Brava, Cape Verde

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Brava
Bela-vista-net-Brava-map.jpg
Locator map of Brava, Cape Verde.png
Geography
LocationAtlantic Ocean
Coordinates14°52′N 24°42′W / 14.867°N 24.700°W / 14.867; -24.700
Area62.51 km2 (24.14 sq mi)
Length10.5 km (6.52 mi)
Width9.3 km (5.78 mi)
Highest elevation976 m (3,202 ft)
Highest pointMonte Fontainhas
Administration
Cape Verde
MunicipalityBrava
Largest settlementNova Sintra
Demographics
Population5,698 (2015)
Pop. density91.2 /km2 (236.2 /sq mi)

Brava (Portuguese for “wild” or "brave") is an island in Cape Verde, in the Sotavento group. At 62.5 km2 (24.1 sq mi),[1] it is the smallest inhabited island of the Cape Verde archipelago, but at the same time the greenest. First settled in the early 16th century, its population grew after Mount Fogo on neighbouring Fogo erupted in 1680. For more than a century, its main industry was whaling, but the island economy is now primarily agricultural.

History[edit]

Brava was discovered in 1462 by the Portuguese explorer Diogo Afonso.[2]:73 There is no evidence of human presence on the Cape Verde islands before the arrival of the Portuguese. Around 1620 the population of Brava started with the arrival of settlers from Madeira and the Azores.[3] Settlement of Brava took a rise in 1680 when it received many refugees from the nearby larger island of Fogo after its volcano erupted and covered the island with ash.[2]:83–84 Frequent pirate attacks forced the population towards the interior of the island, where the town Nova Sintra was founded around 1700.[3]

Around 1720, the fungus Roccella tinctoria was discovered, which was traded as a textile dye.[3] From the end of the 18th century, whaling ships from North America started hunting whales around the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands. They used the harbours of Brava (Fajã de Água and Furna) to stock up on supplies and drinking water. They hired men from Brava as sailors, and several of these men from Brava settled around the Massachusetts whaling port of New Bedford.[2]:439–440

Geography[edit]

The uninhabited islets Ilhéus Secos or Ilhéus do Rombo with parts of the town of Nova Sintra.

The island of Brava is 10.5 km long (north to south) and its width is 9.3 km.[4]:21 Its area is 62.51 km2 (24.14 sq mi).[1] Practically the whole island is a stratovolcano. It lies in the lee of the enormous Fogo volcano. Volcanic activity on the island has been mainly located along three lines, which all intersect at the crest of ground that forms the highest part of the island.[5] Brava has no documented historical eruptions, but its youthful volcanic morphology and the fact that earthquake swarms still occur indicate the potential for future eruptions; its last eruption was during the Holocene era. 13% of the island area is forested.[4]:25

North of Brava are several uninhabited islets; the largest ones are Ilhéu de Cima and Ilhéu Grande. Monte Fontainhas is the highest point on the island, reaching 976 metres elevation.[6]:25

Climate[edit]

Being highly mountainous this island has a quite diverse climate. Brava island has moderate tropical climate (As according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification system) along the coast and semi-arid mild tropical climate Bsh with very balanced temperatures year round in the interior. The average annual temperature on the coast is about 23–25 °C (73–77 °F), decreasing to some 17–20 °C (63–68 °F) in the mountains. There can be remarkably cool weather with warmer wet season starting in June and ending in November with colder dry season starting in December and ending in May.

Climate data for Cachaço, south of Nova Sintra, 800 metres ASL
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18.7
(65.7)
18.6
(65.5)
19.4
(66.9)
19.8
(67.6)
20.4
(68.7)
21.0
(69.8)
22.2
(72.0)
23.1
(73.6)
23.3
(73.9)
22.6
(72.7)
21.7
(71.1)
19.6
(67.3)
20.9
(69.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.2
(61.2)
16.1
(61.0)
16.6
(61.9)
16.9
(62.4)
17.6
(63.7)
18.4
(65.1)
19.4
(66.9)
20.5
(68.9)
20.8
(69.4)
20.4
(68.7)
19.1
(66.4)
17.4
(63.3)
18.3
(64.9)
Average low °C (°F) 13.8
(56.8)
13.6
(56.5)
13.8
(56.8)
14.1
(57.4)
14.9
(58.8)
15.8
(60.4)
16.7
(62.1)
17.9
(64.2)
18.4
(65.1)
18.2
(64.8)
16.5
(61.7)
15.2
(59.4)
16.9
(62.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 11
(0.4)
5
(0.2)
1
(0.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
17
(0.7)
83
(3.3)
123
(4.8)
53
(2.1)
33
(1.3)
20
(0.8)
346
(13.6)
Source: climate-data.org[7]

Municipality[edit]

Administratively, the island of Brava is covered by one municipality, Concelho da Brava. This municipality consists of two freguesias (civil parishes): São João Baptista and Nossa Senhora do Monte. The municipal seat is the city Nova Sintra.

Politics[edit]

Since 2012, the Movement for Democracy (MpD) is the ruling party of the municipality, and its president is Orlando da Luz Vieira Balla. The results of the latest elections, in 2016:[8]

Party Municipal Council Municipal Assembly
Votes% Seats Votes% Seats
MpD 58.99 5 57.55 8
PAICV 39.17 0 40.48 5

Population[edit]

Nova Sintra

The island's main town is Nova Sintra. The island's two parishes São João Baptista and Nossa Senhora do Monte are subdivided into 16 population zones for statistical purposes:[9]

Demographics[edit]

In the 1830s, the population was estimated at 8,000.[10]

Population of Brava (1940—2015)
Year Population
1940[11]
8,528
1950[11]
7,937
1960[11]
8,625
1970[11]
7,756
1980[11]
6,985
1990[11]
6,975
2000[11]
6,820
2010[1]
5,995
2015[6]:36
5,698

Economy[edit]

The economy of the island is mainly based on (irrigated) agriculture and fishing. Main agricultural goods include coffee, potatoes including sweet potatoes, corn (maize), banana and sugar cane.[5]

Attractions[edit]

A monument to Eugênio Tavares

Sports[edit]

There are several football clubs on Boa Vista, organised in the Brava Regional Football Association.

Infrastructure[edit]

"Aluguer" bus in the village Nossa Senhora do Monte.

The Esperadinha Airport, inaugurated in 1992, was closed in 2004 because of persisting strong winds. The village of Furna has a commercial port, the other port is Fajã de Água which is only used for fishing. Ferries to the islands of Fogo and Santiago depart from Furna. On Brava the villages may be reached by "Aluguer" bus. There is no fixed schedule, as the aluguers travel only when there are sufficient passengers. A few taxis are available as well.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Eugénio Tavares, musician; he used the traditional morna and wrote in Cape Verdean Creole. A statue dedicated to Eugénio Tavares is in the main square of Vila Nova Sintra, surrounded by a garden with trees, sunflowers, flowers, grass and other types of plants.
  • Vinny deMacedo - Massachusetts State Representative & State Senate candidate was born in Brava.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 2010 Census Summary
  2. ^ a b c Valor simbólico do centro histórico da Praia, Lourenço Conceição Gomes, Universidade Portucalense, 2008, p. 97
  3. ^ a b c Centre historique de Nova Sintra, UNESCO (in French)
  4. ^ a b Estatísticas do Ambiente - 2016, Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  5. ^ a b "Brava – sua situação geográfica" [Brava, its Geographic Location]. A Semana (in Portuguese). 31 March 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Cabo Verde, Statistical Yearbook 2015, Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  7. ^ "Climate Cachaço". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  8. ^ Official results local elections 2016, Boletim Oficial I Série, Número 53, 23 September 2016
  9. ^ "2010 Census results Brava". Instituto Nacional de Estatística Cabo Verde (in Portuguese). 24 November 2016.
  10. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 14.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Source: Statoids

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]