In October 2015 I published my first preliminary survey findings based on 23 Cape Verdean AncestryDNA results (see this link). Right now, almost three years later, I have managed to collect a sample group which is four times greater. Consisting of no less than 100 AncestryDNA results of fully Cape Verdean-descended persons! Even though this quadrupled sample size is obviously still limited it will most likely provide a greater insight in the various ways how “Caboverdeanidade” can be described. Genetically speaking that is. And obviously when applying the regional AncestryDNA format, with all its enhanced features as well as its inherent shortcomings 😉
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In this blog post I will discuss the main differences with my previous findings from 2015, which were focused on the African breakdown solely. And in addition I will also present some new statistics and background information on the European and other non-African origins of Cape Verdeans as reported by AncestryDNA. Below an overview of all the topics I will cover:
- Background details of my 100 Cape Verdean survey participants
- To be Cape Verdean is to be mixed?
- Upper Guinean roots = “Senegal” + “Mali”
- Beyond Upper Guinea: valid outcomes or misreading by AncestryDNA?
- European breakdown reflecting mostly Portuguese ancestry?
- “Africa North”, “Middle East”, “European Jewish” and other minor regional scores
- Upcoming update of AncestryDNA’s Ethnicity Estimates
Follow these links for my complete survey data & research methodology:
Table 1 (click to enlarge)
Chart 1 (click to enlarge)
This frequency of regions being ranked #1 (regions with the highest amount in either the African or European breakdown) is perhaps the best indicator of the main ancestral components for my Cape Verdean survey group. However only in an extra pronounced degree. For more nuance see the group averages in the next sections.
Screenshots of individual results (rightclick and open in new tab to enlarge; island origins shown below)
More charts and analysis when you continue reading!
Origins from across Upper Guinea, not just from Guinea Bissau
Map of Upper Guinea, western Mali should also be included for ancestral purposes
Bissau, Cacheu, Cape Verde Slave Census of 1856
REGIONAL ORIGINS (combined)
Total ethnically specified: 1,615
Guinea Bissau’s Coastal Zone: 843 (52% of ethnically specified)
Upper Guinea Interior: 670 (42% of ethnically specified)
Senegal, Guinea & Sierra Leone: 102 (6% of ethnically specified)
TOP 3 ETHNIC ORIGINS (combined)
Mandinga (Upper Guinea) 262 – 16% of ethnically specified
Tilibonca (Upper Guinea) 229 – 14% of ethnically specified
Bijago (Guiné Bissau) 226 – 14% of ethnically specified
Source: Hawthorne (2003)
In the first part of this blogpost i already discussed the main Guinean Bissau origins for Cape Verde according to its 1856 slave census, in this second part i will continue exploring origins outside of Guiné Bissau. When asked about their mainland African roots many Cape Verdeans might assume they only have ancestry coming from Guiné Bissau, this is however not completely true. It’s indeed correct that Guiné Bissau shares a very long and intimate history with Cape Verde. Both countries being ex-Portuguese colonies, united in their independence struggle during the 1970’s. Because of ever increasing English and French encroachment the formal Portuguese influence area within Upper Guinea during the 1600’s was already pretty much confined to modernday Guiné Bissau and Casamance (a region in southern Senegal which only was ceded to the French in 1888 and where a Portuguese-based Creole is still being spoken!).
Cape Verde, an independent country since July 5th 1975!
Cape Verdeans: an indomitable people for more than 500 years!
Cape Verde Slave Census of 1856
Number of slaves 5,182
Creole (i.e. born in Cape Verde) 4,266 (82% of total)
African (mainland) 867 (17% of total)
African specified ethnically 130 (2,5% of total)
TOP 3 BREAKDOWN OF AFRICAN BORN SLAVES
Mandinga (Upper Guinea) 34 – 26% of African specified
Fula (Upper Guinea) 19 – 15% of African specified
Bijago (Guiné Bissau) 18 – 14% of African specified
Source: Carreira (1972)
This post is meant to be introductory as i intend to blog much more in future posts about Cape Verdean ethnic roots on the continent as well as its shared ancestral connections with other Afro-diasporeans in the Americas. In fact i’ve just recently created a separate website (www.cvraiz.com) focusing exclusively on specifying the African Ethnic Origins for Cape Verdeans. Here’s the link for it: