Cape Verde

Culture Name

Cape Verdean


Identification. The islands are named for the Cap Vert peninsula in West Africa, the nearest land formation. Cape Verdeans identify strongly with the culture of their individual islands.

Location and Geography. Cape Verde comprises ten islands, nine of which are inhabited, and is located 375 miles (600 kilometers) off the coast of Senegal. The combined area of all the islands is 1,557 square miles (4,033 square kilometers), roughly the size of Rhode Island. The islands vary in geographical characteristics. Sal, Boavista, Maio, and São Vicente are flat and desert-like, with stretches of sand dunes. Santiago, Santo Antão, Fogo, and São Nicolau are more mountainous and arable, although all the islands have a long history of drought. They are all of volcanic origin; Fogo, the only volcano still active, last erupted in 1995. The capital, Praia, is on the island of Santiago which is the largest in terms of area and population and the first one to be settled.

Demography. The population of Cape Verde is 430,000. Of these, 85,000 live in the capital. Because of the country's long history of emigration, there are an additional estimated one million Cape Verdeans living abroad, mainly in the United States, western Europe, and Africa. The United States Cape Verdean population, concentrated in the New England states, is estimated to be as large as the population in Cape Verde itself.

Linguistic Affiliation. The official language is Portuguese. It is used in school, for official functions, and for all written communication. The vernacular is a Creole, which is essentially fifteenth-century Portuguese with a simplified vocabulary and influences from Mandingo and several Senegambian languages. Each island has its own distinctive Creole in which its inhabitants take pride.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. The Cape Verde Islands were uninhabited until the Portuguese first landed in 1460. They settled in an area of Santiago which they called Ribeira Grande and which they used as a slave-trade post between Africa and the New World. Some Africans stayed on the island and worked as slaves on the latifundas, or plantations, there. Ribeira Grande experienced several pirate attacks, and was abandoned after a French assault in 1712. After 1876, with the decline of slave trade, the islands lost much of their economic value to the Portuguese. The effects of drought and famine were compounded by poor administration and government corruption. Cape Verde regained some wealth in the late nineteenth century due to its convenient location on major trade routes between Europe, South America, and Africa and to the opening of a coal and submarine cable station in the port city of Mindelo. This prosperity again declined after World War I, however, and the country experienced several devastating famines. It was not until after the second world war that relative prosperity began to return.

In 1951, the Portuguese changed Cape Verde's status from colony to overseas province and in 1961, granted full Portuguese citizenship to all Cape Verdeans. A war of independence was fought from 1974 to 1975 in Guinea-Bissau, another Portuguese colony on the mainland also seeking autonomy. The islands became an independent republic in 1975.

National Identity. Cape Verdean culture is a unique mixture of European and African elements. National identity is rather fragmented, mainly as a result of the geographical division of the islands. The northern, or barlavento islands, tend to identify more with the Portuguese colonizers, whereas the

Cape Verde
Cape Verde
southern, or sotavento islands (Santiago in particular) have a closer cultural affinity with Africa. Cape Verdeans have a strong sense of pride in the specific culture of their own island.

Ethnic Relations. Cape Verde is a mestizo society. Seventy-eight percent of the population is Creole, that is, of mixed African and European blood. Of the remainder, 28 percent is black African, and 1 percent is white.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Praia, the capital of Cape Verde, is a rapidly growing urban center. Its growth has been unimpeded by zoning laws or organization which has allowed it to spread out into nearby land in a haphazard way. Mindelo, the second largest city with a population of 47,000, is located on the northern island of São Vicente and provides a marked contrast as a clean, orderly city with a European feel. Many of the islands combine old colonial architecture with the new cinderblock structures that are sprouting up to house the burgeoning population. The traditional houses that dot the countryside are stone structures with thatched or tiled roofs.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Corn is the staple food of Cape Verde. The national dish, cachupa, is a stew of hominy, beans, and whatever meat or vegetables may be available. Other common foods include rice, beans, fish, potatoes, and manioc. A traditional breakfast is cuscus, a steamed cornbread, eaten with honey and milk or coffee. Cape Verdeans generally eat a large lunch in the mid-afternoon and a small, late dinner. Grog, or sugar cane liquor, is manufactured on the islands and is a popular drink, particularly among the men.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Many Catholic saints' days are observed throughout the year. Food and its preparation play a large part in these celebrations. Women usually spend the few days prior to the feast pounding corn for the cachupa, cleaning and cutting vegetables, and preparing meat. Xerem, a form of cachupa in which the corn is more finely ground, is often served.

Basic Economy. The economy is primarily based on agriculture although only 10 percent of the land is arable. Roughly one-third of the population are farmers. The islands produce bananas, corn, beans, sugarcane, coffee, and some fruits and vegetables, but supply less than one-fifth of the country's needs. Much of the rest comes in the form of aid from the United States, Portugal, Holland, and other countries in western Europe. Remittances from Cape Verdeans living abroad also make a considerable contribution to the economy and GNP.

Land Tenure and Property. Cape Verdeans have a communal attitude towards property and freely borrow and lend possessions. Farm land is generally privately owned but many farming communities form organizations to oversee its use and distribute pooled funds in the development of such things as corrals or plant nurseries.

Commercial Activities. The majority of goods produced in Cape Verde are agricultural. Most towns have a small market where fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish are sold.

Major Industries. Agriculture accounts for one-third of the GNP, services and transportation for one-half. This is due, in part to the growth of tourism which has been enhanced by the construction of luxury hotels and resorts on several islands. Construction comprises nearly one-fourth of the GNP as the country continues to urbanize and the population expands.

Trade. Cape Verde's main trade partners are countries of the European Union (Portugal, France, Holland, Germany, Spain, and Italy). Small amounts of fish, salt, lobster, bananas, shoes, and pharmaceutical products are exported. Large quantities of food, construction and building materials, machinery, and textiles are imported.

Division of Labor. Labor is not strictly divided along gender lines. Women and men do heavy physical labor; however, domestic work is an exclusively female domain. Children often follow the same trade as their parents. They begin at a very young age, especially if they come from farming or fishing families. Older people continue to work as long as they are able, sometimes modifying strenuous tasks. It is not unusual to see men and women in their seventies harvesting beans or hauling rocks at a construction site.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. There is little class distinction in Cape Verde because the vast majority of the population is poor. There is a small but growing middle class in the towns and cities and virtually no upper class. Those of higher socio-economic backgrounds tend to identify culturally with Europe and to think of themselves as more "European," often because they have spent time abroad.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Cape Verdeans take pride in their dress and personal appearance. The most highly valued attire is American brand names popular among African Americans. These clothes are often an indicator of class; however, the poorest Cape Verdeans sometimes have relatives in the United States who send gifts of clothing.

Political Life

Government. Since Cape Verde won independence from Portugal in 1975, it has had a democratic multi-party system of government with proportional representation through electoral districts. The unicameral national assembly is made up of seventy-two elected deputies including six chosen by the Cape Verdean population abroad.

Leadership and Political Officials. The president is elected for a five-year term and appoints a prime minister. There are two main political parties: African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICY) and Movement for Democracy (MPD). In the general population identification with one party or the other is strong and highly personal. Local elections are occasions for rallies with music and dancing, parades, and public shouting matches.

Social Problems and Control. What little crime there is in Cape Verde consists mainly of petty theft and robbery. This is more common in the cities, particularly in Praia. The code of conduct is implicitly enforced by social pressure. Personal reputation is of paramount importance; for this reason, the court system is overrun with slander cases.

Military Activity. Cape Verde has a small military of eleven hundred active duty personnel. Of these, 91 percent are in the army and 9 percent are in the air force. Cape Verde spends roughly 1 percent of its GNP on its military.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Social security programs have been introduced, but are limited in scope. The government provides some assistance for the poor and the elderly, as well as free health care, but the majority of social welfare is provided by individual families and communities.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Several foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are a presence; among these, the German organization Dywidag has helped develop the ports. The U.S. Peace Corps sends volunteers to work in the education system and local government. Portuguese aid groups are also present in Cape Verde.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Women take care of all domestic tasks including cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. At the same time, they also make substantial contributions in other sectors of the work force, including farming, construction, and commerce. Women are often the sole economic supporters of their families. However, they are proportionally under-represented in the white-collar professions and in the political system.

People, dressed in Western clothing, stand in front of a mural depicting the importance of safe sex, another Western import.
People, dressed in Western clothing, stand in front of a mural depicting the importance of safe sex, another Western import.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. While the genders are legally recognized as equal, there are broad de facto disparities in rights and power. Women (mothers in particular) are respected for the immense workload they shoulder, yet they often are expected to defer to men.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Legal and church weddings are uncommon in Cape Verde. More often than not, a woman will simply sai di casa (leave her family's house) to move in with her boyfriend. This is often occasioned by the woman becoming pregnant. After four years of cohabitation, a relationship acquires the status of common-law marriage. While polygamy is not legal, it is customary for men (married or not) to be sleeping with several women at once.

Domestic Unit. Traditionally, several generations of a family live together in the same house. Childrearing is communal, and living situations are fluid; children often stay with aunts, uncles, or other relatives, especially during the school year. Due to emigration and de facto polygamy, there are a great many households headed by single mothers.


Infant Care. Seven days after a baby is born, the parents throw a big party called a sete . Like any other party, it is an occasion for dancing and drinking. At midnight the guests file in to the baby's room and sing to it as a protection against evil spirits. Infants are coddled and held. Mothers often tie small babies to their backs and carry them along to work.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are treated with affection, but are reprimanded strictly for misbehavior. Corporal punishment is not uncommon. Children are expected to work at the family's trade, and even if the parents are professionals, children do a good deal of housework. Obedience and deference to elders is inculcated early. It is not uncommon for an adult to grab any child on the street and ask him or her to run an errand.

Education is mandatory and free between the ages of seven and fourteen. About 90 percent of children attend school. Each island has a high school that goes through at least eleventh grade. High school students pay an education tax on a sliding scale based on their parents' income.

Higher Education. Cape Verde is still in the process of establishing an institution of higher learning.

Old colonial style architecture is reminiscent of the past European influence in Cape Verde.
Old colonial style architecture is reminiscent of the past European influence in Cape Verde.
There are teacher certification schools in Praia and one in Mindelo. To obtain any other degree past high school, it is necessary to go abroad. A higher degree is of little use in the Cape Verdean job market, and the vast majority of those who leave to study do not return.


Cape Verdeans are an extremely generous and hospitable people. Even the poorest take pride in presenting guests with a meal. It is considered rude to eat in front of others without sharing, and for this reason one does not eat in a public setting such as on the street or on a bus.

Cape Verdeans stand close together when talking and are physically demonstrative, often touching and holding hands (men as well as women). Greetings are somewhat lengthy, and include shaking hands (or kissing for women), and inquiring about each other's health and family. This is usually done each time two people meet, even if it is more than once in the same day.


Religious Beliefs. Ninety-eight percent of Cape Verdeans are Roman Catholic. The Nazarene church is also represented as are Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, and Evangelical Christians. There is a history of several Jewish settlements that dates back to the inquisition, but they are now extinct.

Rituals and Holy Places. Each town has a church, but most Cape Verdeans are non-practicing Catholics. However, saints' days are often the basis of community-wide parties involving dancing, drinking, and food. One family, neighborhood, or town usually takes charge of the celebration for a given saint.

Death and the Afterlife. Despite its relatively secular atmosphere, rituals surrounding death are strictly observed. Funerals are large events attended by much of the community. The procession is accompanied by mourners who perform a highly stylized, musical wailing. Family members of the deceased dress in black for a full year after the death and are forbidden to dance or play music.

Medicine and Health Care

Cape Verde provides its citizens with free health care through small hospitals on each island. Facilities and resources are poor but are more advanced than many in West Africa. The best hospitals are in Praia and Mindelo, and people are often sent there for

Fogo Islanders in a truck loaded with firewood.
Fogo Islanders in a truck loaded with firewood.
treatment. The main health concerns are infectious and parasitic diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, and gastrointestinal ailments. These are caused mainly by malnutrition and poor sanitation. The average life expectancy is 62 years, and the infant mortality rate is the lowest in West Africa.

Secular Celebrations

New Year's Day is celebrated on 1 January. Amilcar Cabral Day (24 January), recognizes the birthday of the liberator of Cape Verde, one of the leaders in the war of independence. Independence Day is celebrated on 5 July.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. There is a Cape Verdean Cultural Center in Praia, which stages performances and exhibitions and sells books, music, and artifacts.

Literature. There is a small but growing body of Cape Verdean literature. Most of it is written in Portuguese, but a movement to develop a standardized written form of Creole has caused several books to be published in this language as well. Written literature is strongly influenced by the tradition of oral story telling which finds its roots in both Africa and Europe. A predominant theme in both literature and music is saudade , a sense of longing or homesickness, usually the result of emigration and the ensuing separation of families.

Graphic Arts. Graphic art production is limited. Crocheting is popular among women. Textiles were traditionally produced on large looms in a time-consuming process but this is rare today. The island of Boavista is known for its clay pottery; Fogo is known for small carvings made from hardened lava. There is also some basket weaving, embroidery, woodworking, and other craft production, but the preponderance of artifacts sold at the markets is imported from Africa.

Performance Arts. Music and dance are a focal point of Cape Verdean culture. Traditional forms of music include funana, which is played on an accordion and an iron bar that serves as a rhythm instrument. Batuque is performed by a circle of women who beat out rhythms on plastic sacks held between their legs. Both types of music are very African-influenced and are particular to the island of Santiago. Another traditional form of music is the morna which is a slower, more Portuguese-influenced ballad. Each type of music has a specific dance that goes with it. Popular music has a largely synthesized feel.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

There are no research facilities or laboratories for physical sciences in Cape Verde.


Bratton, Michael. "Deciphering Africa's Divergent Transitions." Political Science Quarterly, Spring 1997.

Carreira, Antonio. People of the Cape Verde Islands: Exploitation and Emigration. Trans. and ed. by Christopher Fyfe, 1982.

Davidson, Basil. Fortunate Isles: A Study in African Transformation , 1989.

Davidson, Basil. No Fist Is Big Enough to Hide the Sky: the Liberation of Guinea and Cape Verde, 1981.

Hills, C. A. R. "Portugal and Her Empire, 1497-1997." Contemporary Review, July 1997.

Irwin, Aisling and Colum Wilson. Cape Verde Islands: The Bradt Travel Guide, 1998.

Khouri-Dagher, Nadia. "Teachers Under Pressure." UNESCO Sources, April 1998.

Lobban, Richard A. Cape Verde: Crioulo Colony to Independent Nation, 1998.

Meintel, Deirdre. Race, Culture and Portuguese Colonialism in Cabo Verde, 1984.

Mozer, Gerald M. "Neglected or Forgotten Authors of Lusophone Africa." World Literature Today, Winter 1999.

Shaw, Caroline S., ed. Cape Verde, 1991.

Teixeira, Erin. "Exploring a Racial Riddle in Cape Verde." Los Angeles Times, 18 December 2000.

Web Sites

Cape Verde Reference Page.

Embassy of the Republic of Cape Verde to the United States and Canada Homepage.


Also read article about Cape Verde from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Allison Browne
I think that this site is very informative, and it should continue to grow adding more interesting facts.
luciene furtado
Anna Gomez
I appreciate this site very much. Its great to find facts such as these! Please continue to add to this page. :)
this page was soooo incredibally helpful it had everything to make a great research report THANKS :)
I LOVE this info about Cape Verde its awsome continue putting new info THANKS :}
I thought this was a great site, it talks so much about the cape verde islands, good imformation for people that want to learn more about the Cape Verde Islands.
This is a very well put together aticle! It has all the basic facts put very simply. It's informative and user friendly. I enjoy surfing the web for updated info on Cape Verde as that is my heritage and there realy isnt enough sites like this.
I think it's always important for people to know where they came from.This site has inspired so many people to learn and become acquainted with Cape Verde even if they are not Cape Verdean.The people who view it should always give input because it's up to us to educate our kids the knowledge of Cape Verde.
teresa barbosa
I love this so much! Im Cape Verdean born in the island, grew up in Brockton Massachusetts and now live in West Hollywood Ca. I will be doing a national show called America's Next Best Recipe and I will be using all the useful information on here to promote our national dish Cachupa and the Cape Verdean Culture. Thank you so much for educating me on my culture. God be with you. Teresa Barbosa.
maria martins
I love this so much...Im capeverdean,I born there in island call fogo and I been in united state for two years.I think those notes are interesting for most people specially for who belong to cape verd but they been here their all life, they should look at this to learn about their country.And I think this information should grow more because our country is small but we have a lot thing to share through the world.
Ismail Singleton
Before today, I didn't know where Cape Verde was. Now I know more and will continue to do research. Sites like this educates up on other group of people. I would love to meet a Cape Verdean person some day.
Although this site contains useful information, it needs to be updated. As a Cape Verdian who has recently traveled to Cape Verde, I find that some of the information is taken from specific areas in Cape Verde and the generalized. An example would be that the family of a deceased is prohibited to listen to music or dance for a year. Although this was common with the older generations, it is no longer the case. Few of the elderly tend to observe this tradition, but it is seldom seen among the older generations. The caption below the image of the people in front of the mural implies that Cape Verdians wear clothes other than the "Western style" clothing. Cape Verde has been changing immensely and it s progress is not depicted in this page.
I think that this article is helpful..but I think one aspect that isn't really explained entirely is whether Cape Verdeans are considering Portuguese. I believe they are. My Dad is 100 % Cape Verdean and my Mom is French Canadian. I believe this means that I am half Cape Verdean( which I explain as a mixture of African American and Portuguese) and French. People often ask if I am considered African American..but also ask why my skin is lighter than most and can't understand the difference between Portuguese and Cape V erdean. I guess I just need some explanation due to the fact that my Dad didn't really talk much about the culture of Cape Verde over the years. My Grandma and Grandfather were born in Cape Verde and then came here to become US Citizens. But over time anything my Dad had learned when he was younger has been lost. I feel very confused on my culture and understanding everything..
I fount this site full of very good information. Although some of it is a bit out dated, it's stil historically correct. My grandparents and much of my family were born in Brava and they still fit the mold of the "older generation" cape verdeans. This site confirmed to many of my friends what I has been telling them about cape verdean culture for years.
Please correct the following Cape-Verde did not always have a democracy, the first 15 years after it's independence Cape-Verde had a dictatorship of the left with limited freedoms and a secret police. It was after the fall of the Soviet Empire that Pedro Pires the prime minister decided to follow a process of democratization and called for free elections.
I know alot of CV's live in RI.Im Cape Verdean and im from East Providence RI.So which part are u from or are u originally from Cabo Verde?
You guys did a wonderful job with the information on this site. I am Cape Verdean / American & I agree 100% with the information. You left nothing out, & it was very well organized. I am going to refer anybody who wants to know about Cape Verde here.
This website was really helpful and i was amazed it was alot better than wikipedia.
Question: Does anyone know of a ritual or dance that the Cape Verde people do to make bad things go away?

Wondering cause my son is 3 he is Cape Verden / Native American. And he does this weird clapping/rubbing/then waving of his hands in the sky! When asked what he is doing. He statesd that his Grandfather that is from Cape Verde that is no longer with us. And whom he never met told him it's how you keep the bad things away!

If anyone can help! Please!
found this article really helpful. Will make my visit to the island more enjoyable. a big THANK YOU
so grateful to see this site, it really helped me do my research paper.. :)
I would like to know more about gender discrimination and the gendered division of labor.
EXCELLENT, HOWEVER NO Info REGARDING THE ISLAND OF BRAVA. My Father was from Brava, just attempting to find a little more info regarding his Island..
I was wondering if I'm portugese, do I have a little cape verdian in me?
Dana Fernandes
I am 100% Cape Verdean and proud; I see some of my friends whom deny and aren't proud of there culture and it sadden's me /: I'm 13 at the moment and have been to cape Verde and various island 5 times; I LOVE IT! The reason why I like this page is because it informs people, most of my friends aren't proud to say they're cape verdean because they are misinformed and refuse to be known as a "nigger". I am the youngest of my father's three children and although they were born there since they've migrated here they haven't returned since! They are all adults in there early 20 with each a son of there own. I do feel a little bad for them because they don't know that they are missing out on. I was born in america and can speak fluently in creole and also read and write in Portuguese.It disappoints me because they can barely complete sentences of phrases in creole or they can't speak to other relatives! I wonder about when my nephew's want to ask questions about their culture my brother and sister honestly won't have any accurate answers besides distant memories :( I agree with the other commenters that last time I went to Cape Verde was in 2010 and cape verde has changed compared to the articles above. most of the natives there are wearing designer brand for teens such as: Areopostale, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and many others. Cape Verde has come a long way many things have changed, but Cape Verde will always be the same in my mind and heart MY HOMELAND! Defender o meu país para sempre!
This is incredibly helpful for this school project I am doing.
I am forever grateful for this site because it gave me the insight I needed about different topics I often wondered about. Being the youngest of ten children, very typical of a Cape Verdean family, I was not exposed to the CV culture personally, as I left the island at six months old, but I have elderly parents and older siblings who live out the culture every day. My mother is an affluent giver in CV, she travels there very often and helps out the less priveleged with clothing, food, or whatever necessities they may need. She instilled in me a deep desire to give back to my people...I'm a social worker now and the first in my family to go to college..Even though all the information on this page is not currently up to date but the basics are very important and gave me the answers I was looking for..Thanks! Joanna
thanks for adding information about cape verde. i learned many that that i did not know about cape verde, and i'm capeverdean. :-)
Thank you for putting these information available for everybody, around the world. These facts will be usefull and will enrich everybody's knowledge. Good initiave. Keep working in order to update everybody about cape verde history.
Best regards.
Great job, thank you for a great introduction to Cape Verde. One day I hope to visit some of these islands. I would like to visit Praia in particular, since this is where my friend grew up.
I am happy to read and understand the history of this country. i was touched by the culture and political structure of this country. Thanks to all who contributed to this site. One day will visit Cape Verde.
you articles are nice but if you people can add more picture of your product i believe it will attract more people .thanks
I'm very glad to get all these information about Cape Verde. I'm a Nigerian but residing in Capital city of Liberia which is Monrovia. I really have a plan to visit this country but very soon and i will also like to make friend with anyone from CAPE VERDE. and am also on Facebook. Pls i will be looking forward to meet a friend.
Cape Verde seems like a wonderful place. Personaly all of the continent Africa is amazing. Someones dad in my class went to Monrovia (the Capital of Lyberia) and met their friends to help out. Anyway Thanks for the info!
Very interesting. On which island(s)do they manufacture shoes?
Thanks alot for this piece of information you share with us. I am very thankful for your efforts to have some information about this nation. I actually had no knowledge about this African nation apart from knowing that it is an African Nation that is an Island on the West African coast. But after meeting a friend who wanted me to tell him about this Nation, then I embarked on searching over the internet and found this very informative site. Actually I am a Ugandan national.
I'm very glad to get all these information about Cape Verde. I'm a Nigerian but residing at accra Ghana. I really have a plan to visit this country but very soon and i will also like to make friend with anyone from CAPE is name macdonald my E-mail is Pls i will be looking forward to meet a friend.
quite interested in knowing any info or sourses regarding the history of the now defunct Jewish Community. Are there available birth/death records or grave burial sites or markers any where on the islands. Is there a main Catholic Church where baptism records can be accessed? Is there a public access registry for these events? How are marriage records kept? Thank you
Teresa Burlew

My Mom and Dad were born on Brava, Cape Verde Islands. They have long since passed away, but I have been wondering if there is any way to find pictures, or vital statistics from when they lived there. Here are there names and dates of birth, I would appreciate it if you could email me back if you find anything of interest. Thanks!

MOM -- Maria Fatima DeSena, born November 15, 1930 to Lea and Edgar DeSena (he was a Seaman)
DAD -- Idilio Farina Gomes, born October 1, 1924 to Manual and Wilamina Gomes

Any other information on there ancestors would be greatly appreciated as well. I am mainly looking for pictures.
Jill Perry-Kebede
Hello to all of you. I am 100% CV and was born and raised in Taunton, MA. I am proud to be a Cape Verdean woman who has embraced her heritage no matter what obstacles I have faced. I currently live on Las Vegas where I the majority of those challenges have and continue to take place. As a child I can remember my paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother reminding me of who I am and not to let others defy my heritage of being Cape Verdean. I am looking to meet other Cape Verdeans from all over to speak with. I wish all of you many blessings.
Michelle Mendes
My grandfather was born in Lisbon and at some point his family moved to Brava in the 1800s. At some he point came to the U.S. living in Conn. and Mass. He lived most of his life in Canton, Mass. My grandmother's parents also were from Cape Verde and settled on Marthas Vineyard Island owning quite a bit of property. Sadly that's all gone now. He used to talk about the old county all the time when I was growing up. I remember eating couscous with sugar and milk. My grandmother used to bake it in a clay pot. I also remember cochupa. My grandfather used to bake and grind his own tobacco and make snuff. Gross. My grandparents are long gone now but we used to send money, clothing and other items to family in Cape Verde when I was young. I never had the addresses of these family members so I have lost touch with these relatives. My grandfather had a wife there who he never really talked about. Even as a child I got the feeling that they were not legally married . They had one son together. He also fathered a child by another woman(who lived in Boston)who I got the impression he was not married to. When I read the part of the article about marriage, family and kinship a light bulb when on in my brain. Even growing up in Mass. people didn't know what Cape Verdean was. Even now( I live in the midwest)and when I say I'm Cape Verdean I get a blank stare back. I tell my children about their Cape Verdean Heritage (as best I can) so they don't forget where they came from. I'm proud to say I'm Cape Verdean.
Umeh Peter Hayford
I am a language teacher of English and French . I play soccer as a goalkeeper . I wish to learn Portuguese language in Cape Verde. I wish to know whether they might be a provision for me to occupy myself with teaching and learning. I am interested in your culture as well as teaching the children other dulture and coaching kids and teenages in soccer. Will like to hear from you . Thanks
Janice B
Great article! I am another proud Cape Verdean who moved to the states at the age of 4, but my parents never took the time to educate me on my culture. I did grow up with several (hundred) cousins and the occasional party or two while participating in traditions, but didn't even know who Amilca Cabral was until I was about 20!

I would also conduct my own research to find out more about my country, even though my parents were stuck on me being "American".

Today was another one of those researching nights.

Thank you for this article!
Hi my name is Wendy and i was born in Holland. It's so hard for me to understand that there are people mostly born or raised in the States that doesnt know much about where they came from. Because the Capeverdean in Holland are so close to their roots. I have never met one who doesnt speak the language.

I would love 2 help anyone who wants to know more about the culture. I also read that one of you guys are looking for information about their relatives. My parents are from Santiago and Sao vicente but i know a lot of people from other Islands, maybe i can help you.

Feel free to e-mail me.
I love this country so much, though i'm from Nigeria. My curiosity for cape Verde helped me discover this site and am happy for the information i got. And I've concluded that i would visit the country because of my love for it. But before then, i would really appreciate having a friend from there and wouldn't mind having my wife from there as well. my Facebook name is 'Ericson Nosa'.
This website is so helpful thanks!!
I am going on holiday there so it really helps with the research
I am Cape Verdean and I didn't even know most of these things it's great to know more about my family, my culture, and me. This information is wonderful for people who wants to know about their family or just information.
l love the country send memore information on cape verd
This was a very informative page/ site. However I would like to find out more about the history of the former Jewish population of the Cape Verde Islands. I understand that after the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal, that there was a substantial emigration into the Islands as well as other parts of West Africa. We're these white or black and mulatto Jews, and what became of them in Cape Verde?
I think that this is a helpful website... but it can use some other info. such as their daily life and customs. Other wise this website was very helpful
Jean miller
This website is extremely helpful. I think you should update some information
very helpful info thanks . used some of this for a project and it was very useful
I really love this page, it teaches a lot of things especially the historical aspect of it such the slave trade and the abolition of it.
Thisis a really good resorce, shoutout to david if he got this far to the web page. Providence, RI, USA
I got curios about Cape Verde when one of our respected state governor got married to a beautiful lady from cv yesterday. I now agree after going through the information at hand that he made a good choice. In nigeria we are very culture minded and very passionate about respect to our elders and strong family values. With this in mind, I believe he made a right chose and also wish them a happy married life. I shall plan a holiday in the nearest future to have a feel of their hospitality .
Thank you so much for sharing this information about cape verde. I became interested when I met someone from cape verde. I became intrigued when this person told me that he was from west Africa but looked like he was from Brazil and sounded French. What an interesting culture. After reading more articles about Cape Verde, I realized that this destination is a best kept secret that I am looking forward to visiting. I checked on Expedia , but it seems to be very expensive to travel to this location
In all my life, I thought Cape Verde Islands were inhabited. Now, I learn about their history and culture. They have similarities with our Puertorrican culture in the food we prepare, funerals and the kindness to invite people to our homes. Im pride of my three blood, Spaniard African and Taino. Your article were outstanding. Thank you a lot!
Smiles for You
I really enjoyed using this website, It helped me so much! I hope I get an A on this report...
Nathan Almeida
I appreciate the insite on my heritage on my people! Love it! I was born and raised in New Bedford, ma.
This is really helpful. I enjoy it. There is just a lot concerning Cape Verde here. Keep it up!
Sianna Thunder
I love the website it is so informational and helpful
John Duarte
I'm Cape Verdean born in Connecticut. I learn to speak the language as a child and it has been very helpful in me embracing my parents culture. I hope to visit the islands one day. This website has been very informative to me.
Love it! Seen a lot in the past this one was well written and it's a good read! #proud
Hay Man
I'm using this for my project! Thanks! This site is the only site that has this much information!
Bente Nilsen
Wonderful to read all this, Just back home from Cabo Verde, a lot of good democratic Thinking is strong there among the Island people. We have to visit them and be careful and mindfull, let their words settle in our heart and brain, and then we can help in a good way
I spent my first week and trip to Cape Verde in Sal from Dec 19th to 26th and absolutely loved it. It reminded so much of my days and experiences of growing up in Jamaica as a small child. I was born in the UK to Jamaican parents and I am glad that I had the opportunity to grow up in Jamaica. I read where there are more Cape Verdeans abroad than are in Cape Verde itself, many of whom have never returned and many have children that have no knowledge or understanding of their roots and heritage. This is sad. I would like to urge everyone of Cape Verdean background to both visit and find a way of making some valuable contribution to the Islands. I saw a lot of kind, friendly and beautiful people that were poor and needed help. I know of one Portuguese woman in Sal that moved there 4 years ago and is doing an amazing amount of work in helping young children with food, money , clothes and education. I also think it is very important that the Government of Cape Verde be both contacted and PRESSURED to STOP selling out the rights of Cape Verdean fishermen to both Japan and Spain as well as sleeping with the Chinese who have been allowed to open shops all over Cape Verde without paying taxes. ALL of the profits go right back to China and they only hire Cape Verdeans to do the dirty and hard heavy lifting work while paying them pittance. Clearly there must be a lot of corruption taking place and Cape Verde should not be exploited by the very people elected to look after the interests of the people. I will be returning there and working with Helia Bernardo ( on Facebook ) to help out a lot of the poor children there. If any of you can find a way to help too, that would be wonderful. Lastly, this site does need to be updated on a regular basis I would love to hear from anyone who has connections there as I would love to buy some land to build a house in one of the islands.
Dylcia Sylvester
I am from Guyana, South America.I am a student at the Brazil-Guiana Cultural Center. I have a Certificate in Brazilian Portugues and will be writing the Celpe-Bras exam in May to get a Diploma. I chose Cabo Verde as another Portugues speaking country to talk about in my exams.Grateful for any important information about your beautiful islands that can assist me in my exams.

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