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Creolization and Creole Communities in the Portuguese Atlantic: São Tomé, Cape Verde, the Rivers of Guinea and Central Africa in Comparison

GERHARD SEIBERT

in Brokers of Change

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.003.0002

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Creolization and Creole Communities in the Portuguese Atlantic: São Tomé, Cape Verde, the Rivers of Guinea and Central Africa in Comparison

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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The Portuguese maritime expansion from the 15th century led to interactions and trade between Europeans and Africans. In places where the Portuguese established permanent bases, social interaction with Africans entailed processes of biological and cultural mixing, the outcome of which varied significantly depending on the different geographic, demographic, political and linguistic circumstances. In particular historical and social-cultural contexts, acculturation assumed the form of creolisation, a concept that is defined as a process of ethnicisation and indiginisation whereby former ethnic identities disappear and are replaced by a new ethnic identity. According to this definition, Creole societies only emerged in the archipelagos of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, but not in the Rivers of Guinea, where creolisation only partly occurred with regard to one particular group. Creole cultures did not emerge in Kongo or Angola either, where local cultures and languages remained largely intact.

Keywords: creolisation processes; creole societies; Portuguese expansion; Atlantic history; Cape Verde; São Tomé

Chapter.  9282 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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