Sao Vicente Island, where ships going from Europe to South Africa and South America stop for refueling. The biggest airport is on Sal Island. About 55 percent of the foreign trade was with Portugal. The monetary unit is the escudo of the Cape Verde Islands.

Education. Over two-thirds of the population over 10 years old is illiterate. The educational system is similar to the Portuguese system; Portuguese is the language of instruction. The educational system consists of a four-year elementary school and a seven-year secondary school (two plus three plus two years of instruction). Over 30 percent of the schools are run by Catholic missions. The overwhelming majority of the students are children of Europeans and mulattoes; there are very few African children. In the 1968–69 school year there were 19,680 students in the elementary schools and over 2,000 students in the secondary schools. Vocational training is very poorly developed and is based on the elementary schools with an additional two to four years of instruction. In the 1968–69 school year there were 494 students in the single vocational school. There are no higher institutions of learning.

Literature. Literature is written in Portuguese and in Creole. The islands have a rich folklore in the local Creole language, which resulted from a fusion of Portuguese and the languages of Africans who came from the Guinea shore of Africa. The morna, a form of folk poetry and song, is the most popular genre on the islands. The mornas are short, almost invariably melancholy songs about love, separation, and a passionate desire to leave the islands—a theme that has become traditional in the Cape Verdean literature. E. Tavares (died 1936) and P. Cardoso are the most outstanding morna writers.

The themes of oral poetry have also become the main themes in the work of the first professional writers. Jorge Barbosa (born 1902) is a cofounder of the cultural, educational, and literary journals Claridade (1936–38 and 1947) and Certeza (1944–45 and 1947–49). The novels Chiquinho (1947) by O. Alcantara (pseudonym of Baltazar Lopes) and Scorched by the East Wind (1960) by M. Lopes take up social themes and are the first literary protests against social inequality. The poems of A. Fonseca (born 1922) expose the Portuguese “colonial paradise.” G. Mariano (born 1928), O. Martius (born 1928), Jorge Pedro Barbosa (Jorge Barbosa’s son; born 1933) and other poets, writing in Portuguese and in Creole, have shown that the customs and culture of the inhabitants of the Cape Verde Islands and of mainland Africa are the same. The poet Cabverdiano Dambara, who writes only in Creole, glorifies the people’s struggle for independence.

L. V. NEKRASOVA

REFERENCES

Silva, de J. Portugal’skie kolonii v Afrike. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from Portuguese.)
Khazanov, A. M.Politika Portugalii v Afrike i Azii. Moscow, 1967.
Noveishaia istoriia Afriki, 2nd ed., Moscow, 1968.
Lannoy, C. de, and H. van der Linden. Histoire de I’expansion coloniale des peuples européens, vol. 1. Portugal et Espagne. Brussels, 1907.
Stikhi poetov Afriki. Moscow, 1958.
Vzgliadom serdtsa. Moscow, 1961.
[Stikhi.] Inostrannaia literatura, 1959, no. 5.
Osório de Oliveira, J. Poesia de Cabo Verde. Lisbon, 1954.
Figueiredo, J. Modernos poetas cabo-verdianos: Antologia imprensa nacional. Cape Verde, Praia, 1961.
Silveira, O. Consciencializaçáo na literatura Cabo Verdeana. Lisbon, 1963.
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, there have been numerous events that have not passed through, but moved very close to, the Cape Verde islands, such as Tropical Storm 3 in 1923, which caused reported damage.
It was difficult to leave the Cape Verde islands behind, but a further day's sailing brought us to Lanzarote, the most eastern of the seven Canary Islands.
Nicola Wheeler and her crowd of friends from Sully and Dinas Powys, with their Echo on holiday in the Cape Verde islands
Happy Hooker, fishing in the Cape Verde Islands, did it in 2006 and 2010.
8&9 FOOD Win dinner, bed and breakfast at the lovely Castle Hotel in Bishops Castle and try out some the chef's fav recipes at home 9 WISH LIST What we're really, really lusting after this weekend 10&11 AWAYDAYS You won't be fishing for things to do in the Cape Verde islands 14&16 TV CHOICE And the best title of the week award goes to Bettany Hughes for When God Was A Girl 17-23 TV LISTINGS Your 7-day television listings guide starts here 24 PUZZLES & STARS Pit your wits on our puzzles page and look to your stars for what the week ahead has in store
Sue Banwell-Moore found the brown six-inch Chioninia lizard among her washing after returning from a trip to the Cape Verde islands, off Western Africa.
Since setting off on his epic journey on Saturday October 15 from Caernarfon he has passed Ireland, the infamous Bay of Biscay where he took some heavy weather damage, Spain, Portugal, Madeira and the Canaries, before sailing down to the Cape Verde islands off West Africa.
Darren Ettridge, the company senior vice president of resort sales and business development for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia, said, 'The Cape Verde islands, already a favourite destination of British, Portuguese, Italian, and German tourists, are gaining renown as an international destination.
Fred's eye was located at 540 miles west of the Southernmost Cape Verde islands as of 11:00 a.
Russian warships finally found her in the Atlantic off the Cape Verde islands on August 17.
Today at one o'clock in the morning Moscow time, the ship was found 300 miles off the Cape Verde islands," Serdyukov told Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, in a meeting.
Tropical Storm Josephine was located 270 km southeast of the Cape Verde Islands whileAa Hurricane Hanna is threatening the US east coastAa and Tropical Storm Ike formed in the Atlantic Ocean.