MORABEZA PEOPLE [Cabo Verde]
The legend says that when God was about to finish his task of creating the world, he shook his hands to clean some dust particles. It seems that ten of these small grains of dust landed off the Western Coast of Africa, and turned into ten beautiful islands. This archipelago is Cabo Verde, where the music diva Cesária Évora was born. We are at her birthday island, São Vicente...
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images by ©Miguel Pinheiro
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Local fishermen prepare for another day's work. Most of the resources from S. Vicente come from the sea. Overfishing in these waters, by greater economic powers such as the EU, are a menace to the ecosystem balance!
Young adults deal with the high unemployment rate by trying to do some positive stuff on the beach. There not many choices if you live on a island, and sometimes trying hard is just not enough... As one of them told me, "Here we are, lost somewhere in the middle of the ocean, and still everyday we wake with the urge to make life a damn good one... Man, i tell you, we're groovy!"
These 3 are street kids. They were one of the most surprising encounters I had. It is not such a big deal to be a street kid here, if you're born in the outskirts, if you've a family that has weak bonds (due to social or economic issues, or because they had to move abroad to find a better life), you may find yourself with an alternative way of life. They loved it... Here they just picked up some stuff in the streets and they are stripping the metal of in order to sell it to a local scrap dealer.
A local glimpse of São Vicente.
The ever-growing outskirts are a complex puzzle at first, but make total logic once one gets inside. The communities don't have many resources, so they start of by making a tin-house, like the blue one in the background, and little by little they managed to build a brick-house. The house get as big as it needs to get, this is, depending on the amount of relatives that decide to live together at a given time. It is bad urban planning for mobility, but it clearly shows the strong bonds and the generosity between the islanders.
Local workshops still produce handcrafted materials. The image shows a bunch of very focussed carpenters, the one with a mask is Moisés, he's also an amateur theatre actor. He confessed that at the time IKEA was arriving at the island and they were afraid of unfair competition due to cheaper prices... and we all know what he meant!
You wouldn't believe, but these folks here are able to balance pretty much anything on their heads, from big bottles of water to piles of bricks!