Home » Cultural Retention » Bumbudo/Bombu



Mothers carrying babies on their back is a familiar sight in most places of Africa but also in some parts of Asia and the Americas traditionally. Nowadays baby slings are also getting popular in the West ever since it got introduced by new age hippies, even worn by men 🙂 . In Cape Verde it also used to be widespread but nowadays less so. The word associated with this custom in Capeverdean Crioulo is Mandinga or even Bambara (Mali) derived. This tradition arguably being one of the most intimate ones preserved in Cape Verde to link Capeverdeans with their mainland ancestors.

Uma tradição que vai se perdendo, esta das mães cabo-verdianas com o seu filho “bumbudo” nas costas. […] Em Cabo Verde, bombu mininu é o ato de carregar/transportar as crianças com um pano

In Upper Guinea, there were three types of panu: panu di bisti (dress panu), panu
di bambú307 (cloth wrap for baby), and panu di lambú (shoulder cloth), which was used for men as a shawl or toga. Bambú is a Krioulo word that means, “to carry,” and is derived from Mandinka.


Picture taken in Santiago



São Vicente 1885

SV 1885

Old picture from Santo Antão, aside from child carrying on the back also showing traditional architecture, Pilon & Pano de Terra.