The New Bedford Whaling Museum is assisting the Cape Verdean government in creating permanent exhibits on Cape Verde on whales and whaling.

The exhibits are set to officially open next month featuring some of the Whaling Museum's vast collection and resources.

The first seeds of the project may have come six years ago. State Rep. Antonio Cabral says he had discussions with Museum President James Russell at that time about the Museum telling a different story; embracing the contributions of Azorean and Cape Verdean whalers.

"Not just the story we've been hearing from the museum about the whaling industry, but finally embracing the diversity of this area, and creating a new agenda," said Cabral.

Those talks led to exhibits on Azorean whalers in New Bedford and the creation of permanent exhibits on Cape Verde as part of a long-term cultural partnership with the Cape Verde Ministry of Culture.

Permanent exhibits on Cape Verde will relect not only the island's contributions to the whaling industry, but also New Bedford's role as a home for Cape Verdean immigrants.

Ward Four Councilor Dana Rebeiro has heard about her own family coming here. "When I thing about my great-grandmother getting on a boat and thrusting herself across an ocean, coming to a strange city where she didn't speak any english; she did it to build a better life you know, and that's amazing," said Rebeiro.

Rebeiro says its important that young people here and on Cape Verde learn that history.

Photo from Cape Verde Exhibit / Jim Phillips TSM
Photo from Cape Verde Exhibit / Jim Phillips TSM

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