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History

Legend claims that when God was done with creating the earth, he wiped his hands and the crumbs that fell formed the Cape Verde Islands…

Scientifically speaking, the territory that constitutes the modern nation of Cape Verde is volcanic in origin; the islands formed between 15 million and 100,000 years ago (Sal being the oldest and Fogo being the youngest).

The history of the Cape Verdean people can be summed up in large part by slavery, drought and emigration. But this, of course, is only part of the ongoing story. Discovered and first settled in the 15th century by the Portuguese, Cape Verde’s Santiago Island quickly became the hub of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The sad beginnings of the country also gave birth to a creole nation that now embraces its tumultuous past as a source of strength and solidarity.

Years of drought devastated the Islands and their lack of natural resources and jobs forced many abroad to seek a better life. As a result, today there are more Cape Verdeans living outside of Cape Verde than within. But this sorrow has also served as the fuel for the country’s most notable music style, morna, not to mention its unique national psyche in general.

Since independence from Portugal in 1975, the Republic of Cabo Verde has flourished in democracy. It is among the most developed nations of the African continent, in particular when measured in terms of literacy, life-expectancy, per-capita income, and other indicators of steady progress towards prosperity for all of its citizens.