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The Culture, Traditions, and Heritage of Cape Verde

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Their cultural life is quite similar to the rural areas of Africa and Portugal. Their music is heavily influenced by African, Brazilian, Caribbean and Portuguese. The most typical national music is the Morna, most likely sung in creole, it is a lyrical and melancholic dance song. The instruments often used include the accordion, cavaquinho, clarinet, guitar, piano and violin. The Morna shows similarities with the Blues, a United States music genre. Cesaria Evora is the most internationally known Morna singer. The second most popular genre is the Coladeira, which generally has a playful and happy theme as well as jokes, satires and social criticisms. A variety of instruments can be used in playing the music which includes acoustic or electric guitars, a cavaquinho, violins, clarinets, trumpets, percussions, even electronic instruments like synthesizers and drum machines. Funana is an accordion based and probably the most upbeat of the entire Cape Verdean genre. Its lyrics generally talks about everyday life, social criticisms and reflections. As a dance, it is a sensual mixture of African and Portuguese. The Batuque is thought to be oldest among the islands. Both the Portuguese and the Church tried to eradicate it because of its African roots. In the 1990s it has undergone a revival as new songs were composed and performed in the stages, official acts or parties.

Its literature is a treasure trove for Lusophone or Portuguese Africa. Its famous poets and authors are Paulino Vieiria, Manuel de Novas, Baltasar Lopes da Silva and Antonio Aurelio Goncalves to mention a few.

Its most famous dish is the Cachupa, a stew consisting of corns, beans, fish or meat. Though widely considered as a national dish, each island or region has its own variation.

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