Accepted paper:

Cape Verde - European experiments in the tropics


Agata Bloch (Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences & CHAM, UNL)

Paper short abstract:

Cape Verde - a real field of the European experiments where the transfer of knowledge is the result of the new trials in the different spheres: by inventing the new man and creating sort of original manner of living. This archipelago played an immense role in the knowledge exchange on an international scale.

Paper long abstract:

The main theory that supports my thesis is the "concept of network". Cape Verde was a strategic place in all overseas journeys between Europe, Africa and the Americas. All that was created in this small Atlantic archipelago was presented to the rest of the world. My research analyses the European experiments in three dimensions: people, animals and plants. The paper not only discusses the main theories and the historical approaches related to the subject but also provides a wider perspective explaining various phenomena of knowledge transfer between Cabo Verde and the world around. In this paper I present the cross-cultural concepts of knowledge transfer through socialization and acculturation. The act of transferring the multicultural understanding was followed by many decades of negotiations, confrontations and attempts at communication. The first moments of existence of Cape Verde was a real “tabula rasa” for the settlers due to its being an uninhabited place not ready for the arrival of humans. The cultural exchange and the transfer of knowledge began with the human-being in every possible aspect - from the Europeans coming to Cape Verde following the profit to the formation of Cape Verdean society from scratch. This resulted in a creation of a new African, a mixed-race person, Creole, a mixture of various ethnic groups originating from the West African coast and the European settlers. In such circumstances the first exchange of cultures, habits, customs, language and religions took place on larger scale. The international exchange of knowledge as well as new practices were possible thanks to the strong merchant class of intermediaries who connected the coast of Guinea with the contractors of the Iberian Peninsula, Atlantic Islands and, last but not least, with the American markets.

panel P13
From Mediterranean to the oceans: circulation of people and knowledge in the Early Modern Iberian era