Portuguese Style and Luso-African Identity: Precolonial by Peter A. Mark

By Peter A. Mark

In this particular historical past of household structure in West Africa, Peter Mark exhibits how development types are heavily linked to social prestige and ethnic id. Mark records the ways that neighborhood structure was once reworked by means of long-distance exchange and complicated social and cultural interactions among neighborhood Africans, African investors from the internal, and the Portuguese explorers and investors who settled within the Senegambia area. What got here to be referred to as ''Portuguese'' variety symbolized the wealth and tool of Luso-Africans, who pointed out themselves as ''Portuguese'' in order that they can be uncommon from their African pals. They have been investors, spoke Creole, and practiced Christianity. yet what did this suggest? Drawing from tourists' bills, maps, engravings, work, and pictures, Mark argues that either the fashion of ''Portuguese'' homes and the id of these who lived in them have been super fluid. ''Portuguese'' type and Luso-African identification sheds mild at the dynamic courting among identification formation, social swap, and fabric tradition in West Africa.

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Additional resources for Portuguese Style and Luso-African Identity: Precolonial Senegambia, Sixteenth - Nineteenth Centuries

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A Christian called Ventura de Siqueira. He can read and write, as he was brought up in Santiago Island. ”46 The movement of individuals back and forth, both between the physical spaces of Sierra Leone, S. Domingos, and the Cape Verdean island of Santiago, and, more significantly, between the cultural spaces of African, lançado, and Cape Verdean “Portuguese” society suggests a crucially important characteristic of mainland Luso-African society: it was not firmly bounded, nor was it exclusionist with regard to those of African origin.

The resultant incorporation of individuals from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds was characteristic both of local communities and of states. Among the African populations of the Gambia-Casamance region, even today, oral traditions reflect a long and complex history of migrations and of identity transformations. In this matrix of local identity, identities have historically been fluid and individuals have often held multiple identities. In sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Senegambia, the permeable nature of “Portuguese” identity reflected the fact that many of the lançados and their descendents had married local African women.

One may ask why they, more than other local populations, attracted the attention of foreigners whose primary interest lay in trade. One obvious answer is that Floup architecture so impressed the visitors that those who saw it were moved to write about it. Another possible explanation is that not all Floup groups deserved their reputation for avoiding commercial contact with Europeans. 2 Bertrand-Bocandé (1849) says of the Floups who lived north of Cacheu and S. 3 The earliest published description of architecture in the Rio Geba– Casamance area is found in Valentim Fernandes’s account from about 16th- and 17th-Century Architecture in Gambia-Geba 35 1506.

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