How green was my island
June 07, 2021

Morna - the sound of queens of Cabo Verde

Cesaria Evora

Al Jazeera looks into morna, a Cape Verdean musical practice believed to date back to the 18th century, that was initially performed by women who were brought into the archipelago from West Africa and forced into slavery. These improvised songs were used by “Cantadeiras” (women singers) to speak of day-to-day affairs – often taking on a satirical format. Over time, morna, also known as “música rainha” (“queen music”), underwent several changes to its melodic and rhythmic characteristics, becoming the slower, more mournful version heard today.