CAPE VERDE (verd) ISLANDS. These islands, form ing a Portuguese colony, lie in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, 320 miles west of Cape Verde, from which they are named. The group consists of ten islands and several rocky islets, the total area being 1,480 square miles. They are all of volcanic origin, and one of them, Fogo, is a volcano about 10,000 feet high, which is still active at times.
The climate is hot and unhealthful; and droughts have often occurred, causing famine and great loss of life. Sugar, coffee, rice, tobacco, and millet are pro duced, as well as bananas, lemons, oranges, citrons, grapes, and nuts. Goats, horses, and asses thrive.
The inhabitants are chiefly colored, less than one twentieth being white. The people are lazy, and slavery, which existed until 1876, has left its mark on them. The religion is Roman Catholicism, though the old pagan beliefs have not yet entirely died out.
Praia, situated on Sao Thiago (Santiago), the largest and most populous of the islands, is the capital of the group, and residence of the governor-general.
Porto Grande, on the island of Sao Vicente (St. Vin cent), is a coaling-station for steamers and the com mercial center of the islands. Most of the business at this port is in English hands.
The Cape Verde Islands were discovered in 1441 by the Portuguese, who have held them ever since.
Total population of the group, about 150,000.