Footshapes are rock carvings showing what appear to be human feet plants. Although present in different cultures, on the Canary Islands they were an artistic expression of Maho indigenes common to both the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, whose exact function is enigmatic by now but does not seem unreasonable to think they were related to magical-religious rituals.
Indeed, the preservation of footshapes present at Tindaya Mountain (Fuerteventura), declared as a Natural Monument by the Government of the Canaries in 1994, is the main argument of the opposition to the project conceived in 1985 by Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, consisting of excavation of cubic voids inside. This opposition has taken shape over the years through various campaigns, emphasizing in 2011 the so-called Tindaya no se toca (Don’t touch Tindaya), revitalized in 2014 by Dr. José Farrujia de la Rosa.
This time, we devote this short post to show two footshapes preserved in the town of Teguise (Lanzarote). The first one is exhibited at the Museum of Piracy / Castle of Santa Bárbara, while the second is a piece of the masonry of one of the oldest walls of the destroyed houses of the Seigneury of the Isles of Canaria, later rebuilt as the palace of the Marquessate of Lanzarote. Currently, some of these rooms are part of a restaurant company while others are for private use, so access to these footshapes should be done under permission.
As for studies published on this topic, we would like to highlight the article Interpretando lo rupestre, visiones y significados de los podomorfos en Canarias (Interpreting rocks, visions and meanings of footshapes on the Canaries), by Dr. Javier Soler Segura.
Antonio M. López Alonso
- Soler Segura, J. (2005). “Interpretando lo rupestre, visiones y significados de los podomorfos en Canarias”, Trabalhos de Arqueoloxía e Patrimonio, num. 33, pp. 165-178. Santiago de Compostela: Instituto de Estudos Galegos Padre Sarmiento – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – Xunta de Galicia.