Lusosphere: Guinea-Bissau


In 1441, Prince Harry sends Nuno Tristão, and Antão Gonçalves, to explore Western Africa.
Five years later the fate of a nation is drawn...

1446: Nuno Tristão discovers Guiné. Diogo Gomes and Cadamosto begin to explore the big rivers in that region.

Cacheu was the first population that the Portuguese created.

1800: England has a strong influence in the region and, it tries to claim Bolama Island; Buba and all the costal territory that is in front of Guinea. However, in 1870, through negotiations presided by the then President of the United States, Ulysses Grant; England drops its ambitions.

1886: The border between the Portuguese Guinea and the French East Africa is delineated. The population remains unsubmissive, which generates several long military campaigns.

1925-1940: Construction of infrastructures in the country (roads, bridges) and the development of the commercial activities.

1941: Bissau becomes the capital of the nation (preceded by Bolama).

1950: of the 512,255 residents only 8, 330 are considered civilised (2,273 whites; 4,568 mulattoes; 1,478 blacks and 11 Indians); of these 3,624 is illiterate (541 whites; 2,311 mulattoes and 772 blacks).

1956: The PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) is born. The fight for Independence begins.

1960: Amílcar Cabral (the leader of the PAIGC) denounces the Portuguese colonialist policies (on an International level) and seeks for support.

1961-1973: The bloodiest conflict of the entire "Oultremer War".

1974: Portugal, after a year, finally acknowledges the independence of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (on the 10th of September 1974).

The language spoken in this country is the Kriole of Bissau (Bissau Kriol, also spoken in Senegal). 80% of its lexic derives from the Portuguese. The Kriol is the mother language of about 160,000 people in Guinea; whereas it is the second language of more than 600,000 citizens. 13% of its population speaks Portuguese.

Unlike the music of other former colonies (Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil), the music from Guinea did not suffer much influence from Portugal. The musical genre that identifies itself more with Guinea-Bissau is the Gumbé (an urban genre that is used to define all music produced in this country). However, there are other genres that are more traditional, such as: Tinga, Brocxa, Kussundé, Djambadon and Kunderé (which I will try to introduce you to during this month. I used the verb "try" because, unfortunately, there is not a lot of cultural material from Guinea Bissau on the web).

Let start this cultural journey by visualising a video, in which an unknown traditional group interprets a fusion of Brocxa and Kussundé.
Enjoy it!

Next Stop: Angola


  1. Unexpectedly this post was deleted along with its delightful comments!

    I apologise and will try to fix this!

    Thank you all who shared your thoughts on this post!



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