The Lusosphere: Equatorial Guinea


Motto: Unidad, Paz, Justicia/Unité, Paix, Justice/Unidade, Paz, Justiça.
(Transl: Unity, Peace, Justice)

Equatorial Guinea is located in Central Africa and, is comprised of a Continental region (Río Muni, including some offshore islands such as Corisco, Elobey Grande & Elobey Chico) and an Insular region (that consists of the islands of Annobon and Bioko [formerly known as Fernando Pó] where the capital of the nation is: Malabo [or Santa Isabel]).


(Malabo/Santa Isabel)

1472: Fernão do Pó (while looking for a path to India) discovered the Island of Bioko, to which he called Formosa (= beautiful); however the island was named after him.

1474: The Portuguese colonised the islands of Bioko, Annobón and Corisco; and turned them into slave trade stations.

1493: The Portuguese King D. João II (John II), claimed to be the Lord of Guinea and the first Lord of Corisco.

1641: The Dutch West India Company established itself in Bioko without the consent of the Portuguese King; and centralised its slave business (from the Gulf Guinea) in the island.

1648: The Portuguese kicked the Dutch out of Bioko, replaced the Dutch company by their own company (Corisco Company) which did exactly the same transactions as the Dutch's. They also erected the first European building on the island: the Fort of Ponta Joko.

1713-1753: Corisco Company sells slaves to France (that bought up to 49,000 Guinean slaves from Spain and England).

1778: The islands' deeds (including the rights to free trade to the mainland between the Niger and Ogoue Rivers) were ceded to Spain, through the San Ildefonso & El Pardo Treaties (Between Queen Maria I of Portugal and King Charles III of Spain), in exchange for territory in the American continent.
Equatorial Guinea became a full Spanish colony.



Demographics

This country has a population of +/- 504,000 people.

Fang: 87.7% of the population (with 67 tribes, indigenous to Rio Muni)
Bubi: 6.5% of the population (indigenous to Bioko Island)
Mdowe: 1.6%
Annobon: 1.1%
Other: 1.4% of the population (mainly Spanish).

Religion

Equatorial Guinea is mainly a Christian country (Christianity is professed by 92% of the population). 87% of the population is Catholic; 5% is Protestant or other; 5% follow indigenous beliefs; 0.5% is Muslim; 2.5% followers of Baha'i and other.



Language

The official languages are Spanish (since 1844) and French. However, in July 2007, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema announced the decision for Portuguese to become the nation's third official language (so that it could meet the requirements to apply for full membership in the CPLP [Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa = Community of Portuguese Language Countries]). The CPLP website already states that Portuguese is this country's third language, although its application is still under assessment.

Music

There are at least three types of folk genres in Equatorial Guinea: the mvet (a cross betwen a zither and a harp. This genre can only be learned by initiates of the bebom-mvet society; and it is a type of call-and-response with a chorus and drums alternating); the balélé and the ibanga.
But the most famous genres in this country are the Pan-African styles like soukous and makossa.

Since there is not much musical material, from this country, on the web; I will be sharing with you the Pan-African styles.
This week, we will start with the soukous (also known as rumba or kwassa- kwassa, that I absolutely love, and had the pleasure to learn how to dance it many years ago). The video below shows how soukous is danced; and let me tell you, these girls dance! Enjoy...




Next Stop: Mozambique

Comments

  1. Love it Max! Ethnic with a modern touch. :)

    How are you doing dear? Had a great weekend?

    I had a great weekend too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Max,

    Happy Maxday!

    Wow, a beautiful place. Shaped like a horse shoe.

    "This country has a population of +/- 504,000 people."

    The amount of Starbucks in America. (Not really, but it seems like it.)

    "The official languages are Spanish (since 1844) and French. However, in July 2007, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema announced the decision for Portuguese to become the nation's third official language (so that it could meet the requirements to apply for full membership in the CPLP"

    Portuguese is a fascinating language with a long history. With more than 200 million native speakers, Portuguese is one of the few languages spoken in such widely distributed parts of the world, and is the fifth or sixth most-spoken first language in the world. It is spoken by about 187 million people in South America, 17 million in Africa, 12 million in Europe, 2 million in North America, and 0.61 million in Asia. Portuguese is the third most spoken European language.

    "This week, we will start with the soukous (also known as rumba or kwassa- kwassa, that I absolutely love, and had the pleasure to learn how to dance it many years ago)."

    Such colorful outfits. And yes, they CAN move.You should have shown us how you do it.

    A thoroughly interesting history.

    Thanks for broadening my horizons and finishing with a dance my dear.

    Dance Like You Mean It Cheers!

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  3. Hey Liza :D!

    "Love it Max! Ethnic with a modern touch. :)"

    I am so glad you loved it, darling :D! Indeed...

    "How are you doing dear? Had a great weekend?"

    I am doing fine, thanks, dear! Oh, my weekend was quite relaxing (thanks God) :)!

    "I had a great weekend too. :)"

    Ah, music to my ears :)!

    Liza, my darling, thank you for having dropped by *hug*!

    Cheers

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  4. Hey Lady A :D!

    "Happy Maxday!"

    Happy Maxday, darling!

    "Wow, a beautiful place. Shaped like a horse shoe."

    It is, isn't it? I was amazed as well. It does remind a horse shoe lol...

    "The amount of Starbucks in America. (Not really, but it seems like it.)"

    LOL LOL not a fan of Starbucks, eh? We only have one (it is near my neighbourhood).

    "Portuguese is a fascinating language with a long history. With more than 200 million native speakers, Portuguese is one of the few languages spoken in such widely distributed parts of the world, and is the fifth or sixth most-spoken first language in the world."

    ("200 million native speakers") Indeed, and we have to thank the Brazilians for it. Yes, Portugal should be proud for it is quite an accomplishment.

    "It is spoken by about 187 million people in South America, 17 million in Africa, 12 million in Europe, 2 million in North America, and 0.61 million in Asia. Portuguese is the third most spoken European language."

    It is impressive...

    "Such colorful outfits. And yes, they CAN move.You should have shown us how you do it."

    LOL they are corny outfits (except the first ones [traditional]), that's what they are *nodding*. Ah, they can. LOL LOL LOL LOL girl, I am not that good (although my outfits are much much better than theirs)...

    "A thoroughly interesting history."

    Thank you, A...you are kind *bowing*!

    "Thanks for broadening my horizons and finishing with a dance my dear."

    De nada, querida; de nada :D!

    Shaking it Cheers

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  5. Very interesting.... I thoroughly enjoyed the dancing! Have a great week! Christina

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  6. Hi Christina :D!

    I am so glad you liked it, darling!
    Thank you, have yourself a blessed week :D!

    Thanks for having dropped by!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Max,

    We reiterate that you should have been a history teacher, kids would have loved the way you explain it.

    The Portuguese and the Dutch had a karmic relationship, yes?

    Many countries, in the world, such as Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde (archipelago), São Tomé & Principe Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Timor, Brasil and Macau (more or less) speak Portuguese. Now can you imagine what would have been if Portugal hadn't relinquished Indonesia to the Dutch: wow!

    Colonialism was ruthless; however a greater good came out of it: cultural identity.
    And interestingly enough the former Portuguese colonies kept on professing Christianity although less successfully in Macau. We are sure that CPLP will gladly open the door to welcome this prodigal son, that was abandoned and forced to become spanish in 1778, as a result of a despotic act.

    Soukous, like all the African dances, is very "energetic" to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ciao Max,

    Great History lesson and once again the Portuguese did all the work and the Dutch tried to spoil the "party".
    The problem with the colonisation was the lack of responsibility (i.e. they would conquer countries and when they grew tired of the damn colonies they simply traded entire nations. So sad!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Circulus Ciceronis :D!

    "We reiterate that you should have been a history teacher, kids would have loved the way you explain it."

    LOL ah you are too kind...you know I do not have the patience to teach kids, C.C. *tender face*.

    "The Portuguese and the Dutch had a karmic relationship, yes?"

    Yes, they did *nodding*.

    "Many countries, in the world, such as Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde (archipelago), São Tomé & Principe Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Timor, Brasil and Macau (more or less) speak Portuguese. Now can you imagine what would have been if Portugal hadn't relinquished Indonesia to the Dutch: wow!"

    It would have been great! Even so, I learned from Amelia (who is from Indo) that many Indonesian words derive from the Portuguese - it is very interesting (she sent me a list and all).

    "Colonialism was ruthless; however a greater good came out of it: cultural identity."

    True.

    "And interestingly enough the former Portuguese colonies kept on professing Christianity although less successfully in Macau. We are sure that CPLP will gladly open the door to welcome this prodigal son, that was abandoned and forced to become spanish in 1778, as a result of a despotic act."

    Oh yes, the Portuguese managed to successfully Christianise their colonies (I think the Africans and Brazilians were too generous). I am sure CPLP will gladly open its doors to Equatorial Guinea...although I am guessing that it will take a long time before the E. Guinea inhabitants learn the Portuguese, but it's ok....

    "Soukous, like all the African dances, is very "energetic" to say the least"

    LOL LOL LOL LOL energetic, eh? LOL LOL LOL I know what you mean *nodding*....

    C.C, thank you ever so much for your superb comment (it is always a pleasure to have you guys here among us) :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ciao Dux :D!

    "Great History lesson and once again the Portuguese did all the work and the Dutch tried to spoil the "party"."

    Thank you *bowing*. LOL LOL you know the Portuguese and the Dutch: they loved each other *nodding*. I wonder how many other colonies the Dutch wanted to usurp from us.

    "The problem with the colonisation was the lack of responsibility (i.e. they would conquer countries and when they grew tired of the damn colonies they simply traded entire nations. So sad!"

    So true. Look at Malawi, for example: it used to be Mozambican and the Portuguese crown just offered it to England as a birthday gift (can you believe it?) *nodding*.
    Sad indeed...

    Dux Probus, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment and support :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Max!

    Hey Equatorial Guinea also borders on Gabon form Gabon Survivor fame!!!!! Actually there was a tribe called Fang on Survivor Gabon!

    Interesting dancing Max….did you dance like this while putting this post together?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi LSus :D!

    "Hey Equatorial Guinea also borders on Gabon form Gabon Survivor fame!!!!! Actually there was a tribe called Fang on Survivor Gabon!"

    Yes, it does...as I wrote this article I recalled the Survivor Fang tribe (and to think that at that time I thought Survivor was being creative lol).

    "Interesting dancing Max….did you dance like this while putting this post together?"

    It is indeed, darling...LOL LOL LOL LOL no, I did not LOL *nodding*. Trust me, when one is dancing soukous one cannot type LOL (you kill me, man).

    LS, thank you so much for having dropped by :D!

    Cheers

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  13. Well covered Max, I am not familiar with this country. Quite interesting.
    Are you staying there ?

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  14. A small country but quite diverse I see! I like when you include the local music, it really help traveling there... in my mind ;)

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  15. Another fascinating cultural lesson. As far as the music goes, I didn't know that the body, the female body, could move like that. That dance should be made into an exercise DVD.

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  16. Hey KB!! :D

    Thanks, mate! No, I am not staying there...but I wouldn't mind to visit it: it seems such a nice country!

    Thanks for having dropped by :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey Zhu :D!

    So true. Ah soukous is originally from Congo, but it is listened & danced to all over Africa (in some countries it is known as "rumba" in others as "Kwassa-kwassa")...great genre!

    I know what you mean, girl ;)!

    Thanks for having dropped by!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Mel :D!

    "Another fascinating cultural lesson."

    Thank you, my friend *bowing*!

    "As far as the music goes, I didn't know that the body, the female body, could move like that. That dance should be made into an exercise DVD."

    LOL LOL yeah, the female body can move like that...
    LOL LOL LOL LOL I hear you! After all it is a great work out program: trust me.

    Mel, thanks for having dropped by :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lol, Livingsword, well did you dance while putting the post together?lol.


    I love your teachings, "just the facts mame", I enjoy reading these posts I learn sooo much and I really love the music videos, they always speak to me on their culture, and I love their culture, they can surely dance,lol.

    I like how they split the video up, the old and then the new type thing, another winner Max!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Bob :D!

    "Lol, Livingsword, well did you dance while putting the post together?lol."

    LOL yes, LS is a funny little red ruffed lemur LOL...

    "I love your teachings, "just the facts mame", I enjoy reading these posts I learn sooo much and I really love the music videos, they always speak to me on their culture, and I love their culture, they can surely dance,lol."

    I am so glad you love these posts, Bob :D! They can dance for sure...

    "I like how they split the video up, the old and then the new type thing, another winner Max!!"

    Yeah, that was it - you got a good eye for these things! Thanks, mate :D!

    Bob, thank you so much for your delightful comment :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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