Bijago have traditionally resented all centralized authority,whether Portuguese,*French*, English, German or contemporary government officials. In 1447,when the Portuguese explorer, Nuna Tristao, tried to conquer the Bijagos, they killed him instantly because they do not want any form of rule except their matriarchal traditional system that create chiefs to rule them.
The Bijagos rose up in rebellion against the Portuguese in 1900,1913-1915,1917,1918,1924 and 1936. Portugal did nor consider the Bijago as pacified until 1936.
The Bijago are known from early chroniclers’ accounts for their daring raids on ships along the African coast using huge canoes known as Bijago pirate canoes. They raided on European ships and made away with their cargos and other items on board.
“According to many inhabitants on the islands of Bubaque, nobody knows for sure when and from where all the Bijagós derive. It is a common belief among them, however, that it was Orebok, an intermediary between the Supreme Being, and the Bijagós, who began the world.
-Approximately 30% of the people are Muslim.
Predominantly in the larger and more populated cities of Guinea.
-Less than 10% are Christians.
-The remaining 60% retain their animist indigenous religion.
Animist Beliefs remain strong among the coastal islands and have not been influenced by outside religions,
though Christians and Muslims incorporate many of the animist beliefs into their religions.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah