The Cape Verde Islands were uninhabited, except perhaps by some Lebou fishermen from Senegal, when first visited by the Portuguese in 1456. During centuries of Portuguese rule the islands were gradually peopled with Portuguese, slaves from Africa, and people of mixed African-European descent who became the majority. While retaining some African culture, the Cape Verdians came to speak Portuguese or the Portuguese-derived Crioulo (Creole) language, and became Catholics.
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