Art and music are important aspects of Cape Verdean life. Music seems to be woven through the people of these lovely islands.
There are distinct styles of music to be found in Cape Verde, Morna and Funaná in particular, together with some variations. Morna is the most popular and has been made famous by singer Cesária Évora. The words are usually in Cape Verdean Creole and the subjects are usually related to romance, patriotism and mourning. It is thought that this style of music came from Boa Vista originally.
Funaná is a genre that originates in Santiago and is based on the accordion. Since Cape Verde gained independence from Portugal, Funaná has become more widely accepted. Prior to that, it was throwned upon by the authorities, because it was considered to be too African.
Accompanying music is the love of dance. Some of the young dancers seem to have boundless energy and skill.
There is also an interest in literature, with a small, but growing amount of Cape Verdean literature. The majority of it is written in Portuguese, but there is a growing movement to formulate a standard written version of Creole.
Other forms of art have a tendency to vary from island to island. For example, Boa Vista, Maio, Sal and Santiago are known for pottery and the small island of Fogo for carvings made from lava. Embroidery, basket making, carpentry and joinery are all practised and the finished articles sold at local markets.
One particular craft is the making of cloth, mainly dyed blue. These square cloths, called Panos, are used for items of clothing.
São Vicente is known as the cultural island with the island’s capital Mindelo being considered the cultural hub of the archipelago. Here you will find art galleries and music bars.
Cape Verdeans love festivals and there are several throughout the year, and located on different islands.One of the major festivals in the country, the Full Moon Festival, takes place on the beach at Baia das Gatas at the end of August. In February Mindelo hosts the Creole Festival. Carnival and other smaller events takes place on most islands and are noisy, colourful, lively affairs.