|Number of islands
|Total land area
In pre-colonial times, the archipelago played a central role in West African trade and its inhabitants, the Bijagos , built a strong navy . This enabled the Bijagos to prevent the Portuguese from conquering the islands in 1535 . It was not until 1936 that the last Bijagos uprising was suppressed on the islands. Then these were finally annexed to the colony of Portuguese Guinea . The Bissagos Archipelago became independent Guinea-Bissau together with Portuguese Guinea in 1973/74. The islands have a considerable degree of autonomy from Guinea-Bissau.
Today around 21 islands have a larger population, the other islands are only sparsely populated. The islands of Bubaque , Bolama , Uno , Canhabaque are the most populated with more than 2000 inhabitants. There is a little tourism on the islands of Bubaque, Rubane, Bolama, Orango and João Vieira.
The 21 largest islands are
- in the northeast ( Bolama sector ):
- in the south ( sector Bubaque ):
- in the north-west ( Caravela sector ):
- in the west ( UN sector , separated from Caravela in 2004):
The uninhabited archipelago in the south-east around the islands of João Vieira , Cavalhos, Ilhéu do Meio and Poilão has a total area of around 10 km² and also belongs administratively to the Bolama region, but geographically not to the Bissagos archipelago, as does the area in front of Bolama the mainland with 2549 inhabitants.
19 islands are more densely populated, many of the remaining islands are u. a. also uninhabited because of their small area. The population consists largely of the approximately 33,000 members of the Bijagos people who speak the language of the same name: the Bijago language .
Women play an important role in social life. The majority of the Bissago people practice traditional religions and believe that the so-called Iran figures are owned by deities and have many properties. They serve as the central object of deity ceremonies , as household protectors against curses and as healers. They are placed in special places in the house and sacrifices are made to them.
Administratively, the archipelago forms the Bolama region , one of eight administrative regions in the country.
- Bijagós Archipelago (Engl.)
- Inhabitants by region, sector and town by gender, 2009 census (p. 63), PDF access from the National Statistics Office INE of December 17, 2017.