Island Cape Verde
meaning Saint James in Portuguese, or spelt Santiagu
in the local language, is the largest of all
Cape Verde islands. Santiago is the
largest agricultural centre of all the Cape Verde islands
and is home to half of Cape Verde’s population.
Santiago can be found between the islands of
Fogo and is one of the Sotavento islands.
Santiago was the first town of all the islands and
the town of Cidade Velha was founded as Riberia Grande in
1462. Santiago is home to the Cape Verde’s
capital city of Praia and also has one of the islands two
airports. Santiago’s population has
doubled since the independence of Cape Verde in 1975. Along
with Santiago other towns on the island
are Assomada and Tarrafal. The main source of employment for
the people of the island are agriculture, tourism and
fishing. The main agricultural products are corn, sugar
cane, banana, coffee and mangoes.
was discovered by António da Noli in around 1460 and built a
garrison in Cidade Velha which was known as Ribeira Grande.
The Crioulos on the island are the oldest African-European
community in colonial history. The local creole
language, which is called Crioulo de Santiago, has
became a separate language. During the slave trade Cidade
Velha was the second richest city in the Portuguese empire.
Portugal was unable to defend its colonies as the English,
Dutch, French and Spanish took over the slave trade and the
island was later raided by pirates. The island population
were overlooked by the Portuguese colonial system and
Santiago was a strong supporter of Amilcar
Cabral and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea
and Cape Verde and the independence of 1975. Santiago has
often hosted conferences on Creole culture and maintaining
history for more information.
independence of Cape Verde, infrastructure has improved
especially schools, shipping ports,
airports, roads, and much more.
Kriol Jazz Festival to take place in Praia
The Kriol Jazz Festival celebrates
Cape Verdean and Creole culture.
One of the best times to visit Praia, the largest
city of the Cape Verde Islands, is during the annual
Kriol Jazz Festival. This event is not only a festival
of music but also serves as a celebration of culture and
the Creole heritage of Praia itself, so it is a
wonderful opportunity to get a true feel of the city and
Throughout the course of the festival visitors can
enjoy a selection of concerts and performances by a
mixture of local musicians and international acts. One
of the organiser’s aims is to promote Creole music from
all over the world, so the festival hosts performers
from areas such as the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and
Africa. Praia is home to the oldest version of a Creole
language still spoken today, and so is a perfect
location for a celebration like this and a great place
to experience these cultures.
The festival has plenty of other exciting things to
offer as well as music. A range of workshops,
documentary showings and lectures are available for
visitors, and it is even possible to take part in a jam
session and make some jazz music yourself.
With flights to the area from the United Kingdom
taking only a few hours, the Kriol Jazz Festival is a
perfect place to experience a variety of new cultures
and a fascinating city and area. It is a great event for
anyone who enjoys good music and exploring heritage.
||Portuguese & Creole
|Mulatto 71%, African 28%, European 1%
Praia, the capital of Cape
Verde is situated on the island of Santiago.
In the middle of the leeward
group of islands with a surface area of 991 Km2,
Santiago is the biggest island in the
In the north/south
direction, its longest point is 55 Km and from
east to west, 29 Km. Of volcanic origin, the
highest point of its mountainous peaks is called
Pico de Antonio, with an altitude of 1392m. The
deep and beautiful valleys, the result of
hundreds of years of erosion, offer excellent
agricultural conditions and the view of these
regions from above is truly breathtaking. There
is a great contrast between the vegetation and
the mild and humid climate of the higher regions
and that of some lower regions, which are very
dry and arid.
of Santiago Island:
Santiago was the first island to be populated
after the Portuguese discovery of Cape Verde in
the 14th century.
The economy of the
island was developed mainly through the use of
African slave labour, and as a result became a
commercial trading post with the African
Continent and naturally assimilated more of the
African influence than the rest of the islands.
Pirate attacks were frequent on the old capital
town of Ribeira Grande. In 1583, it was also
attacked by forces supporting the Prior of
Crato, in the battle for the succession to the
throne of Portugal; and the French pirate
J.Cassard finally devasted the town in 1712. It
was from this point on that Praia assumed
predominance and today remains the capital of
Agriculture and fishing are
still the principal industries of Santiago. The
island is full of beautiful scenery, charming
beaches and living examples of its historical
Due to its true natural
beauty, a facinating past and a modern
international airport, Santiago is destined to
become one of Cape Verde`s premier tourist