Thursday, April 25, 2013


The two most popular means of art in Cape Verde are pottery and weaving. As far as pottery goes, the most important pottery pieces that are created are large water containers (called potes), vases, and other sculptures.  Tapestries colored in white, indigo, and black are also very popular items. Indigo dyed clothes used for clothing are commonly made and used in Cape Verde. 

However, painting arts are also very popular as well. Some of the more well-known painters are Manuel Figueira, Barros-Gizzi, and Maria-Luiza Queirós.  
by Manuel Figueira

Some of their arts were introduced by the Portuguese, like crocheted blankets.  Yet, other styles were influenced by the African mainland, such as woodworking, embroidery, and woven baskets.

Of all the Portuguese-speaking African countries, the literature of Cape Verde is one of the strongest traditions.  Generally speaking, writers fall into either two categories: poetry and novels. And of course, many writers do both. And with that being said, many writers publish works in both Portuguese and in Crioulo (or Cape Verdean).
Now THAT'S a mustache! (In Portuguese: Eugénio Tavares: The great interpreter of the wonderful Cape Verdean spirit / Poet, writer, composer, journalist, 1867-1930)
Eugénio Tavares is perhaps one of the most well-known poets of Cape Verde. Many of his poems are closely tied to the musical form most associated with Cape Verde, morna. 

Another author and poet is Baltasar Lopes da Silva, whose 1947 novel Chiquinho is considered by many to be the greatest Cape Verdean novel. (He often wrote under the pseudonym Osvaldo Alcântara.)  Before this, he gathered together with other Cape Verdean writers and created Claridade, a journal publishing essays, short stories, and poetry about problems in their society and their view of the reality that faced them at that time.

Manuel Lopes was another author that worked with da Silva on Claridade.  One of his works, Os Flagelados do Vento Leste, was made into a movie in 1987. 

Orlanda Amarílis is one of the more prominent women writers of Cape Verde. She tends to write about topics relating to the lives of Cape Verdean women as well as the Cape Verdeans who live abroad for one reason or another, as she has for many years throughout her life. Literary arts are something that runs in her family. She’s related to Baltasar Lopes da Silva, and her father was one of the people who worked to compile the first Cape Verdean Creole dictionary.

Up next:  music and dance 

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