The Museum is open for the Season
The museum has been opened for the season since Thursday, March 9, 2017 at our regular operating hours. You may visit on Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm to 5pm and on the 1st Saturday of the month from 12pm to 4pm.
We love it when you call to say you wish to visit the museum. We can arrange an appointment for you and your family, friends or group.
Should you visit the museum during our hours of operation and do not find us there, please call Denise Oliveira at (401) 265-8936 or Yvonne Smart at (401) 274-7852 and we will arrange an appointment with you for your visit.
The museum is operated by four volunteers from our Board of Directors. As such, occasionally we are unable to open on the date of operation. By calling, we confirm an appointment with you for your visit.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you.
The Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization staffed entirely by volunteers. We exist and thrive due to the generous support of the many wonderful people who have given us donations small and large. Please consider making a tax-deductible financial donation to the museum today. You can mail your contribution to us or contact us, to make arrangements.
The Cape Verdean Museum and The East Providence Weaver Library
“Culture in the Afternoon”
Preserving our History and Independence
Tarde Cultural at the Weaver Library
Tarde Cultural, an Afternoon of Culture was held at the Weaver Library in East Providence by the Cape Verdean Museum on February 11, 2017.
In spite of the weather the past two days and also that morning, in attendance were 37 people, including a couple from Connecticut and another couple from Newport, Rhode Island.
A documentary film was shown about Amilcar Cabral. An exhibit from the museum was displayed and Cape Verdean appetizers, Pastels and Gofungos were served.
Support The Cape Verdean Museum buy a T-Shirt
Our new museum T-shirts have arrived! Both feature Amilcar Cabral picture in the front and a meaningful quote on the back. These T-shirts sell for $20.00 each. Or Two for $35.00!
The Cape Verdean Museum presents...
In celebration of International Children’s Day, the Cape Verdean Museum will host a program for children with storytellers, Sylvia Ann Soares and Yvonne Smart on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 1 pm to 2 pm.
Sylvia Ann and Yvonne will take you on an imaginary trip to the Cape Verde Islands with the telling of traditional Cape Verdean folktales and utilizing artifacts from the museum’s collection.
A lucky child will win a Cape Verdean storybook. All children will take home bi-lingual color picture booklets on the Cape Verde Islands.
For further information call the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit at 401-228-7292 or Yvonne Smart at 401-274-7852.
Blackstone Academy visits the Cape Verdean Museum
Ms. Christina Lee’s DiverCities Class from Blackstone Academy Charter School of Pawtucket, grades 9th – 12th visited the Cape Verdean Museum on Thursday, March 30, 2017.
The students of DiverCities explore various diverse communities in the area tackling issues surrounding diversity in society. The students were very well prepared for the visit.
Loff Carousel Festival 2016
Donations from the Republic of Cape Verde!
In recent visits to the Cape Verdean Museum, two visitors from the Republic of Cape Verde made donations to the museum.
On November 10, 2016, Jose J. Cabral, Director of the Municipal Office of Local Development for the Municipality of Tarrafal on the island of Sao Nicolau and an author, visited the museum and donated his recently published novel, Caminho(s) Que Trilharam.
On November 15th, Mr. Abraao Vincente, Cape Verde Minister of Culture, on an official visit presented the museum with Album Cartographico de Cabo Verde, an album of significant historical maps of the islands.
The books were added to the museum’s Reading Room Collection.
Cape Verdean Museum Golf Classic held on Monday, June 13, 2016 at Crestwood Country Club in Rehoboth, MA
What’s New at the Museum…..
In Celebration of our Cape Verdean Independence, July 5th, 41 years, the Cape Verdean Museum has an exhibit at the East Providence City Hall for the month of July
Cape Verdean Independence Day July 5th - 41 years!
Cape Verdeans Women Take Pride in their Artwork.
Cape Verdeans in Sports 2016
Exhibit at East Providence, RI City Hall 2016.
Jorge Carlos Fonseca, Cape Verde President visits the
Cape Verdean Museum.
David Alpert of West Newton, Massachusetts
donated a copy of his Thesis, “Beyond Sodadi and Morabenza”
Jason Pina of North Providence, Rhode Island
donated trophies and certificates from the estate of his father Bernard T. “Slick” Pina.
BERNARD T. "SLICK" PINA, a three-sport standout in football, basketball, and track, was known for his exceptional speed, thus his nickname. He was the first black athlete to play basketball at Kingston and a successful schoolboy coach, teacher and administrator as Director of Athletics and football and basketball coach at North Providence High School and basketball in East Providence. He coached in Lincoln and Cranston and Warwick. Very active in civic and cultural organizations, he is a member of the Providence Gridiron Club Hall of Fame. He became the first black head high school coach in the state when he coached at St. Ray’s in the 1960s. In 2012 he was inducted into the Interscholastic League Hall of Fame.
Diane and Russell Sequeira Stratford and Milford, Connecticut
donated books, music and pictures from the estate of their mother, Antonia Ignacia Ramalho Sequeira.
Antonia Ignacia Ramalho Sequeira will be remembered as a tireless ambassadress for Cape Verdean culture; as a tradition bearer herself – someone who lived a life of deep Cape Verdean-American identity; and as a woman of grace and love. Her contributions will live on and nourish her people and our world forever.
Edilson Nunes of East Providence, Rhode Island
donated reproductions of documents from Cape Verde.
Amanda Raneo Chilaka of Brookline, Massachusetts
donated a copy of her book, “Early Cape Verdean & Portuguese Genealogy of Harwich, MA."
We are thankful to the Late, Ray Almeida for the important photographs and documents from his archives that were sent to the museum this year. Ray Almeida was, among other things, an historian, author, political activist and holder of the Ordem Amilcar Cabral. He was the founding director of Tchuba-The American Committee for Cape Verde.
Coins Donated to the Cape Verdean Museum
Ivan Omar Almeida Tinel, a reporter for the Cape Verdean publication Fotgrafico was on the beach in Laginha, Brava during the construction of a new wharf for the island. He spotted a man with some pretty shells in his hand and asked the man where he had found the shells. The man pointed to an area behind the wharf where they were preparing to pour sand. Tinel decided to try his luck in finding some shells. In addition to the shells he was looking for he found two coins that had probably been uncovered by the workmen. The coins were a British copper coin dated 1909 and a coin of the Republic of Portugal dated 1881.
The coins are testament to the activity of foreign ships at the port of Furna. Mr. Tinel gave the two coins to Denise Oliviera for the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit.
Carved Artistic Rendering of the Cape Verdean Archipelago
Mr. Cesar Andrade, a carpenter at EVA, LDA, the Oficina De Carpintaria E Mercenaria in Sao Vicente, Cabo Verde crafted the carved artistic rendering of the Cape Verdean archipelago. The island of Sao Vicente is well known for its talented Craftsmen who work in wood, creating fine articles from art pieces such as this one to large furniture. The carvings were purchased by the museum.
Pipe Set Donated to the Cape Verdean Museum
Mr. Julio Gomes of Brocton, Massachusetts responded to an article which appeared on-line profiling the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit and its President Denise Oliviera by making an important donation to the museum.
His uncle Mestre Pulu, who passed away in the 1980’s, was a wood sculptor who specialized in the making of smoking pipes. The pipes were so well made that the late Cape Verdean President Aristedes Pereira offered Mestre Pulu’s pipes to heads of state of the countries he visited as gifts of friendship.
Mr. Gomes offered seven hand crafted pipes of varying designs in a presentation box also made by Mestre Pulu to the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit. The box has a carving on the lid of Sao Vicente harbor. The set had been given to the donor by his uncle. Mr. Gomes also gave the museum 2 pictures of the pipe maker, one in his work space with his tools.
Cape Verdean Sub-Committee Presents CVME With Plaque
The staff of the museum were very pleased to be acknowledged for their efforts by the Cape Verdean Sub-Committee of Rhode Islandrecently.
The plaque’s inscription reads: "In recognition of the grassroots efforts to educate and promote the Cape Verdean history and culture in Rhode Island through artifacts, words and pictures. We thank you! July 5th, 2009."
This has been an eventful summer for the museum. In addition to hosting visitors from around the world, we have received some wonderful donations from the Cape Verdean-American community. Ramona Ramos, who was inducted in our Hall of Fame, donated a tortoruga, a loggerhead turtle (in Latin: Caretta Caretta) from the island of São Vicente (above). These creatures are now endangered and cannot be exported. This specimen was brought to the US before the ban.
Cecelia Court Glover gave us some fascinating documents connected to her research into her family’s history as owners of the Providence-based packet ship, the August W. Snow. They are part of the Manuel M. Court (born Manuel Marques do Couto) collection donated by his daughter Cecelia on behalf of the family.
Another gift that we were excited to add to our collection is a set of photographs from Mrs. Marie Azevedo, widow of jazz musician George Azevedo. Her gift augments the saxophone presented to us by the The Rhythm and Blues Preservation Society of Rhode Island (see below).
Remember, if you are interested in preserving Cape Verdean history for the community, we welcome your donations. Even items that might seem small and overlooked- from old passports to Fox Point photographs- could give museum visitors and scholars a unique perspective on our history. Email us today if you have something you’d like to share.
Cape Verde’s First World Heritage Site
Cidade Velha on the island of Santiago has been named a World Heritage Site for its “outstanding universal value” by the UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In its announcement, the agency stated that the historic center, “bears testimony to the history of Europe's colonial presence in Africa and to the history of slavery.”
Cidade Velha (or Ribeira Grande as it was first known) made up one of the largest Atlantic slave trading outposts in the 15th and 16th centuries. Men and women captured by the Portuguese in Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone were imprisoned here in a long valley, seen in the 1755 engraving to the right. Often, they were taught Christianity before being shipped out to work the plantations in Brazil and the Caribbean.
This important history is represented by a number of items currently on display at the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit. One piece is a pano, a traditional cloth from the island of Santiago once used as "slave trade money," presented to us in 2008 by RCV President Pedro Pires. Other artifacts include a copper armlet, made by the Portuguese to be exchanged for slaves (above left) and a clay replica of the town’s infamous pelourinho, the whipping post. Engravings, such as the one below by Theodore de Bry and dating from 1602, chart the early history of this port and the British consular reports of the 1800s in the museum’s library provide a rare look at later efforts to end human trafficking in West Africa.
Recent Visits and an Elephant Tusk
Volunteers from the museum held workshops at Vartan Gregorian School on the history of Cape Verdeans in Fox Point for six classes and education coordinator Yvonne Smart was interviewed. The students put together an exhibit and play about the history of their neighborhood. We also had a youth group from Brockton, MA and a class from the Blackstone Academy in Pawtucket come to see the new additions to the museum this Spring. In early June, Presidente di Camera of São Nicolau made a surpise visit. If you’re interested in bringing your school group, please contact our education coordinator.
In other news, we have received a fascinating 250-year old elephant tusk recovered from the ocean floor around the island of Maio. The tusk, riddled with holes made by decay and sea life, is from the English ship, Princess Louisa which wrecked on a reef off Maio in 1743. It was recovered by explorers from Arqueonautas Worldwide between 1998 and 2000 and donated to us by them. It joins several other artifacts donated to us by Arqueonautas .
Rhythm & News: Our 100th Donor!
The Rhythm and Blues Preservation Society of Rhode Island became the 100th donor to the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit with the gift of a saxophone and other memorabilia belonging to the late musician George Azevedo. Members of the Rhythm and Blues Preservation Society along with Mrs. Marie Azevedo made the presentation to Denise Oliveira, President of the Board of Directors at the museum on April 23rd.
George Azevedo along with his cousin Paul Gonsalves began his career in the 1940s by playing in a small combo that played jazz and rhythm and blues in the Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts area.
Earlier in his career George toured for long stints on the road in the USA and Canada with the Charlie Lewis Band. After marrying his wife Marie in 1951, he stayed closer to home playing locally, working with a number of jump, blues, swing and R & B bands. They included The Clarence “Bubbie” McKay Band, The Duke Oliver Band, The Skyliners, The Nate Robinson Orchestra, The Professor Coates and The Dynamics R & B group. He also jammed with the local saxophonists Joe Livramento and Art Pelosi and Newport Jazz Festival producer and pianist George Wein.
George Azevedo played with many great musicians when they were in the Boston area or playing at the Celebrity Club in Providence. Some of them were Dizzy Gillespie, trumpeter Hot Lips Page, Lionel Hampton, Roy Eldridge, Count Basie and vocalists Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughn and Carmen Mac Rae.
It is said that George Azevedo was a “regular guy” who was comfortable playing with any group, low society, high society or following his roots in local Cape Verdean clubs.
Pictured is Meredith Kastberg standing in front of George Azevedo’s saxophone. Meredith is 11 years old and the Great niece of George Azevedo. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland and travels to Rhode Island several times a year to visit her grandfather, Glen Azevedo, brother of George.
Meredith began playing the saxophone last summer and was excited to learn of her Uncle’s musical history and the common interest they shared. She has always been interested to learn of her Cape Verdean heritage and was very excited to visit the museum and see the exhibit of her Uncle. Meredith’s mother, Kathy is George’s niece and plans to bring Meredith and her brother Jack, to visit the museum again.
The Boston Globe Reviews the Museum
"The history of that back-and-forth rhythm is traced eloquently in the meticulous displays of the Cape Verdean Museum in East Providence”
Reporter James F. Smith of the Boston Globe came to see us recently and wrote three important articles about Cape Verdeans in New England. The latest one, “A calf sent from Boston allows generations to live in N.E.” focuses on the museum. Read it by clicking here.
"Cape Verde, rising, with emigres' help," The Boston Globe, April 26, 2009.
French photographer and anthropologist Viviane Lièvre has donated several beautiful color photos of Cape Verde that she took while researching music on the islands for her book, Cap-Vert, un voyage musical dans l'archipel. We are grateful for her kind donation and these photos are currently on view at the museum.
We have also received two impressive works donated by the Gonsalves Family and artist Richmond Jones from the 2008 show, A Life in Stone: the Cape Verdean Stonemasonry Tradition in Eastern Connecticut. The works, not yet on display, compliment four other photographs that the museum owns from the same show.
Cape Verdean Documentary Films
Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican, A Cape Verdean American Story, a documentary film made by Dr. Claire Andrade Watkins is for sale at the museum for $20 US. A portion of the proceeds from these dvds will benefit the Cape Verdean Museum Exhibit.
Watch the trailer.