African Studies Cape Verde
by
Isabel Rodrigues
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 September 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0155

Introduction

Independent from Portugal since 5 July 1975, the Republic of Cape Verde, or simply Cabo Verde as the country is generally known, is an archipelago nation located about 500 km from continental West Africa with a population of around 500,000 in 2013. The islands were deserted at the time of Portuguese contact in the 15th century, and over the years developed one of the earliest Afro-Atlantic Creole cultures and languages. The archipelago is geographically divided into two island groups, the Windward Islands (Barlavento)—São Vicente, Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Sal, Boavista, and the uninhabited Santa Luzia—and, to the south, the Leeward Islands (Sotavento): Santiago, Maio, Fogo, and Brava. The colonization of the islands was not continuous, undergoing periods of virtual abandonment and food vulnerability. The island of Santiago was the first to be colonized, becoming a principal port for the exchange of goods and enslaved West Africans, many of whom were destined for the Americas. The town of Ribeira Grande (today known as Cidade Velha) in Santiago Island became the first European colonial town and bishopric in the tropics (1533), prospering primarily from trade and becoming a key port for the inhuman traffic of enslaved persons. In 2009 the UNESCO inscribed Ribeira Grande in the list of World Heritage sites for its pivotal role at the crossroads of the transatlantic trade enabling the colonization of Africa and the Americas. Cape Verde developed a unique Creole culture and language that over the centuries became hegemonic. The epitome of this vibrant world is Cape Verdean music, which continues to captivate world audiences through its distinctive melodic style and lyrics in Cape Verdean Creole. Recognizing the historical importance of maintaining close ties with the Guinea coast, the PAIGC—Party for the Independence of Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verde (formed in 1956), and led by Amilcar Cabral (b. 1924–d. 1973)—fought for and won the independence of both countries. Since 1991 the country, Cape Verde, has had a multiparty parliamentary system and remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa. It has also one of the highest social indicators in the region. Its reputation for political stability has attracted donors and international aid, and has also enabled a booming tourist industry and the growth of the service sector. At the interstices of Afro-Atlantic exchanges, Cape Verdean history was vulnerable to competing European imperial interests that rarely prioritized the island’s own development, and so Cape Verdeans became prime agents of their own material and cultural survival. More than half of its population has emigrated to the United States and Europe. In many ways, its history and identity continue to be simultaneously invigorated by and vulnerable to the forces of globalization.

General Overviews

Several general works such as Lobban 1995, Andrade 1996, and Lesourd 1995 provide historical overviews on Cape Verde, particularly on the political and economic dimensions of Cape Verdean history from its independence movement led by the PAIGC to the recent democratic transition. The works by António Carreira (Carreira 1972, Carreira 1982) remain key to understanding the singularities of economic survival and enslavement and their lingering effects in the present. Meintel 1983, based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, is indispensable for deconstructing race relations and debunking ideologies of racial democracy during late colonialism.

  • Andrade, Elisa. The Cape Verde Islands: From Slavery to Modern Times. Dakar, Senegal: United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, 1973.

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    This is a succinct history of Cape Verde that focuses on the country’s history of poverty, exploitation, and enslavement. It articulates the history of the main issues of development inherited in the 1970’s. The primary concerns are economic conditions and the challenges of socioecomic development.

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    • Andrade, Elisa. Les iles du Cap-Vert de la “découvert” à l’independence nationale (1460–1975). Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996.

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      This is a much more detailed history than the one contained in the author’s previous United Nations publication. Covering the socioeconomic history of Cape Verde from the early colonial period to its independence in 1975, it follows the different mechanisms of colonial domination and exploitation through different economic cycles.

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      • Carreira, António. Cabo Verde: Formação e extinção de uma sociedade escravocrata (1460–1878). Lisbon, Portugal: Centro de Estudos da Guiné Portuguesa, 1972.

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        This work remains an important source of information about the formation of Cape Verde as a slaveholding society. Carreira’s work references and transcribes Portuguese primary sources from the 15th to the 19th centuries and uses them to show the rise and decline of trade of goods and persons with the Guinea coast.

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        • Carreira, António. The People of the Cape Verde Islands: Exploitation and Emigration. Translated and edited by Cristopher Fyfe. Hamden, CT: Archon, 1982.

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          This translation of Carreira’s work on migration and stratification was published right after Cape Verdean independence. The work provides historical detail on migration, poverty, and periodic famines, also revealing how during famines Cape Verdeans were forced to migrate to other Portuguese colonies, such as the plantations of São Tomé.

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          • Lesourd, Michel. État et société aux îles du Cap-Vert: Alternatives pour un petit état insulaire. Paris: Karthala, 1995.

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            This history of Cape Verde focuses on the material challenges—geographic fragmentation, drought vulnerability, migration, and international aid—that faced this small island nation-state from the immediate post-independence period until the Second Republic multiparty democracy in the 1990s. It also engages comparative sources on small island states and government studies on economic development.

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            • Lobban, Richard A., Jr. Cape Verde: Crioulo Colony to Independent Nation. San Francisco: Westview, 1995.

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              This is a general history of Cape Verde from the colonial period until the Second Republic. The work is highly accessible to English audiences and is particularly useful in its coverage of political dynamics within PAIGC and the Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde (PAICV). It also provides a good overall synthesis of the history of the liberation movement and war for independence in Guiné-Bissau.

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              • Lobban, Richard A., Jr., and Paul Khalil Saucier. Historic Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007.

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                This is a reference book providing a general history of Cape Verde and bibliography of key sources in English and Portuguese.

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                • Meintel, Deirdre. Race Culture and Portuguese Colonialism in Cabo Verde. Syracuse, NY: Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 1983.

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                  Based on extended ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Cape Verde at the eve of independence, this work debunks the colonial ideology of racial democracy while documenting the effects of racism during late colonialism. Provides detailed accounts of elements of ritual and culture that subverted and circumvented colonial domination.

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                  Colonial Administration

                  In a letter dated September 3, 1460, King Alfonso V of Portugal donated several Atlantic islands to his brother D. Fernando (“duke of Viseu”, son of King Duarte I and Leonor of Aragon), which had been donated to him by his uncle Prince Henry. Of these islands, five of the Cape Verdean islands are clearly mentioned, which implies that several islands were known before 1460, and by 1462 the entire archipelago had been discovered. This early colonial genesis has captured researchers’ attention, raising pertinent questions about the nature of colonial rule, administrative capacity, and control over commerce in the age of sail (see Barcellos 2003, Brooks 2003, and Santos and de Albuquerque 1988–1990). The island’s colonization and administration initially followed a system of capitanias (captaincies) administered by a capitão donatário (captain-major or commander-in-chief). As trade with West Africa grew, the crown appointed the figure of the corregedor (law officer in charge of justice) and contador (in charge of finances and royal tax collection). Santos and de Albuquerque 2001–2002 provides in its multi-authored three volumes a rich historical analysis; particularly revealing is the documentation from the municipality of Ribeira Grande (today known as Cidade Velha or “Old City”), which became the first municipality and bishopric of Cape Verde in 1533. With population growth, the município (municipality) became the locus of regional and island-based fighting for power among local interests. In 1466 King Alfonso V exempted from taxes all the goods produced in Cape Verde and granted to the moradores (settlers) permission to trade directly with the Senegambian coast. Trade with the Senegambia region, however, faced competition from privateers (who also received royal contracts) and after the 16th century from other European nations (see Brooks 2003, Brooks 2010). Jesuit documentation, from 1604 through 1640 (when the mission was closed), illustrates how competing interests corroded relationships among the municipality, Jesuit mission, settlers, and colonial administrators (Gonçalves 1996). João da Silva Feijó, who went to Cape Verde in 1783 to study its economic potential, provides ample detail on the neglect of the colony in a manuscript that was rescued and edited by the historian António Carreira (Feijó 1986). By the 19th century, the archipelago found renewed vitality with new plans to settle São Vicente Island (all previous plans having failed) and create the port town of Mindelo, detailed in Pereira 2008. Cape Verde’s colonial history was vulnerable to changing imperial interests, which rarely had local interests in mind. This history helps us understaind early 21st century Cape Verdean resilience built at the interstices of globalization, colonial neglect, and local agency.

                  • Barcellos, Christiano José de Senna. Subsidíos para a história de Cabo Verde e Guiné. 4 vols. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro, 2003.

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                    Not trained as an historian per se, but as a navy officer with a passion for research, Barcellos (b. 1854–d. 1915) conducted archival research in Cape Verde and Portugal, transcribing and summarizing its main documents. The result is this four-volume work full of historical detail first published by the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal: Por ordem e na Typographia da Academia, 1899–1913) and recently reedited with notes and commentaries by Daniel Pereira.

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                    • Brooks, George. Eurafricans in Western Africa: Commerce, Social Status, Gender, and Religious Observance from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Centur. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003.

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                      Focuses on the historical relationships between Senegambia and Cape Verde and illuminates processes of cultural and trade exchanges. The work is also useful in showing the porous boundaries of race and the emergence of Euroafrican cultural patterns. Informal networks and inclusion in local kinship systems were instrumental to this process, opening doors and facilitating commercial alliances between Europeans and Africans.

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                      • Brooks, George E. Western Africa and Cabo Verde 1790s–1830s: Symbiosis of Slave and Legitimate Trades. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2010.

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                        Following his previous volumes, which provided detail on Guinean-Cabo Verde trade relations, this work includes more detail on Cape Verde during a relatively understudied period. It also provides a chapter on Governor Manuel António Martins that illustrates the modus operandi of colonial administration at the time.

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                        • Feijó, João da Silva. Ensaio e memórias económicas sobre as ilhas de Cabo Verde. Edited by António Carreira. Lisbon, Portugal: Gráfica Europam Lda, 1986.

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                          This is a reproduction of a 1797 manuscript. João da Silva Feijó was trained as a naturalist and went to Cape Verde in 1783 to study its flora, fauna, and natural resources. His descriptions are quite revealing of the island’s economic state and remain useful for linking present concerns with sustainability with a history of agricultural vulnerability.

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                          • Gonçalves, Nuno da Silva. Os Jesuítas e a missão de Cabo Verde (1604–1640). Lisbon, Portugal: Brotéria, Associação Cultural e Ciêntifica, 1996.

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                            Examining Jesuit documentation, particularly personal and official correspondence, this is a useful source for deciphering the social complexity of Ribeira Grande. It is also useful for the Jesuits’ personal candid accounts of the tribulations of survival and social intrigue. One can also extract important data on the relations between church and municipality.

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                            • Pereira, Daniel. Memória sobre Cabo Verde do Governador Joaquim Pereira Marinho e outros textos. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto Camões, 2008.

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                              Based on 19th-century documentation, this work, largely focusing on São Vicente Island, documents the comparatively novel visions of colonization and urban planning that emerged during this period. The creation of urban spaces and municipalities were key to colonial plans illustrating changing mentalities and expectations.

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                              • Santos, Maria Emília Madeira, and Luís de Albuquerque, eds. História geral de Cabo Verde: Corpo documental. 2 vols. Lisbon and Praia: Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical & Direcção-Geral do Património Cultural de Cabo Verde, 1988–1990.

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                                This work is a joint publication involving historians from Portugal and Cape Verde. These two volumes consist of collections of key archival sources on the foundation of the colony and early administration. The first volume encompasses transcribed documents from 1460 until 1520. The second volume includes financial, trade, and tax records from the first decades of the 1500’s.

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                                • Santos, Maria Emília Madeira, and Luís de Albuquerque, eds. História geral de Cabo Verde. 3 vols. Lisbon and Praia: Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical & Direcção-Geral do Património Cultural de Cabo Verde, 2001–2002.

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                                  Continuing the body of documentation cited above (which stands by itself without analysis), this is a three-volume work of the history of Cape Verde from its inception in 1460 until the 18th century. Each volume has contributions from different Portuguese and Cape Verdean historians, engaging primary sources from archives in both countries.

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                                  Anticolonial and Postcolonial Politics

                                  The PAIGC, Party for the Independence of Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verde (formed in 1956), faced over a decade of military and political opposition (1932–1974) from the Portuguese fascist dictatorship, backed by its NATO allies. Opposing colonial ideology, Amilcar Cabral, who was born in Guiné-Bissau in 1924 of Cape Verdean parents and assassinated on January 20, 1973, stressed Cape Verdean unity with Africa and cultural as well as economic liberation (see Cabral 1969). His teachings on liberation at the war front and on the diplomatic international stage continue to inspire both political advocates as well as researchers (see Chabal 2003, Amado 2012, Dhada 1993). The armed struggle for the liberation of both Cape Verde and Guiné-Bissau began in 1960 and officially ended in 1974. While the PAIGC claimed to fight for the independence of both Cape Verde and Guiné-Bissau, actual warfare only took place on Guinean soil. Nevertheless, it would be shortsighted to cast the war for independence as a battle of arms alone; many Cape Verdeans were engaged in the underground and were tortured and imprisoned for doing so (Martins 1995). On July 5th 1975 Cape Verde became officially independent under the leadership of the PAIGC, which claimed to be a one-party system governing two independent states but ideologically entwined nations. This union has been a source of debate both internally (within party ranks) and externally across national and international public opinion (Lopes 1996, Lopes 2012). Moreover, several authors, including Cape Verdean literati, have recently argued that Cape Verde’s sense of nationhood predated the independence movement (Hernandez 2002). Thus the ebb and flow of Cape Verdean involvement in the independence movement and its ideological vision of unity are still a source of contention among historians and political leaders (Lopes 1996, Lopes 2012). In 1980 after a coup d’état in Guiné-Bissau, the party’s political agenda of unity came to a halt. Subsequently the PAIGC in Cape Verde was renamed PAICV (African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde), and in 1991 Cape Verde carried out its first democratic election, recognized as one of the most peaceful political transitions in Africa. Subsequently the country’s economy embarked in a process of structural reforms to liberalize its economy, increase the private sector, and attract foreign investment. These changes have been a source of local tension. The PAICV returned to power in 2001 led by José Maria das Neves and has also supported and continued neoliberal free market reforms.

                                  • Amado, Leopoldo. Guerra colonial and guerra de libertação nacional (1950–1974): O caso da Guiné-Bissau. Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento (IPAD), 2012.

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                                    This is an historical analysis on the independence movement. Amado brings to light historical documentation on both sides of the war while accounting for principal academic arguments about the independence movement’s ideology. The work includes documentation on the Portuguese side of the war as well as the Guinean side.

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                                    • Cabral, Amilcar. Revolution in Guinea. Translated and edited by Richard Handyside. London: Stage 1, 1969.

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                                      A selection of Amilcar Cabral’s key speeches and essays translated to English. This volume contains Cabral’s most influential thinking on cultural and political liberation; included are also his historical speech at the United Nations and his most influential analysis of African liberation in The Weapon of Theory, an address delivered to the first Tricontinental Conference of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America held in Havana in January, 1966, and available online.

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                                      • Chabal, Patrick. Amilcar Cabral: Revolutionary Leadership and People’s War. Trenton, NJ: Africa World, 2003.

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                                        This work provides an historical introduction to Portuguese colonialism in both Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verde, contextualizing the formation of PAIGC within this specific history. The focus is on the actual war for liberation and Amilcar Cabral’s influential thought in its political, philosophical, and sociological dimensions.

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                                        • Dhada, Mustafah. Warriors at Work: How Guinea Was Really Set Free. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 1993.

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                                          Engaging larger questions about the PAIGC vision for the independence of Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verde, this work exposes the pragmatism of Amilcar Cabral and his rejection of ideological dogmatism. Despite being inspired by Marxism, Cabral’s diplomatic efforts and ability to contextualize and modify politics according to the economic realities of both countries were instrumental in winning independence.

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                                          • Hernandez, Leila Leite. Os filhos da terra do sol: A formação do estado nação em Cabo Verde. São Paulo, Brazil: Selo Negro, 2002.

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                                            Hernandez’s work accounts for an embryonic national identity prior to the liberation movement, including in her analysis pre-independence authors, such as Pedro Cardoso and Eugenio Tavares, who argued for the need for a specificity of Cape Verdean identity in the battle against colonial oppression. The author argues that a national identity preceded independence.

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                                            • Lopes, José Vicente. Cabo Verde os bastidores da independência. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto Camões, Centro Cultural Português, 1996.

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                                              Based on archival sources and original interviews with party leaders, this work covers the independence movement led by the PAIGC. This is a vital contribution toward understanding the complexity of the independence movement and its international dimension.

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                                              • Lopes, José Vicente. Aristides Pereira, minha vida, nossa história. Praia, Cape Verde: Spleen, 2012.

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                                                This is a biographical narrative of President Aristides Pereira (b. 1923–d. 2011) from his infancy to his retirement from politics. It is based on several years of open-ended interviews in which personal history fuses with the recent history of the nation. The author also provides contextual historical analysis and historical evidence.

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                                                • Martins, Pedro. Testemunho de um combatente. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto Camões, Centro Cultural Portugues, 1995.

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                                                  This work is a first-person account based on Martins’s political experience as a young underground militant of the PAIGC in Cape Verde, detailing the climate of repression and persecution that party members faced. Significantly Martins documents his experience as a political prisoner in the torture camp of Tarrafal.

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                                                  • Pereira, Aristides. O meu testemunho: Uma luta, um partido, dois paises. Lisbon, Portugal: Notícias, 2003.

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                                                    Written by the first president of the Republic of Cape Verde, this work unravels first-person details about the formation of the PAIGC and its diplomatic strategizing to obtain international support for the national liberation of both Guiné-Bissau and Cape Verde. It also includes transcriptions of previously unpublished original documents from Pereira’s personal archive.

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                                                    Economic Development and Migration

                                                    The reputation of political stability and adoption of neoliberal structural reforms have contributed to attracting international aid as well as remittances and investment (particularly in the construction sector) from Cape Verdean emigrants primarily concentrated in the United States and Europe. The Cape Verdean Diaspora is estimated to be twice the size of the domestic population, and its contributions in remittances over the years—in goods and capital—have been crucial to the economy. Hence researchers have focused on the imperative of mobility in forging socioeconomic relationships, which also depend on legal migration and the ability to secure pensions and entitlement to invest in Cape Verde (see Åkesson 2011, Åkesson 2013, Carling 2004, and Carling 2002). Furthermore, emigrants have also contributed to the ideological modeling of Cape Verde as a western-style government and economy. The country has one of the highest levels of Net Official Development Assistance (NODA) per capita in the region. It has also secured funding from the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation, which aims at the continued transformation of the economy into a private sector-led enterprise. Largely as a result of these social indicators, in 2008 Cape Verde ceased to be included in the rank of the Least Developed Countries (LDC), joining the countries viewed as developing nations. The European Union (EU) is the country’s leading trade partner (accounting for 75% of trade). Since 2007, the EU has established a special partnership agreement (SPA) with Cape Verde designed to open access to EU markets, control both emigration and return migration from the EU, and reduce the country’s structural vulnerability. As a small island nation with an arid climate, the country remains vulnerable to drought and low agricultural productivity (around 90% of food is imported). Whether based on historical or contemporary data, food insecurity and the imbalances between agricultural and urban investment remain a critical area of research (see Langworthy and Finan 1997). Researchers have also studied the comparative success of the postcolonial government in averting famines (Bigman 1993, Rodrigues 2008). Since colonial times, the history of food and famine in Cape Verde has been entwined with enslavement, repression, and political control (Brooks 2006). In the early 21st century Cape Verdean success has also heightened its environmental and energy vulnerabilities due to growth of the population (estimated to be 500,000 in 2013), almost double that of colonial times (around 270,000 in 1974) and, for the first time in its history, concentrated in urban areas. International Organization for Migration is a useful site for updated general economic and demographic information including emigration data.

                                                    • Åkesson, Lisa. “Remittances and Relationships: Exchange in Cape Verdean Transnational Families.” Ethnos 76.3 (2011): 326–347.

                                                      DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2011.577229Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This article analyzes remittances anthropologically through the theoretical lens of gift exchange, dealing with the tense relationship between the obligation to give or send remittances and family relationships. Beyond being an economic transaction, this work illustrates how remittances create transnational connections of Cape Verdean kinship that in turn foster economic survival.

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                                                      • Åkesson, Lisa. “The Queue Outside the Embassy: Remittances, Inequality, and Restrictive Migration Regimes.” International Migration 51.supp 1 (2013): e1–e12.

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                                                        This article, based on analyses of remittances and their impact on the local level, articulates the relationship between remittances and the reproduction of social inequality. It also provides evidence of growing dependency on wage labor (as opposed to agriculture) and how restrictive migration policies impact the poor.

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                                                        • Bigman, Laura. History and Hunger in West Africa: Food Production and Entitlement in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. Westport, CN: Greenwood, 1993.

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                                                          Explains the different modalities of food aid and food insecurity prevention in both countries. Particularly useful in explaining government programs for food security in Cape Verde and the success of postcolonial governments in preventing famine.

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                                                          • Brooks, George E. “Cabo Verde, Gulag of the South Atlantic: Racism, Fishing Prohibitions, and Famine.” History in Africa 33.1 (2006): 101–135.

                                                            DOI: 10.1353/hia.2006.0008Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Argues that the colonial history of periodic famines was an orchestrated manmade disaster. Accordingly, colonial prohibitions disallowing boats to the island inhabitants to prevent the escape of the enslaved, exiled criminals, and political deportees transformed the archipelago into a gulag, and these measures arguably prevented local residents from fishing.

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                                                            • Carling, J. “Migration in the Age of Involuntary Immobility: Theoretical Reflections and Cape Verdean Experiences.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 28.1 (2002): 5–42.

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                                                              Argues for a theoretical analysis of migration that takes into consideration the growing numbers of people who wish to migrate but are denied a visa. The analysis uses Cape Verde as a case study showing how migration networks and access to visas have become local signals of social stratification.

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                                                              • Carling, J. “Emigration, Return, and Development in Cape Verde: The Impact of Closing Borders.” Population, Space, and Place 10.2 (2004): 113–132.

                                                                DOI: 10.1002/psp.322Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Discusses how restrictions to migration contribute to remittance reduction and undermine loyalties and the possibility of return. Shows how Cape Verdean economic dependency on its diaspora may be undermined in the future.

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                                                                • International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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                                                                  The site is regularly updated and offers useful links, including a link to the Center for Migrant Support in the Country of Origin, funded by the EU Mobility Partnership and co-funded by the Portuguese and the Spanish international cooperation. The site also provides information on EU partnerships with Cape Verde.

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                                                                  • Langworthy, Mark, and Timothy Finan. Waiting for Rain: Agriculture and Ecological Imbalance in Cape Verde. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner, 1997.

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                                                                    Accounts for the Malthusian relationship between population and resources with a focus on agricultural production, which until recently was the cornerstone and primary mode of subsistence of Cape Verdean families. This work is also pertinent in light of present academic debates on sustainability. Uses several government sources on economic sustainability.

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                                                                    • Rodrigues, Isabel P. B. Fêo. “From Silence to Silence: The Hidden Story of a Beef Stew in Cape Verde.” Anthropological Quarterly 81.2 (2008): 343–376.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/anq.0.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Based on ethnographic fieldwork in the two largest urban centers, Mindelo and Praia, as well as the analysis of Cape Verdean literature, this article examines cultural patterns of “shame” and silence that surround food insecurity. Shows how rapid and largely unplanned urbanization is altering survival and coping mechanisms.

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                                                                      Creolization and Race Relations

                                                                      Most Cape Verdeans see themselves as part of a Creole nation and identity built from the intermixing of different cultures, languages, and traditions. The word “creole” is used on the local level as well as in the diaspora interchangeably with the word Cape Verdean. Similarly, cultural manifestations—music, textiles, pottery, stylistic choices and so on—are also referred to as being Creole or Cape Verdean. While creolization is apparently hegemonic, this is not without tensions and ideological underpinnings (see Anticolonial and Postcolonial Politics). Scholars have argued that a history of enslavement and racialization underpinned most colonial history, structuring social inequality across race, class, and gender lines (Meintel 1984). Furthermore, while race relations were not fully dichotomized into black and white, Gender and Sexuality continue to be used to obscure the power inequalities that underpinned miscegenation (Rodrigues 2003). This history of hybridity continues to affect integration in the diaspora, particularly in the United States (see Cape Verdean Diaspora) where Cape Verdeans are often forced to conform to the American binary racial system (Gibau 2005). The politics of identity have also influenced debates over language and the status of Cape Verdean Creole or CVC (Kriolu) vis-à-vis Portuguese. During late colonial times Baltasar Lopes’s study of Cape Verdean Creole focused on Portuguese lexical input (Lopes 1957). More recently, Marlyse Baptista has analyzed its syntax in comparison with other languages (Baptista 2002). Moreover linguists and other scholars have pointed out that since independence the state adopted Portuguese as the official language, but Cape Verdean Creole is still the mother tongue of the great majority of Cape Verdeans—which, in the early 21st century, is still not taught in public schools. This disparity has been characterized as a diglossic situation that continues to equate social capital with fluency in the former colonizer’s language (Duarte 1998). The lack of clear linguistic policies and exclusion of Cape Verdean language from the educational system has also been examined as a postcolonial form of reproducing Portuguese colonialism (Macedo 2002). There have been efforts to make the language co-official with Portuguese, so that the country could become a true bilingual state. Nonetheless, Kriolu remains an oral mother tongue ubiquitous in daily life, music, and intimacy, carried to a transnational diaspora where it becomes a primary form of crafting Cape Verdeanity abroad. Any process of creolization is not finished, but in constant reinvention through multiple hybridities, some intentionally crafted, others less so. Therefore this is an area of research that needs to be open and engage the ongoing fluidity of this diasporized nation.

                                                                      • Baptista, Marlyse. The Syntax of Cape Verdean Creole: The Sotavento Varieties. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2002.

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                                                                        From a formal linguistics perspective, a study of morpho-syntactical characteristics of Cape Verdean Creole (CVC), particularly the dialectical varieties from the Leeward Islands. It also provides pertinent historical and theoretical detail about the formation of creoles and their comparisons with other languages.

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                                                                        • Duarte, Dulce Almada. Bilinguismo ou diglossia? Praia, Cape Verde: Spleen, 1998.

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                                                                          Duarte is a Cape Verdean linguist who has been advocating for Cape Verdean Creole to become an official language of the state and be taught in schools. Duarte sees in this mother tongue the product of African resistance against colonial assimilationist policies, which needs to be cherished and valued.

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                                                                          • Gibau, Gina Sánchez. “Contested Identities: Narratives of Race and Ethnicity in the Cape Verdean Community.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 12.3 (2005): 405–438.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/10702890500203702Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Based on ethnographic fieldwork among Cape Verdean-Americans, this work engages second-generation migrants and how they navigate American racialization. Against a background of polarization of black and white, this work illuminates their contestation over identity in the United States and their resistance to homogenization under the rubric of race.

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                                                                            • Leite, Ana, ed. Special Issue: Cape Verde, Language, Literature & Music. Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies 8 (2002): xv–545.

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                                                                              This is an organized thematic journal series entirely dedicated to Cape Verdean literature, culture, language, and music. Significantly, Cape Verdean linguists, such as Manuel Veiga and Dulce Pereira, and their positions on Cape Verdean Creole are included. Bilingual in Portuguese and English.

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                                                                              • Lopes, Baltasar. O dialecto Crioulo de Cabo Verde. Lisbon, Portugal: Imprensa Nacional, 1957.

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                                                                                Written during the late colonial period, this work remains useful for its account of the CVC lexicon and its origins. It takes Portuguese as the standard of comparison, which raises questions about other linguistic comparative possibilities. Nevertheless, it continues to be a particularly useful reference if one is analyzing decreolization of language through time.

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                                                                                • Macedo, Donald. “Literacy in Postcolonial Cape Verde.” In Special Issue: Cape Verde, Language, Literature, and Music. Edited by Ana Leite. Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies 8 (2002): 393–410.

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                                                                                  Arguing that language is fundamental to express any people’s subjectivity, this article argues for the need to validate and introduce Cape Verdean Creole as a language of education and pedagogy. Critically assesses the role of the education system in giving continuity to the liberating process.

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                                                                                  • Meintel, Deirdre. Race, Culture, and Portuguese Colonialism in Cabo Verde. Syracuse, NY: Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. 1984.

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                                                                                    Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this work deconstructs late colonial ideology of benign race relations in Cape Verde as a justification for Portugal’s claims for holding on to her empire. Showing the effects of racism on those who were its victims as well as Cape Verdeans’ own role as intermediaries of colonialism.

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                                                                                    • Rodrigues, Isabel P. B. Fêo. “Islands of Sexuality: Theories and Histories of Creolization in Cape Verde.” International Journal of African Historical Studies 36.1 (2003): 83–103.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/3559320Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Deconstructs colonial ideology of Lusotropicalism as a political instrument of colonialism with academic repercussions, particularly in the construction of island histories. Shows how Cape Verde was acclaimed as a paradise of miscegenation based on heterosexist notions of history that mute women in the historical process.

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                                                                                      Cape Verdean Diaspora

                                                                                      One could argue that Cape Verdean history has been from its inception a history of diasporic movements, first based on the forced displacement of enslaved Africans and later based on the continuous quest to make a living. More than half of the Cape Verdean population lives abroad, dispersed primarily through North America, Europe, and mainland Africa. Virtually every Cape Verdean in the islands has a relative abroad and kinship and family relations are both maintained and fractured transnationally. The obligation to give and support those who stay in the islands is long-standing and it has been discussed in anthropology in relation to the moral imperative of gifting (see Åkesson 2011, cited under Economic Development and Migration). Cape Verdeans call the diaspora their Terra Lonji or one’s faraway land, so often sung about in traditional mornas (a Cape Verdean musical genre often compared to the blues) as the place of both one’s sorrows as well as one’s livelihood. Sodadi, or longing for all that one left behind, is the other side of having to depart for Terra Lonji. Most works regarding Cape Verdeans in the United States have stressed the difficulties they face when confronted with the daily pressure to conform with the United States’ polarized racial system, which undermines their core identity based on cultural and racial mixing (Halter 1993, Sanchez 1997, Lima 2012). Differences between first and second generation Cape Verdeans—particularly in relation to identity, education, racial identification, and new hybridities—have also been a source of research (Lima 2012, Sieber 2005). Studies show that the diaspora is also fragmented along class- and island-based regionalisms, particularly in Portugal (Batalha 2004). Wherever Cape Verdeans live, they carry on numerous cultural specificities. One of the most important is speaking their Cape Verdean language, and directly related to that language is Cape Verdean music and the social conviviality thereby generated—from dancing to feasting (Batalha and Carling 2008, Hurley-Glowa 2006, Hurley-Glowa 2010, Sieber 2005). Furthermore, neighborhood patterns tend to follow island-based ties. In places like New Bedford, where Cape Verdeans have settled since the 19th century via whaling ships, these ties are still visible. Neighborhoods like Fox Point in Providence, Rhode Island have been primarily crafted through the agency of Cape Verdeans who bought and captained their own schooners at the end of the age of transatlantic sailing (later replaced by diesel-fueled ships) to route their own migratory patterns and rescue their own people from colonialism and poverty (see SPIA Media Productions, created by Claire Andrade-Watkins).

                                                                                      • Batalha, Luís. The Cape Verdean Diaspora in Portugal: Colonial Subjects in a Postcolonial World. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2004.

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                                                                                        Based on the life histories of fifty Cape Verdeans living in the Lisbon metropolitan area, this work highlights the internal differentiation based on class, racialization, and island origin that constitutes Cape Verdeanity in Portugal. A useful work with great comparative potential with other emigrant experiences outside Portugal.

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                                                                                        • Batalha, Luis, and Jorgen Carling, eds. Transnational Archipelago: Perspectives on Cape Verdean Migration and Diaspora. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                          This is a collection of interdisciplinary case studies drawn from the Cape Verdean diaspora in different European nations, the United States, and São Tomé. Most chapters deal with issues of identity and the challenges the different communities face in the countries of reception. Also there are several chapters on the role of music in carving out a cultural space for Cape Verdeanity.

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                                                                                          • Halter, Marilyn. Between Race and Ethnicity: Cape Verdean American Immigrants, 1860–1965. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

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                                                                                            Based on oral histories of Cape Verdean immigrants in New England, particularly southern New England and the cranberry bog region, Halter engages the dynamics of racialization in the United States, where Cape Verdeans often feel pressured to identify in either white or black terms. The book also provides detail on Cape Verdean agency and relative economic success.

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                                                                                            • Hurley-Glowa, Susan. “Funana with a Drum Machine Beat: Cape Verdean Identity in a Globalized World.” In Special Issue: Globalization and the African World: Continuity and Change. Edited by Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji. International Journal of Africana Studies 12.1 (2006): 80–92.

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                                                                                              Funana is usually considered among the most African-influenced musical genres of Cape Verde, reflecting the sounds of the interior of Santiago Island and originating with those who were descendants of the enslaved population. Here funana is seen as way to maintain tradition and reproduce Cape Verdean identity beyond the islands.

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                                                                                              • Hurley-Glowa, Susan, prod. Journey of a Badiu: The Story of Cape Verdean-American Musician Norberto Tavares. 2010. DVD. Vancouver, BC: Villon Films.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198068334.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                This is a documentary produced by ethnomusicologist Susan Hurley-Glowa that follows the biography of the well-known singer and social activist Norberto Tavares, who lived in New Bedford but remained politically and culturally engaged with Cape Verde until his untimely death in 2010. Filmed throughout Santiago Island, it provides a visual narrative on critical issues about gender relations and economic development in Cape Verde.

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                                                                                                • Lima, Ambrizeth. Cape Verdean Immigrants in America: The Socialization of Young Men in an Urban Environment. El Paso, TX: LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2012.

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                                                                                                  Based on a study of twelve male students, this case study provides eye-opening detail about the violence and racialization such boys face in the urban United States. Most of these youths left behind relatively peaceful rural island environments where they lived separated from one or both biological parents. In the United States they find themselves part strangers within their own biological families, schools, and neighborhoods.

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                                                                                                  • Sanchez, Gina E. “The Politics of Cape Verdean American Identity.” Transforming Anthropology 6.1–2 (1997): 54–71.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1525/tran.1997.6.1-2.54Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Discusses many of the issues of racialization and segregation that Cape Verdeans face in the United States. This is particularly useful for understanding the efforts Cape Verdeans make to hold on to a distinct identity in the diaspora when confronted with pressures to homogenize and racialize cultural and national identity.

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                                                                                                    • Sieber, Timothy. “Popular Music and Cultural Identity in the Cape Verdean Post-Colonial Diaspora.” Etnográfica 9.1 (2005).

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                                                                                                      Discusses the importance of popular music across the global Cape Verdean diaspora, which spans the archipelago, Europe, North America, and Africa. Particularly relevant is how the infusion of Zouk styles by second generation Cape Verdean musicians in the United States reflects changes and new hybridities largely created by youth culture.

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                                                                                                      • SPIA Media Productions, Inc.

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                                                                                                        Claire Andrade-Watkins, professor at Emerson College and filmmaker, created this webpage and media company, with the primary goal of sustaining and rescuing from erasure the memory and culture of Cape Verdean Americans in Providence, Rhode Island. Beyond information about oral and visual history, there is also access to her documentaries, such as Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican (DVD. 2006. SPI Media), focusing on the Cape Verdean Fox Point neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island.

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                                                                                                        Gender and Sexuality

                                                                                                        Studies on Cape Verde have exposed gender inequalities not only in the workplace but also in the unequal distribution of kinship obligations, childcare, access to justice, and entitlements (Carter and Aulette 2009). Gender as well as the totality of Cape Verdean national and personal histories are affected by migration (Äkesson 2004). Male migration as well as long-standing patriarchal structures have contributed to the high percentage (about half) of female-headed households. Conversely, the pressures on motherhood are increasing, and many women have normalized the growing socioeconomic expectation to leave their young behind in order to provide support for them (Äkesson, et al. 2012). Research on motherhood and gender continues to be vital for understanding how discourses about reproduction are overwhelmingly geared to regulate women’s bodies both in the diaspora and in Cape Verde (Challinor 2012). Emigration has for centuries affected gender relations and this is an area of research that continues to grow, particularly in relation to the United States and Europe (Grassi 2003, Grassi and Évora 2007). These studies have pointed out gendered continuities in the diaspora and reproduction of dominant forms of masculinity and femininity, including the prevalence of patriarchal structures (see Cape Verdean Diaspora). Yet they also reveal that more women are migrating on their own, changing the dynamics of kinship and remittances. Significantly market women from Santiago Island have for long managed to migrate and support their families with little male support (Grassi 2003). These women have also been studied in Portugal, where they once worked as street vendors of fish in Lisbon’s popular neighborhoods (Fikes 2009). Changes in the socioeconomic structure, particularly the growth of urbanization and service sector jobs, have opened new venues for females to enter the workforce; these changes include emerging trends in access to education and pursuit of higher education in which women are taking the lead. The results are already visible in the number of literary works authored by women (see Literature and Performance) and their growing presence in government positions (Sheldon and Rodrigues 2008). Nevertheless the discursive reality of politics and power remains male dominated (Massart 2000). While Cape Verdeans foster and maintain large extended family relations, often across nation-states, the relationship between spouses or partners is arguably the most volatile. This is an area of research that deserves critical attention and is likely to be revealing of larger social, cultural, and religious transformations.

                                                                                                        • Äkesson, L. Making a Life: Meanings of Migration in Cape Verde. Göteborg, Sweden: Göteborg University, Department of Social Anthropology, 2004.

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                                                                                                          Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the island of São Vicente, this work examines the meaning of migration and its impact on families, gender, and the person while also suggesting that a culture of migration underpins both national and personal histories and has become a normalized and expected life trajectory.

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                                                                                                          • Äkesson, L., J. Carling, and H. Drotbohm. “Mobility, Moralities and Motherhood: Navigating the Contingencies of Cape Verdean Lives.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38.2 (2012): 237–260.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2012.646420Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Shows how lengthy separations between mothers and their children have become normalized in Cape Verde as a life necessity. Based on fieldwork conducted in Cape Verde, the United States, and Europe, the authors also point out the challenges and difficulties of transnational motherhood.

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                                                                                                            • Carter, Katherine, and Judy Aulette. Cape Verdean Women and Globalization: The Politics of Gender, Culture, and Resistance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1057/9780230100596Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Explores the hardships Cape Verdean women face—poverty, households headed by single mothers, and violence. Women are the prime sufferers of the problems of globalization in part caused by the “global south” debt crisis and its structural adjustments programs which have systematically left women and children vulnerable. The book also explores female resistance and coping mechanisms through batuku song and dance.

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                                                                                                              • Challinor, Elizabeth P. “(Ir)responsible Mothers? Cape Verdeans and Portuguese Social Care.” International Journal of Migration, Health, and Social Care 8.1 (2012): 12–21.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1108/17479891211231374Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Based on participant observation during medical appointments in Portugal, the article shows how Cape Verdean women’s bodies are pathologized by the country’s medical discourse. The article also illustrates how the regulation of women’s bodies and reproductive rights remains entwined with power and racial discourses.

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                                                                                                                • Fikes, Kesha. Managing African Portugal: The Citizen-Migrant Distinction. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1215/9780822390985Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Engages the changes in the geography of race relations after Portugal entered the EU. The focus is on female street vendors from Santiago Island. Shows how the discourses of race and racism changed to incorporate emergent notions of citizenship aimed at regulating migrants and their social space.

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                                                                                                                  • Grassi, Marzia. Rabidantes: Comércio espontâneo transnacional em Cabo Verde. Lisbon, Portugal: Spleen, 2003.

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                                                                                                                    This volume engages the informal economy of Cape Verdean market women known as rabidantes who are primarily from Santiago Island. The interviews reveal how these women’s economic independence is crafted transnationally, defying male dominance and patriarchy.

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                                                                                                                    • Grassi, Marzia, and Iolanda Évora, eds. Género e migrações Cabo-Verdianas. Lisbon, Portugal: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2007.

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                                                                                                                      Through the lens of gender the chapters in this volume are multidisciplinary and multifaceted, focusing on the gendered dimension of the Cape Verdean Diaspora. From music to commerce, kinship to motherhood, this collection is also useful for understanding changes in larger gender patterns of migration.

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                                                                                                                      • Massart, Guy. “Gender and Politics through Language Practices among Urban Cape Verdean Men.” In Gender, Agency and Change: Anthropological Perspectives. Edited by Victoria Goddard, 142–164. London: Routledge, 2000.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.4324/9780203449660Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Language creates reality and this work shows the social dimensions of language use and masculinity during a political campaign in the capital city of Praia. During the elections that marked the transition to democracy in 1991, campaign speeches and public events were observed, showing that masculinization of politics through language enhances gender boundaries to the exclusion of women.

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                                                                                                                        • Sheldon, Kathleen, and Isabel P. B. Fêo Rodrigues. “Outras vozes: Women’s Writings in Lusophone Africa.” African and Asian Studies 7.4 (2008): 423–445.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1163/156921008X359605Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Emerging out of a male-dominated publishing world, this collaboration is an attempt to account for women’s writing in Lusophone Africa and question how their publications opened new narratives and perspectives on the social reality of their countries. Cape Verdean publications by women are shown to range in topics, but they have emphasized issues of social justice.

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                                                                                                                          Literature and Performance

                                                                                                                          Any commentary on Cape Verdean literature and performance needs to account for the fact that a rich body of literary work was published throughout the colonial period in short-lived presses dispersed throughout the islands. Growing awareness of this fact, along with local island-based research, has been necessary to rescue and bring to the public some of these forgotten works (a good example of this research is the three-volume collection on Eugénio Tavares, Tavares 1996, cited under Fiction in the Colonial Period). Many of these publications (such as the journal Claridade) were the product of personal investments by a literate class, which, during the colonial period, represented less than 20% of the population. These literati shared links of kinship and friendship, read from their own private libraries, and shared their knowledge and literary production in both printed and oral forums. Some of the dispersed works by Pedro Cardoso (from Fogo Island, who also wrote in Cape Verdean Creole) have been studied (Monteiro 1945), but other works remain unavailable to the larger public. Hence in order to account for diverse body of literature during the colonial period, its pertinent to start with periodicals from different islands, many of which are fully accounted for in Oliveira 1998. Moreover, a rich tradition of storytelling, predominantly in Cape Verdean Creole, has yet to be fully collected from the nine islands and given the printed attention it deserves. It is in this predominantly oral language that songwriting and performance take place, with many writings (particularly in Cape Verdean Creole) not reaching the world of print. Exceptions have included the works of the authors Tomé Varela Silva and Danni Spínola, who have made the deliberate effort to write and publish in their mother tongue (Silva 2004, Spínola 2006). The literature in Cape Verdean Creole, mostly oral, continues to dominate the poetics of daily life and performance; here is just a starting sample.

                                                                                                                          • Monteiro, Clarice Silva. “Literatura e Folclore da Ilha do Fogo.” Boletim Geral das Colónias 25 (1945).

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                                                                                                                            Available through Memórias d’ África e d’ Oriente, this site, created by the Universidade de Aveiro in Portugal (with the participation of the Agência Geral das Colónias) continually adds new material on Lusophone African publications. Included are works from the colonial period, many of which are becoming available online free of charge. This is a useful site for researching work that until now was only available in a few libraries. Monteiro’s study, still written during colonial times, shows how an emerging regional literature from Fogo Island developed its own symbolic repertoire outside the confines of assimilationist colonial policies.

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                                                                                                                            • Oliveira, João Nobre de. A Imprensa Cabo-Verdiana 1820–1975. Macao, China: Fundação Macau, 1998.

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                                                                                                                              This work accounts for both amateur publications as well as a vast amount of periodical literature—journals, newspapers, booklets, newsletters—published throughout the islands from 1820 to 1975. This is a valuable source for any research on Cape Verdean literature during this period, so much of which is dispersed through these various sources.

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                                                                                                                              • Silva, T. V. Na boka noti: Un libro di stórias tradisional. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                A collection of traditional short stories, many of which are replete with island-based humor and moral teachings. This author has dedicated much of his life to publishing in his mother tongue and is a good starting point for anyone interested in Cape Verdean literature written in Cape Verdean Creole.

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                                                                                                                                • Spínola, Danny. Amen na nha xintidu: Antolojia. Tipografia Santos, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                  Includes both poems and short stories. Spínola’s work takes Cape Verdean writing in Creole into a new creative flight, beyond the traditional and the popular. This work is a good starting point, for it includes samples of his poetry and prose.

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                                                                                                                                  Fiction in the Colonial Period

                                                                                                                                  Throughout the colonial period, many educated Cape Verdeans wrote in local newspapers and dispersed pamphlets and periodicals, particularly in the genres of poetry, short stories, theater, and chronicles. Among the most prolific and politically engaged was Eugénio Tavares, who wrote in both Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole (Tavares 1996). Under the censorship of Estado Novo (the Portuguese dictatorship from 1932 to 1974), Cape Verdean writers, disguising their observations as fiction, documented the hardships and the state of neglect of the colony. Authors, such as Manuel Lopes in Flagelados do vento leste (see Lopes 1991), Jorge Barbosa in his poetry (Barbosa 2002), and Baltazar Lopes in his novel Chiquinho (Lopes 1997) all engaged insularity, drought and famine as central literary topics. They were also founders of the journal Claridade (Enlightening) published intermittently on São Vicente Island between 1936 and 1960. They became known as the Claridosos, integrating the literary movement generally known as Claridade, which was characterized by a distinct identity anchored in the islands and heavily influenced by Brazilian neorealism. Published later, Romano 1983 also engages the devastation of famine, but critically incriminating Portuguese colonialism. These works provide descriptive detail on the island’s fragile economy, socioeconomic relations, colonial neglect, and migration. Following similar narrative style, Auréliu Gonçalves’s writing stands out for giving primacy to the psychological construction of characters (Gonçalves 1985). While the Claridosos were criticized for portraying a crushing world where there was little room for human agency, today their fiction is recognized as the foundation of an independent national literature (see Veiga 1998). While neorealism is no longer in vogue, one could argue that fiction continues to provide some of the most realistic portrayals of Cape Verdean history and culture.

                                                                                                                                  • Barbosa, Jorge. Obra poética. Lisbon, Portugal: Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                    A comprehensive collection of the poetry of Jorge Barboasa, one of the most acclaimed poets of Cape Verde, with an introduction by Elsa Rodrigues dos Santos. Barbosa’s poetry reflects the conditions of insularity, and the necessity to migrate and also return.

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                                                                                                                                    • Gonçalves, António Aurélio. Noite de vento. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto Caboverdiano do Livro, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                      Describing the networks of sociability, sexuality, and marriage, Gonçalves’ work stands out for its inclusion of more intimate spaces where women and men navigate contested relationships. Most of his narratives take place in Mindelo, on the Island of São Vicente, providing a unique perspective about the city’s bohemian life.

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                                                                                                                                      • Leite, Ana Mafalda, ed. Cape Verde: Language, Literature, and Music. Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies, Dartmouth. Hanover, NH: Tagus, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                        This is a useful and well-balanced source on Cape Verdean literature and culture by authors and literary critics from several countries and academic traditions. Although the primary focus is literature, it provides important articles on the importance of Creole language as a mother tongue to Cape Verdeans in the islands and in the diaspora.

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                                                                                                                                        • Lopes, Manuel. Os flagelados do vento leste. Lisbon, Portugal: Vega, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                          Influence by Brazilian neorealism, this work also describes the devastation of famine, particularly on the rural island of Santo Antão. From Lopes’s narrative we also learn about the extraction of labor from hungry and famished groups in order to build public roads and infrastructure during late colonial times.

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                                                                                                                                          • Lopes, Baltasar. Chiquinho. Praia, Cape Verde: Gráfica do Mindelo, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                            Considered one of the first novels in Cape Verdean literature, Lopes’s narrative engages the drama of migration, family breakdown, and transnational ties of kinship. As fathers had to leave in order to send back remittances, we can also extract from this story important information about emigration to the United States.

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                                                                                                                                            • Romano, Luís. Famintos. Lisbon, Portugal: Ulmeiro, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                              Written in 1962, this work engages the devastating effects of famine in prose that blends poetry and oral storytelling. Unlike the Claridosos who avoided direct accusations and a clear political stance, Romano clearly and critically denounces the colonial regime and its inertia. Migration in his writing is not portrayed as a solution to famine, but as part of the problem.

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                                                                                                                                              • Tavares, Eugénio. Poesias, contos, teatro. Compiled by Felix Monteiro, Introduced and organized by de Isabel Lobo. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto Caboverdeano do Livro e do Disco, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                This is a good introduction to Tavares’s work, compiled from dispersed sources that had long been out of print and inaccessible to the public. Tavares is also the author of many popular songs, or mornas, which have been popularized by world-renowned singer Cesaria Evora.

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                                                                                                                                                • Veiga, Manuel. Cabo Verde: Insularidade e literatura. Paris: Karthala, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                  Engages the central themes of Cape Verdean literature, grounded in the particular experience of writing from an island as a space that bounds the experience of living and narrating reality. Organized along topics of vital importance to Cape Verdeans, this is a critical source for understanding both the historical and topical trajectories of Cape Verdean literature.

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                                                                                                                                                  Contemporary Fiction

                                                                                                                                                  While theater and poetry remain immensely popular genres, expressed in both Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese, theater festivals have also served new cultural and political agendas associated with social and political critique (Ferreira 2005, McMahon 2014). Indeed many islands have their own theatrical oral history companies and theater festivals, such as the Mindelact (held every September), which has gained international recognition. Cape Verdean Creole has dominated performance in general—from song to festivals—while literature, particularly prose, has been primarily published in Portuguese. In the early 21st century, writers such as Germano de Almeida have captured international audiences with a satirical style grounded in post-independence social realities (Almeida 1998). Unlike the works of Claridade, in Almeida’s Testamento the drama of famine is satirized as a wealth-generating mechanism for the entrepreneurial protagonist. Yet in continuity with the past, his novels are intensely descriptive and revelatory of an emerging bourgeois world formerly unknown in Cape Verde (Almeida 2006). In Eva, Almeida depicts the complex world of gender relations, urbanization, consumption, and globalization. His Cape Verde is no longer isolated by insularity, but is also a country receiving migrants and expat communities that are changing social relations. Fiction and history remain closely entwined not only in his fiction, but in that of many Cape Verdean authors. Also breaking away with the poetry of Claridade, Corsino Fortes, whose work is condensed in Cabeça calva de Deus (The Bold Head of God), is undoubtedly one of Africa’s leading poets (Fortes 2001). After independence, female writers also gained notoriety and have opened literature to novel dimensions of intimacy, sexuality, and gender. Dina Salústio in A louca do Serrano (The Madwoman from Serrano) is one of the most original in breaking with the Cape Verdean literary mold of narrating within and about the islands (Salústio 1998). In poetry, Vera Duarte, with her collection the Arquipelago da paixão (Archipelago of Passion), has received international recognition and several awards. Unlike the poems of previous writers, hers give voice to women as erotic subjects in search of pleasure and passion (Duarte 2001). Fátima Bettencourt, in the genre of chronicles, has in her collection Um certo olhar (A Certain Gaze . . .) also produced short stories critically viewing contemporary social transformations (Bettencourt 2001).

                                                                                                                                                  • Almeida, Germano. O testamento do Sr. Napumoceno da Silva Araújo. Lisbon, Portugal: Caminho, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                    Probably the most popular novel written by a Cape Verdean author, this work marks a turning point in the literature of Cape Verde. No longer about the tragedy of famine and drought, the novel satirically engages the independence period and the uneasy transition for Mindelo’s commercial class enmeshed in Portuguese trade and kin relations.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Almeida, Germano. Eva. Lisbon: Caminho, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                      This novel illustrates the postcolonial changes of urban life, particularly in the capital, Praia, where a relatively large expat community is concentrated. Their influence on daily life is seen through new desires and consumption of imported goods. In addition to these changes, the interplay of marriage, sexuality, and infidelity is highlighted in their daily lives.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Bettencourt, Fátima. Um certo olhar. Praia, Cape Verde: Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                        This is a collection of chronicles and essays that critically examine postcolonial realities, political controversies, and social issues. Among the variety of topics are critical essays on gender and economic disparities in Cape Verde.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Duarte, Vera. O arquipelago da paixão. Praia, Cape Verde: Artiletra, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                          Considered one of the best female contemporary poets of Cape Verde, Duarte has a style that uniquely blends prose with poetry in highlighting heterosexual love and sexuality. In her poetry women are openly released as subjects of eroticism commanding their own desires and passions.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Ferreira, Eunice. “Mindelact: The Tenth Annual International Theater Festival of Mindelo.” Theater Journal 57.2 (2005): 272–277.

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                                                                                                                                                            Engages one of the most popular theater festivals in Cape Verde, which has acquired international reputation beyond Portuguese-speaking countries. The politics of identity and language are critically analyzed as performers strategically code switch between Portuguese and Cape Verdean Creole, depending on political messages.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Fortes, Corsino. A cabeça calva de Deus. Lisbon, Portugal: Publicações Dom Quixote, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                              Fortes’s poetry clearly marks a transition away from past themes of famine, draught, and emigration. He writes from the certainty of liberation, evoking present dramas, but engaging human agency. His words are selectively minimalist, injecting the musicality of Cape Verdean Creole into Portuguese.

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                                                                                                                                                              • McMahon, Christina S. Recasting Transnationalism Through Performance: Theatre Festivals in Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Brazil. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Cape Verde and attendance at several theater festivals, Ms. McMahon argues for the importance of these festivals in recasting new conversations about Lusofonia decentralized from the former colonizer. Some of these festivals have contributed to a critique of the conception of a “Lusophone Community” of language and have also fostered new imaginaries through which power asymmetries can be critiqued.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Salústio, Dina. A louca de Serrano. Praia, Cape Verde: Spleen, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Among the most original writers of Cape Verde, Salústio in her narrative captures the world of gender relations and the search for authenticity and intimacy in heterosexual relationships. It also describes an emergent bourgeois world concerned with consumption and appearances, which contrasts with rural simplicity.

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