In 1462, the first African slaves were settled on the island of Cape Verde brought by the Portuguese colony. It is supposed that they were the first inhabitants of the archipelagos. They carried with them the rhythms and the seeds of what became the Batuque: a music form, performed mostly by women, both singers and dancers. The singers repeat very strong lyrics, sitting in a circle and beating the rhythm with their hands on a piece of cloth between their legs, while one woman performs a sensual dance with her hips in the middle of the circle. During the colonial era, it has been strongly forbidden but it remained alive in clandestinely. The group Raiz de Tambarina, one of the oldest groups of Batuque on Santiago Island, is composed of ordinary people, saleswomen, fish merchants, drivers… Through their everyday life and performances we discover Cape Verde today and their passion for the Batuque.

Year of Release



52 minutes


Betacam, Color


Julio Silvao Tavares

JúJlio Silvão Tavares (Born 1959 in Cape Verde) specialist of cape-verdean traditional culture 1979, he creates a Group of Experimental Theatre (TERM 1993 – 1997: Producer & director of the cultural Programme DRAGOEIRO broadcasted on TCV – Televisão de Cabo Verde. 1994 – 1996: director of the cultural Programme ARTICULTURA RCV – Rádio de Cabo Verde. 1999: Producer of the film O DESAFIO 2006: Director of the film BATUQUE.