Kabu Verdi, hora di bai

Cape Verdean communities in the Leonese mining basins.

Logo of the cycle "Let's Turn Around the World" (2019) by Laura LimónOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

At the Museo Nacional de Antropología we are repeating the voyage of Magellan and Elcano during the V Centenary of the first round the world voyage (2019 - 2022), stopping to find out about the current situation of some of the territories through which the expedition passed.

In the dressing room (1980)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

From Cape Verde... to Leon

On this occasion, we give voice to the Cape Verdean communities that, almost 500 years later, were the protagonists of one of the first recent migratory experiences to our country, in the coal mines of the Leonese mountains.

Map of Cape Verde (2022)Original Source: Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

A trip to Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Islands were discovered in 1460 as part of Portugal's crown expansion. Independent since 5 July 1975, Cape Verde plays a key role in African relations as well as in other political contexts.

Miner at work (1980)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

The black gold

Cape Verdean emigration to Bierzo and Laciana, in the province of León, took place between 1975 and 1985. At that time, El Bierzo and Laciana experienced a period of economic growth, associated with coal mining.

Joaquín and Manuel (1980)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

We are all equal inside the mine

Coal mining generates a social ecosystem that depends exclusively on the mine. But the hard and risky work in the pits also creates very close bonds of solidarity between those who go down into the pits every day.

Sodade (2022)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Sodade, nostalgia

Feelings associated with emigration are deeply rooted in Cape Verdean culture. Sodade, "nostalgia", refers to the one who has to leave home. Morna is Cape Verde's most international style of music.

Postcard from Cape Verde (1900)Original Source: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

Hora di bai, the anthem of Cape Verdean emigration

Eugénio Tavares (1867-1930) is one of the most renowned authors of Cape Verdean literature. His poem Hora di bai, composed during his exile in the United States (1900-1910), expresses the heartfelt farewell of one who is forced to leave his homeland. 

Mining memory (2022)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Mining memory

Mining activity has generated deep networks of solidarity among its workers regardless of their origin. The Mining Culture Foundation has created the "Mining Memory Award". In its first edition (2021), it has been awarded to the Cape Verdean community.

Cape Verdean miners (1980)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Memory Archive

The Museo de la Siderurgia y la Minería de Castilla y León, in Sabero (León) initiated a project to recover the recent history of mining in the province of León. Of course, Cape Verdean miners played a leading role in this initiative. 

Associations of Cape Verdeans (2022)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Adaptation model

The models of adaptation developed in El Bierzo and Laciana by the Cape Verdean communities have been exemplary. Associationism has made it possible to maintain the community identity, and the first Cape Verdean teams later gave way to mixed teams.

Party in Torrevieja (2018)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Retreat in Torrevieja

The cessation of mining activity means the loss of jobs. Some pre-retired miners - including Cape Verdeans - choose Torrevieja (Alicante) as their place of retirement. Its climate, on the Mediterranean coast, favours the treatment of mine-related illnesses.

Once bread, now history (2022)Original Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

Once bread, now history

The end of mining in León from 1990 onwards was a major crisis. On 18 March 2018, the Diario de León published an article about the "caboberciana" youth. During the interview, they stated: "We are from Bembibre, we love it and we would like to stay here".

Logo of the cycle "Let's Turn Around the World" (2019) by Laura LimónOriginal Source: Museo Nacional de Antropología

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