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Brokers of ChangeAtlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa$
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Toby Green

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265208

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.001.0001

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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

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

Chapter:
(p.28) (p.29) 1 Creolization and Creole Communities in the Portuguese Atlantic: São Tomé, Cape Verde, the Rivers of Guinea and Central Africa in Comparison
Source:
Brokers of Change
Author(s):

GERHARD SEIBERT

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.003.0002

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

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