Category Archives: Patrimonio indígena

Taxanicuvidagua: The Pass of the Staff

Risco Faneque, in Agaete (Gran Canaria), one of the highest sea cliffs in the world (source: PROYECTO TARHA).

Fortunately, the project […] that aimed to turn the valley into a tourist exploitation has been paralyzed for the time being. However this threat, anti-ecological and made of irrational modernization, looms over what is called to be an archaeological-natural park, and not one of those horrifying tourist condensation spots.

Celso Martín de Guzmán (The ethnohistorical sources and their relationship with the archaeological surroundings of the Guayedra Valley and Tower of Agaete (Gran Canaria), 1977)[1]This translation by PROYECTO TARHA. 

To the people of Agaete, Artenara and La Aldea (Gran Canaria) in support of their advocacy of their natural, cultural and historical heritage.

One of the most important legacies the ancient Canarians left to us is the rich indigenous toponymy treasured by the Islands. The cause of this survival would have to be found in the innocuousness of these place names from the perspective of the European invaders, to whom only the customs related mainly to the islanders’ religious cults and rituals would be intolerable, being obviously incompatible with the imposition of Christianity.

(more…)

Más / More...

The conquest of the Canary Islands in TV historical fiction: the cases of "Isabel" and "Conquistadores Adventum"

An idealization of a Canarian indigene according to lithographer A. de Saint-Aulaire, created to illustrate the first volume of the Histoire Naturelle des Iles Canaries, published in 1842 by botanist Philip Barker-Webb and ethnologist Sabin Berthelot (source: Archive.org).

The ancient history of the Canary Islands and, especially as best documented, the period that comprises the European conquest of the Archipelago have had little treatment in both historical novel genre as in cinematography, and almost invariably by the hand of either local authors or foreigners who have maintained some kind of relationship with the Islands, whether residential, sentimental or family.

(more…)

Más / More...

The Pact of Calatayud (3/3)

Northeast view of Gáldar Mountain, Gran Canaria. Was it by surprise or his own free will, in an unknown cave near the ancient indigenous capital Guanarteme Tenesor Semidan was captured by Castilians (source: PROYECTO TARHA).

In this third and last part of our series devoted to the so-called Pact of Calatayud we are dealing with one of the mysteries this event raises: the identity of the anonymous guanarteme who paid obedience to the Catholic Monarchs. Let us note that, for the moment, the lack of official documentary evidence –starting with the petition letter presented by the Grandcanarian embassy arrived to the Aragonese town in May 1481– makes it impossible at present to dispel such anonymity. However, in this post we present a list of four names we consider to be the most likely candidates to embody this enigmatic character.

(more…)

Más / More...

The "Aicá Maragá" and "Mimerahaná" dirges

Promo poster of the Vanishing Voices concert, an initiative by teacher Isaac Stone (source: The Big Idea).

Every day brings its own surprise and that of some days ago was very good news: Isaac Stone, young musical director of New Zealand choir Supertonic and a music teacher at a public high school, Tawa College, is carrying out an ambitious project; a concert in which the choir he leads will perform vocal pieces chosen from seven cultures of the whole world with a common nexus: to be written in both endangered and extincted languages. Vanishing Voices: Music honouring our endangered languages includes lyrics in Australian Aboriginal, Inuit, Navajo, Welsh, Nahuatl, Maori, and… Guanche.

(more…)

Más / More...

Tarha: new database on the Ancient History of the Canary Islands

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QOX4balxGE&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

On the verge of celebrating PROYECTO TARHA‘s first anniversary, we could not but celebrate publishing the first prototype of which we announced as one of …

Más / More...

Cuatro Puertas: a landscape for Stellarium

The esplanade and the four entrances that precede the main cave of Cuatro Puertas archaeological site (source: PROYECTO TARHA).

In an earlier post, we advocated the creation of a repository of Canarian landscapes of archaeological interest, for use in Stellarium. Today we want to break the ice with a landscape prepared by ourselves, corresponding to the archaeological site of Cuatro Puertas, located in Telde, Gran Canaria. This place was declared in 1972 Historical-Artistic Monument by the Spanish State –together with Cueva Pintada at Gáldar– and Property of Cultural Interest by the Government of the Canaries.

(more…)

Más / More...

Footshapes at Teguise

¡Tindaya no se toca! (Don’t touch Tindaya!) campaign logo showing a pair of footshapes (source: www.lacasademitia.es).

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.

(more…)

Más / More...

On tarjas and pintaderas (2/2)

The famous dragon-tree at Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife. This tree-like plant (Dracaena draco) was used by ancient Canarians to make the shields that some authors called “tarjas” (fuente: Wikimedia Commons).

In more or less plausible relationship with the pintaderas cited in the first part of this post, ethnohistorical sources mention the use of badges or emblems among Gran Canaria indigenes. Let us quote some relevant texts.

From Antonio Sedeño‘s account:[2]MORALES (1978, pp. 367, 369). Translated from old Castilian by PROYECTO TARHA.

[…]  they brought bucklers taller as a man, made of rough light wood from a tree called dragon. The sword they called Majido and the shield tarja; swords were thin and pointed; they brought their badges painted their way in white and ochre red over the bucklers, played the sword with great skill.

(more…)

Más / More...

The Guanil herds

Gathering goats (apañada) at San Juan de Sisetoto, Fuerteventura (source: Revista BienMeSabe).

Still hot in the media and social networks the controversial measure adopted by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria consisting of exterminating the guanil goats living in a number of protected natural areas on the Island, we deal here with the origin of such an autochthonous term.

(more…)

Más / More...

San Marcial del Rubicón: A dramatic rehearsal

Barranquillo y sendero que conduce hasta el yacimiento de San Marcial del Rubicón (Lanzarote).

The ravine and path leading to the archaeological site of San Marcial del Rubicón, Lanzarote (source: PROYECTO TARHA).

Et demourerent euls et ceuls de l’isle Lancelot en bon accord. Apres commencerent un chastel qui s’apelle Rubicom, et laisserent la une partie de leurs gens;

And were well agreed them and those of the island of Lanzarote. Then they began a castle named Rubicon, and left there part of their people;

Le Canarien (text G) –SERRA (1964), pp. 24-25– (this translation by PROYECTO TARHA).

Its characters never knew. Probably most of the hundreds of tourists who weekly lie in the sun just a few steps away will not either. But over six hundred years ago, on the sandy mouth of this humble ravine, an experiment of great historical significance was carried out.

(more…)

Más / More...