The Atlantic Creole (Origins)
Established in 1492 by the Portuguese, Elmina , in West Africa a trading post with a population of between 15000 and 20,000 was the largest of some three dozen outpost in the region. The People both long term residents and Foreigners soon begin to mix geographically and genetically ..
European men took wives among the African and before long children were born of these unions. Elmina sprouted a substantial array of Euro/Africans mostly of Portuguese and African Descent..These Men and Women of mixed birth , Whos swarthy skin, European demeaner gave them an insiders knowledge of both African and European Culture but were denied acceptance into either Culture..
These People of Mixed Race ancestory were equally sneered by both African and European alike..When they adopted African ways and African dress Europeans declared them outcast.
.When they adopted European ways, wore European clothes and crucifixes, employed European names and comported themselves in the manner of White Men Africans denied them the right to hold land and inherit property..(Tangosmaos commonly called by the Portuguese)..Non the less both African and Eurpoeans alike both conceded that these Creoles were shrewed traders with a mastery of intercultural negotiations and found advantage in dealing with them
Atlantic Creoles were not the only product of the coming together of the African and European Race..People of West african descent could be found along the entire Atlantic Coast.. By the mid 16th centuary the number of Creoles swelled as the the slave trade prospered and by the mid 16th centuary over 10,000 Black People resided in Lisbon Potrugal alone, where they composed ten percent of the cities population.Seville Spain had a Mulatto and Black population of over 6000.As centers of Iberian slave trade these cities distributes slaves throughout Europe
Multi Racial Moors accompanied De Soto on his Discoveries in the New World ...Click on photo to enlarge.You can see the Multi Racial moor on the very top left hand corner
..Some of these slaves escaped bondage and took there place among the atlantic Creoles..As Europeans expanded there reach across the Atlantic, Creole People of African Descent migfrated with them., some willing some not...
Men of Color drawn from Creole Communities of Europe accompanied Columbus to the Americas , Cortes, De Soto, and Pizarro and marched with Balboa
..Whever they went the Atlantic Creoles extended the use of the destinctive language of the Atlantic Creole and planted their institutions of the Creole Community ..
With the settlement of the Americas the Creole Community begun to appear on the Western side of the Atlantic..To be sure the Creole Communities of Bridge town, Cap Francais, Havana, Mexico City and San Salvadfor differed from those of Elmina and Seville , as almost all people of color in the New World were slaves but they shared many of the same characteristics of their counterparts in the Old World..., exhibiting the same cosmopolitian qualities..
They too were intimate with the Language of the Atlantic areas and understood something of it's Religion,Trading conventions and judicial systems..By the middle of the 17th Centuary they too began to take their place as cultural brokers on the Western side of the atlantic,The New World