February 4, 2013

Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder called Cape Verde "Gorgades" after the mythical Gorgons killed by Perseus.

Cape Verde, today's "History of" country.


edutcher said...

I remember the Cape Verde Islands from geography when I was a kid, but hadn't heard they were a country.

You learn something every day at Althouse.

Also helps keep the Alzheimer's at bay.

ironrailsironweights said...

Cape Verde has one of the proportionately large diasporas of any country. There are as many as 400,000 people of Cape Verdean descent living in the United States, pretty impressive for a country with a population of around 600,000. And that's not even counting Cape Verdeans living in Portugal and other countries.

Most of the Cape Verdeans in the United States live in southern New England, especially the Boston and Providence areas. Their community goes back generations, to long before Cape Verde became an independent country in the 1970's.

I knew a number of Cape Verdeans when I was living in Connecticut. Although most of them would be considered black by American racial standards, they didn't seem to associate much with other blacks and in fact considered themselves Portuguese first, black second. All in all they were a pretty decent bunch. Like the (white) Portuguese who also were common in the area, the Cape Verdeans often worked in construction and the skilled trades, and many did quite well for themselves. One amusing thing is that they *hated* being mistaken for Puerto Ricans, which happened a lot.

Oh, the snowfall report: on rare occasions some wet snow falls on the 9,000-foot summit of Mount Fogo, the country's highest point. That's it.

Cape Verde trivia: several years ago the country explored joining the European Union, notwithstanding that it's part of Africa. The EU said thanks, but no thanks.


chickelit said...

Minor quibble: the Wiki article says Perseus slew gorgans (plural); I thought he just beheaded Medusa?

The Cellini bronze of Perseus in Florence embodies this myth nearly as well as the story itself.

Mitch H. said...

A genetic study revealed that the ancestry of the population in Cape Verde is predominantly European in the male line and West African in the female line

The classic mulatto culture, the descendants of Portuguese masters and their African mistresses, while the African flower of manhood passed through towards their demolition in the canefields of Brazil and the Antilles. Note that this was a crossroads for the Portuguese slave trade, which attracted the destructive raids of Drake and his piratical peers. This history tells us, that sea cities that trade in slaves, attract the amorous attentions of violent men bearing torch and sword in hand. Ask the Roman slave-traders of burned Delos, slaughtered to a man in the so-called Asiatic Vespers of 88 BC.

I tend to confuse the Canaries and the Cape Verdes; the latter was virgin land, the former a conquered land. And yet the Portuguese imported wretches to subject, since there were no locals to lord it over.

Ululating Umlungu said...

Cape Verde is famous for its splended musical heritage. The late Cesária Évora, The Barefoot Diva and Queen of Morna (a genre of music) is best know of the islands' many fine musicians. Others of note are Tito Paris and Lura.

Ululating Umlungu said...

Here she sings Carnaval de Sao Vicente, celebrating the 3 days of carnival when St Vincent becomes "a little Brazil."