Spanish Guinea

Last updated
Province of the Gulf of Guinea

Provincia del Golfo de Guinea  (Spanish)
1778–1968
Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg
Flag
Coat of Arms of the Portuguese and Spanish Guinea.svg
Coat of arms
LocationEquatorialGuinea.svg
Location of Spanish Guinea in central Africa.
StatusProvince, colony
Capital Santa Isabel (now Malabo)
Common languages Spanish
Head of State  
 1778–1788
King Carlos III (first)
 1936–1968
Caudillo Francisco Franco (last)
Governor  
 1964 (last)
Pedro Latorre Alcubierre
Commissioner-General  
 19641966 (first)
Pedro Latorre Alcubierre
 19661968 (last)
Víctor Suances Díaz del Río
History 
 Established
11 March 1778
12 October 1968
Currency Spanish peseta
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Bioko
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Elobey, Annobón and Corisco
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Río Muni
Equatorial Guinea Flag of Equatorial Guinea (without coat of arms).svg
Today part ofFlag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Equatorial Guinea
Coat of arms of the Portuguese and Spanish Guinea. Coat of Arms of the Portuguese and Spanish Guinea.svg
Coat of arms of the Portuguese and Spanish Guinea.
Coat of arms of the Spanish Rio Muni colony. Coat of Arms of the Spanish Province of Rio Muni.svg
Coat of arms of the Spanish Río Muni colony.

Spanish Guinea (Spanish: Guinea Española) was a set of insular and continental territories controlled by Spain since 1778 in the Gulf of Guinea and on the Bight of Bonny, in Central Africa. It gained independence in 1968 and is known as Equatorial Guinea.

Contents

History

18th—19th centuries

The Spanish colony in the Guinea region was established in 1778, by the Treaty of El Pardo between the Spanish Empire and the Kingdom of Portugal. Between 1778 and 1810, Spain administered the territory of Equatorial Guinea via its colonial Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, based in Buenos Aires (in present-day Argentina).

From 1827 to 1843, the United Kingdom had a base on Bioko to combat the continuing Atlantic slave trade conducted by Spain and illegal traders. [1] Based on an agreement with Spain in 1843, Britain moved its base to its own colony of Sierra Leone in West Africa. In 1844, on restoration of Spanish sovereignty, it became known as the "Territorios Españoles del Golfo de Guinea".

20th century

Spain had never undertaken colonial settlement of the large area in the Bight of Biafra to which it had treaty rights. The French expanded their occupation at the expense of the area claimed by Spain. By the treaty of Paris in 1900, Spain was left with the continental enclave of Río Muni, 26,000 km2 of the 300,000 stretching east to the Ubangi river, which the Spaniards had previously claimed. [2]

Agricultural economy

Toward the end of the 19th century Spanish, Portuguese, German and Fernandino planters started developing large cacao plantations on the island of Fernando Po. [3] With the indigenous Bubi population decimated by disease and forced labour, the island's economy came to depend on imported agricultural contract workers.

A labour treaty was signed with the Republic of Liberia in 1914; the transport of up to 15,000 workers by sea was orchestrated by the German Woermann-Linie, the major shipping company. [4] In 1930 an International Labour Organization (ILO) commission discovered that Liberian contract workers had ‘‘been recruited under conditions of criminal compulsion scarcely distinguishable from slave raiding and slave trading’’. [5] The government prohibited recruiting of Liberian workers for Spanish Guinea.

The persisting labour shortage in the cacao, coffee and logging industries led to a booming trade in illegal canoe-based smuggling of Igbo and Ibibio workers from the Eastern Provinces of Nigeria. The number of clandestine contract workers on the island of Fernando Po grew to 20,000 in 1942. [6] A labour treaty was signed with the British Crown in the same year. This led to a continuous stream of Nigerian workers going to Spanish Guinea. By 1968 at the time of independence, almost 100,000 ethnic Nigerians were living and working in Spanish Guinea. [7]

Colony of Spanish Guinea

Between 1926 and 1959, the Crown united Bioko and Río Muni as the "colony of Spanish Guinea". The economy was based on the exploitation of the commodity crops of cacao and coffee, produced at large plantations, in addition to logging concessions. Owners of these companies hired mostly immigrant contract labour from Liberia, Nigeria, and Cameroon. [6] Spain mounted military campaigns in the 1920s to subdue the indigenous Fang people, as Liberia was trying to reduce recruiting of its workers. The Crown established garrisons of the Colonial Guard throughout the enclave by 1926, and the whole colony was considered 'pacified' by 1929. [8]

Río Muni had a small population, officially put at a little over 100,000 in the 1930s. Its people could easily escape over the borders into Cameroon or Gabon. Moreover, the timber companies needed growing amounts of labour, and the spread of coffee cultivation offered an alternative means of paying taxes.

The island of Fernando Po continued to suffer from labour shortages. The French only briefly permitted recruitment in Cameroon. Planters began to recruit Igbo laborers, who were smuggled in canoes from Calabar, Nigeria. Fernando Po was developed after the Second World War as one of Africa's most productive agricultural areas. [2]

Decolonisation

The post-war political history of Spanish Guinea had three fairly distinct phases. From 1946 to 1959, it had the status of a "province", having been raised from "colony", after the Portuguese Empire made overtures to take it over. From 1960 to 1968, Spain tried a system of partial decolonisation to keep the province within the Spanish territorial system, which failed due to continued anti-colonial activity by Guineans. On 12 October 1968, Spain conceded the independence of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Francisco Macías Nguema was elected as president. [9]

Colonial demographics

The population of the Colony of Spanish Guinea was stratified (before slavery was abolished). The system was somewhat similar to the one operating in the French, English and Portuguese colonies in the rest of Africa: [10]

  1. PeninsularesWhite Spanish population, whose immigration was regulated by the Spanish government.
  2. EmancipadosBlack African population, assimilated into the Peninsulares' culture via Spanish Catholic educations. Some were descended from freed Cuban slaves, repatriated to Africa after emancipation and abolition of slavery by the Spanish Royal Orders of 13 September 1845 (voluntary), and of 20 June 1861 (deported). The latter group included mestizos (indigenous-European) and mulattoes (African-European), mixed-race descendants who had been acknowledged by a white Peninsular father. [11]
  3. FernandinosCreole peoples, multi-ethnic or multi-race populations, often speaking the local Pidgin English of Spanish Guinea's island of Fernando Po (now known as Bioko).
  4. "Individuals of colour" under patronage — included the majority of the indigenous Black African people, and those mestizos−mulattoes who were not acknowledged by white fathers and were being deported from the Americas. Of the indigenous ethnic groups in Guinea, most were Bubi and Bantu peoples such as the Fang of Rio Muni.
  5. Others — primarily Nigerian, Cameroonian, Han Chinese, and Indian peoples who were hired as contract laborers under types of indentures.

See also

Related Research Articles

Equatorial Guinea Small country in West Africa

Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, is a country located on the west coast of Central Africa, with an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name evokes its location near both the Equator and the Gulf of Guinea. Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign African state in which Spanish is an official language. As of 2015, the country had an estimated population of 1,222,245.

History of Equatorial Guinea aspect of history

The History of Equatorial Guinea is marked by centuries of colonial domination by the Portuguese, British and Spanish empires, and by the local kingdoms.

Geography of Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is located in west central Africa. Bioko Island lies about 40 kilometers (24.9 mi) from Cameroon. Annobón Island lies about 595 kilometres (370 mi) southwest of Bioko Island. The larger continental region of Rio Muni lies between Cameroon and Gabon on the mainland; it includes the islands of Corisco, Elobey Grande, Elobey Chico, and adjacent islets. The total land area is 28,051 km2 (10,831 sq mi). It has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 303,509 km2 (117,185 sq mi).

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Equatorial Guinea, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Malabo Capital of Equatorial Guinea

Malabo is the capital of Equatorial Guinea and the province of Bioko Norte. It is located on the north coast of the island of Bioko, formerly known by the Bubis, its indigenous inhabitants, as Etulá, and as Fernando Pó by the Europeans. In 2018, the city had a population of approximately 297,000 inhabitants.

Río Muni mainland geographical region of Equatorial Guinea

Río Muni is the Continental Region of Equatorial Guinea, and comprises the mainland geographical region, covering 26,017 km². The name is derived from the Muni River.

Culture of Equatorial Guinea

While lying on the enriched continent of Africa, Equatorial Guinea has proved to be entrenched in ancient rituals and songs. This is especially true for the Fang, a people whose territories begin at the southern edge of Cameroon south of Kribi, Djoum, and Mvangan in the South Province and continue south across the border, including all of Rio Muni in Equatorial Guinea, and from there south into Gabon and Congo. The capital island of Bioko has largely been influenced by Spanish customs and traditions during the colonial period, when education and health services were developed in the country.

Bight of Biafra bay off the coast of Africa

The Bight of Biafra is a bight off the West African coast, in the easternmost part of the Gulf of Guinea.

Bubi people ethnic group in Equatorial Guinea

The Bubi people are a Bantu ethnic group of Central Africa who are indigenous to Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Once the majority group in the region, the population experienced a sharp decline due to war and disease during Portuguese expeditions. By the end of Spanish colonial rule in the mid 20th century, and after substantial intermarriage with newly introduced populations, such as Afro-Cubans, Krio people, Portuguese people and Spaniards, the Bubi people, again, experienced a great decline in number. Seventy-five percent perished due to tribal/clan rooted political genocide during a civil war that led to Spanish Guinea's independence from Spain. This, too, sparked mass exodus from their homeland with most of the exiles and refugees immigrating into Spain. The indigenous Bubi of Bioko Island have since co-existed with non-indigenous Krio Fernandinos; and members of the Fang ethnic group, who have immigrated in large numbers from Río Muni. Once numbering approximately 3 million, the Bubi currently number around 100,000 worldwide.

Fernão do Pó, also known as Fernão Pó, Fernando Pó or Fernando Poo, was a 15th-century Portuguese navigator and explorer of the West African coast. He was the first European to see the islands in the Gulf of Guinea around 1472, one of which until the mid-1900s bore a version of his name, Fernando Pó or Fernando Poo. The island is now named Bioko and is part of Equatorial Guinea. His name had also been given to several other places in nearby Cameroon; the village of Fernando Pó, Portugal; and the village of Fernando Pó, Sierra Leone.

Fernandinos are creoles, multi-ethnic or multi-racial populations who developed in Equatorial Guinea and the former Spanish Guinea. Their name is derived from the island of Fernando Pó, where many worked. This island was named for the Portuguese explorer Fernão do Pó, credited with discovering the region.

The Lower Guinean forests is region of coastal tropical moist broadleaf forest in West Africa, extending along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea from eastern Benin through Nigeria and Cameroon.

Ibrahim K. Sundiata is an American scholar of West African and African-American history. He received his undergraduate education at Ohio Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. (1972) at Northwestern University, where he studied under Ivor Wilks. He is currently the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African-American Studies at Brandeis University.

Pico Basilé mountain

Pico Basilé, located on the island of Bioko, is the tallest mountain of Equatorial Guinea. With an altitude of 9,878 ft, it is the summit of the largest and highest of three overlapping basaltic shield volcanoes which form the island. From the summit, Mt. Cameroon can be seen to the northeast. Pico Basilé lies close to the city of Malabo. The very top is used as a broadcast transmitting station for RTVGE and microwave relay station for various communication networks.

Equatoguinean Spanish

Equatoguinean Spanish is the variety of Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea. This is the only Spanish variety that holds national official status in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is regulated by the Equatoguinean Academy of the Spanish Language and is spoken by about 90% of the population, estimated at 1,170,308 for the year 2010, all of them second-language speakers.

Insular Region (Equatorial Guinea) Equatorial Guinea

The Insular Region of Equatorial Guinea comprises the former Spanish territory of Fernando Po, together with Annobón island, the latter formerly part of the Spanish territory of Elobey, Annobón and Corisco, which was located in the Gulf of Guinea and in the Corisco Bay.

Edward Emilio Barleycorn (1891–1978) was a member of one of the prominent Fernandino families of Spanish Guinea. In 1928, at the age of 39, he negotiated a labor contract between African farmers of Santa Isabel and the Spanish leaders of Fernando Po (Bioko).

<i>Mimeresia libentina</i> species of insect

Mimeresia libentina, the common harlequin, is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is found in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The habitat consists of forests.

Cameroonian American are Americans of Cameroonian descent. According to the census of 2010, in the United States there were 16,894 Americans of Cameroonian origin. According to the 2007-2011 American Community Survey there are 33,181 Cameroonian-born people living in the United States.

Bioko island

Bioko[fɨɾˈnɐ̃du ˈpɔ] from the period of Portuguese colonization) is an island 32 km (20 mi) off the west coast of Africa, and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 334,463 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of 2,017 km2 (779 sq mi). The island is located off Cameroon, in the Bight of Bonny portion of the Gulf of Guinea. Its geology is volcanic; its highest peak is Pico Basile at 3,012 m (9,882 ft).

References

  1. "Fernando Po", Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911.
  2. 1 2 William Gervase Clarence-Smith, 1986 "Spanish Equatorial Guinea, 1898-1940", in The Cambridge History of Africa: From 1905 to 1940 Ed. J. D. Fage, A. D. Roberts, & Roland Anthony Oliver. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press> "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2013-09-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Clarence-Smith, William G. "African and European Cocoa Producers on Fernando Poo, 1880s to 1910s." Journal of African History 35 (1994): 179-179.
  4. Sundiata, Ibrahim K. From Slaving to Neoslavery: the Bight of Biafra and Fernando Po in the Era of Abolition, 1827-1930, Madison, WI: Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1996.
  5. "Slavery Conditions in Liberia", The Times 27 October 1930. http://www.opensourceguinea.org/2012/12/slavery-conditions-in-liberia-times-27.html
  6. 1 2 Enrique Martino, “Clandestine Recruitment Networks in the Bight of Biafra: Fernando Pó’s Answer to the Labour Question, 1926–1945.” in International Review of Social History, 57, pp 39-72. http://www.opensourceguinea.org/2013/03/enrique-martino-clandestine-recruitment.html
  7. Pélissier, René. Los Territorios Espanoles De Africa. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1964.
  8. Nerín, Gustau. "La última selva de España:" antropófagos, misioneros y guardias civiles. Crónica de la conquista de los Fang de la Guinea Española, 1914–1930 (The last jungle of Spain: cannibals, missionaries and civil guards. Chronicle of the conquest of the Fang of Spanish Guinea, 1914–1930), Catarata, 2010.
  9. Campos, Alicia. "The decolonization of Equatorial Guinea: the relevance of the international factor", Journal of African History (2003): 95–116.
  10. Anuario del Instituto Cervantes (2005). Panorama de la literatura en español en Guinea Ecuatorial, Justo Bolekia Boleká, Introducción histórica
  11. Espacio, Tiempo y Forma, Serie V, Hª Contemporánea, t. 11, 1998, págs. 113-138, "Penología e indigenismo en la antigua Guinea española" Archived 2011-05-30 at the Wayback Machine , Pedro María Belmonte Medina

Coordinates: 1°35′N10°21′E / 1.583°N 10.350°E / 1.583; 10.350