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The peculiar tale of how London’s Canary Wharf got its name
Adventure & Experience | Island
The peculiar tale of how London’s Canary Wharf got its name
(Image credit: Marcel Bakker/Alamy)
By Ross Clarke13th September 2018
It is one of London’s busiest areas, but have you ever considered where Canary Wharf got its name? The answer lies with a Welshman, bananas and an Atlantic archipelago.
I sat on the veranda of the Hotel Santa Catalina sipping ‘un té británico’ (a British tea) and looking out on the manicured lawns that seemed to stretch down to the sea. Despite the heat in Las Palmas (a tempting 28C), the Brit in me was happy to sip on a good cuppa, even if I did have to ask for it ‘con leche fria aparte’ (with cold milk on the side).
My afternoon companion was Angie Cabrera, a local English teacher and native of the island of Gran Canaria, who has researched the history of the British in the Canary Islands (which have been part of Spain since the 15th Century) and uses it as a cultural, historical and linguistic lesson for her secondary school students.
“The hotel was built by the British,” she told me over the brim of her teacup. “British architects and everything. The Hotel Metropol in front of us as well was a British build, although it is now the council offices. The Metropol was a favourite of Agatha Christie.” I found out later the crime writer is thought to have penned more than one of her novels there.
The city of Las Palmas on Gran Canaria has been popular among Brits as a holiday destination for decades (Credit: Werner Hinz/Alamy)
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It turns out, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to afford the city its proper title, was the holiday destination for discerning British tourists long before the package holiday boom of the 1960s and ‘70s turned the island’s hotter, drier south into the sun-worshipping holidaymaker mecca that it is today (some 858,118 Brits visited Gran Canaria in 2017 alone). But how did this tiny island (just more than an hour top to bottom by car) off the coast of West Africa become such a hotspot for British tourists around the turn of the 20th Century?
My tea stop was just the latest part of the story Cabrera had been regaling me with all day. We started our tour down near the city’s main port, Puerto de La Luz, on Alfredo L Jones Street – or as the locals say, ‘Al-freh-doh ehleh chon-ess street’. The Mr Jones in question was not Canarian or even Spanish, but was, as his surname might suggest, born Alfred Lewis Jones in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, in 1845. What he was to do for this mid-Atlantic city, however, more than justifies this prominent epitaph. You see, while Jones’ story is virtually unknown outside of the islands, some might say that the Welshman put the Canaries on the map.
“He wasn’t the first here,” Cabrera explained. “But he’s the one who really made it happen.”
The Canary Islands owe their reputation as a holiday hotspot to Alfred L Jones, a 19th-Century Welsh businessman (Credit: Marek Slusarczyk/Alamy)
Back when steam was king, the Canaries were strategically important for passage from Britain to the Americas, being the last fuelling port before sailing on across the Atlantic. A constant supply of good-quality coal was needed to power ships on the final leg of their journey, and coal from the collieries of the UK was brought over in ships to be stored in the port of Las Palmas. Jones owned several collieries, including one in Maesteg, South Wales, but his main business was shipping. Having been part of many of the most prominent shipping and trading companies of the late 1800s as a shareholder and owner, he founded The Grand Canary Coaling Company in 1886. Due to Gran Canaria’s lucrative location and his easy access to coal, supplying the port of Las Palmas was an obvious business opportunity.
Bringing coal from the UK was all well and good, but returning empty ships made no business sense to Jones, so he looked for a way to make the return voyage more profitable. He came up with the idea of taking local produce back home.
The Canary Islands were strategically important for the British shipping industry as the last fuelling port before the Atlantic crossing (Credit: G.I. Dobner/Alamy)
Local resident and expert on the British in Las Palmas, Betty Burgess explained, “Alfred was a friend of Edward Fyffe of British banana fame, through whom he started exporting bananas, potatoes and tomatoes in his ships into the UK, principally Liverpool but also other ports. Bananas had been grown in the Canaries since around the 16th Century and were mainly used for animal feed or fertiliser until this point.”
Bananas were considered exotic in the UK at that time, but steadily became commonplace in the British diet as the banana boats became more frequent. Tomatoes had a similar destiny. Considered bad for the health in the islands, according to Burgess, they were increasingly cultivated due to their appreciation abroad.
It was this constant stream of fruit ships arriving into the South Quay Import Dock in London’s docklands that led to the renaming of one of the dock berths. Let to Fruit Lines Limited in 1937, it was named after the place of the fruits’ origin, the Canary Islands, and what we now know as Canary Wharf came into being.
With ships making such regular journeys between the UK and Las Palmas, plus a solid foundation of British people living in the city (some 437 were registered as residing in the city in 1910), an unofficial British colony was created, bringing with it investment, infrastructure advances and social culture.
After shipping coal from the UK to the Canary Islands, Jones stocked his ships with bananas to make the return trip more profitable (Credit: Marcel Bakker/Alamy)
The very first mass wave of tourists started to reach the archipelago’s shores in the late 1800s thanks to reduced fares negotiated by Jones on his ships, and hotels were built to cater to this new influx of visitors. Those with bronchial problems particularly favoured Las Palmas, as the temperate climate was thought to be beneficial to health.
“Look at the street names,” Cabrera told me as we left the port behind and made our way to the Ciudad Jardín neighbourhood of the city – the ‘home’ of the British back in the early 1900s. I spotted ‘Calle Lord Byron’ among other street names as we wandered up to the brightly whitewashed Holy Trinity Church. I leaned in to read the plaque on the wall. It was built by British-born, Las Palmas-based architect Norman Wright in 1892 through the generosity of Jones, among other benefactors, and opened for Anglican worship in 1893. Services here are still carried out in English.
Let to Fruit Lines Limited in the 1930s, London’s South Quay Import Dock was renamed Canary Wharf after the fruits’ place of origin (Credit: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy)
Religion wasn’t the only thing the British brought with them; they introduced the telephone and telegraph, the first banks, an animal protection society, British-style sandwich loaves, frozen meat, the first piped water supply, and a dedicated social club, The British Club, which still exists today.
Burgess explained that sports were another notable introduction to the city. “Most sports were introduced by the British, and before the end of the 19th Century there was the first golf club in Spain – the Royal Las Palmas Golf Club – some of whose founders were British,” she said. “The Tennis Club was possibly the first in Spain also, affiliated to the All England Lawn Tennis Association; a British-Canarian won the Spanish Championship in 1907 and received a trophy from the king. ”
She continued, “Surprisingly for an island, water sports, and indeed swimming for pleasure, were practically unknown at the time, so the British were instrumental in popularising them.”
The current Metropole Swimming Club, which stands next to what was the Hotel Metropol, has its origins as the hotel’s recreational pool, thought to be the first on the island.
The first wave of British tourists arrived on the Canary Islands in the late 1800s thanks to reduced fares negotiated by Jones on his ships (Credit: Islandstock/Alamy)
As Cabrera and I continued to make our way through the city, I found more clues to the unique British history. Even in the branch of clothes shop Mango in Triana high street, I saw enormous wooden doors with thick iron hinges emblazoned with a British ironmonger’s details.
“We even use our own versions of English words that were overheard by the locals at the time,” Cabrera told me. “Queque (cake), and naife (knife) for a start”. We took a seat at a bar and I glanced at the menu. “What’s bistec?” I asked. “What does it sound like?” she replied.
Beef steak, of course.
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The history of the canary islands Fuerteventura
V-I CENTURY BC
Although no definite records exist it is believed that the first population of the islands were Cro-Magnons from North-west Africa who arrived on the islands towards the end of the Neolithic age. Then followed successive immigrations from the African Berber tribes of early Mediterranean type who formed the aboriginal population, known generally as GUANCHES, although the inhabitants of Fuerteventura were known as MAJOS. It is not known how these people arrived on the islands, as the European conquerors recorded that the Guanches had no navigational skills and scant knowledge of the sea, and as such had little knowledge amongst themselves from island to island. In the pre-hispanic era the island of Fuerteventura was divided into two separate kingdoms, the north of the island was known as Maxorata; the south known as Jandia, with a dividing wall at the isthmus of La Pared. At the time of the conquest the respective Majo kings were Guize of Maxorata and Ayoze of Jandia. The people lived in the style of the Stone Age Man, although with some advances such as a well-structured society – there is evidence to show clear class differences. The Majos had trapping devices, knew of some metals, had a religion, and mummified their dead. The people lived mainly from livestock although in Fuerteventura the Majos knew how to swim and collect shell-fish.
I BC – I AD
Mentions of the islands started to appear in the Greek-Roman civilisations – Herodotus in the 5th century BC talks of “The Garden of Hesperides”, Plutarch and Pliny referred to the islands as “The Fortunate Islands”, whilst some believe that the islands are the Elysian Fields referred to by Homer in the 8th Century BC, or even the remains of Atlantis. The greek geographer Ptolemy (AD 100-160) charted the islands for the first time, as the most western point of the known world. An expedition sent by Juba the Roman King of Mauritania in around 30 BC baptised the island of Gran Canaria as “Canary Island” because of the quantity of large dogs found there (the Roman word Canis meaning dog). Later this name was given as a general name for the whole archipelago. From the Roman age until 14th century Fuerteventura had various names: La Herbania, because of the supposed greenery which covered the island (La Hierba means grass or herb): La Capraria because of the number of goats on the island (La Cabra means goat) and La Planaria because of the planes or flats of the island.
In the middle ages the islands started to become known and visited by Berber and European (catalan, genoese, norman, portugese, venetian) sailors, who stopped at the islands for provisions of water, slaves and orhcil lichen (used in the making of dyes).
- 1312 The genoese sailor Lancellotto Malocello landed on the island which was to take his name – Lanzarote.
- 1339 The name Fort Venture appeared on a map charted by a Mallorquin cartographer – Angelino Dulcet. The origin of the name has two possible explanations – the strong winds which blow on the island (Fuerte Viento), or the strong chance (luck) needed to live on the desolate island (Fuerte Ventura).
- 1352 A missionary and commercial expedition from Cataluna landed on the island and stayed a few years.
END of 14th CENTURY
More expeditions set off to the islands as a result of the competition between European countries to conquer new countries and capture wealth. 1402 The Norman Knight Jean de Bethencourt along with the French Knight Gadifer de la Salle, sponsored by the King of Castille, attempt to conquer Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and having failed landed on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, overpowering the latter. The recognition of the possession of the islands by the Castillian crown put an end to the European race for their conquest.
- 1404-1406 Using Lanzarote and the island of Lobos as a provisional base, Bethencourt and La Salle land at Ajuy and conquer the island of Fuerteventura. Settlements were established in Vega de Rio Palmas, Valle de Sta Ines, and Antigua. The capital was founded in Betancuria, which was to remain the capital of the whole archipelago for some time. The conquerors returned to attack the other islands, but were defeated by the native population, except in El Hierro where they were able to enslave “los bimbaches”.
- 1424 The Diocese of Betancuria, the first of all the islands´, was created.
- 1452 The native ´majorero´ population rebelled against the slavery and suffering under which they lived. The rebellion was quickly suppressed.
- 1478-1494 Under the reign of the Spanish Catholic Kings the second phase of the conquest began. In 1478 Juan Rejon landed on Gran Canaria, and founded the city of Las Palmas. He submitted the island to 5 years of bloody battle. In 1488 the island of La Gomera was overpowered. The island of La Palma was conquered in 1493 by Alonso Fernandez deLugo who succeeded to complete the conquest by taking Tenerife after the bloody battle of Acentejo in 1494.
- 1492 Christopher Columbus made a port of call in Gran Canaria and La Gomera on his voyage to America. After his discovery he made many return visits to the islands.
- 1740 An English pirate invasion landed at the bay of Gran Tarajal, which was defeated in the famous battle of Tamasite. The local people, poorly armed, cunningly formed a defence barrier of camels to defend themselves, which frightened the English into retreat.
After the conquest all the islands passed under direct rule of the Castillian throne, with the exception of Fuerteventura, which had become a ´Senorio´. ´Senorios´ were areas created by royal decree to be governed by ´Senors´ (Lords), who paid a duty to the Crown. Fuerteventura´s history in those days was a constant succession of pirate invasions, from the Europeans to the Berbers, and in particular the invasion by Xaban de Arraez in 1593, which totally destroyed Betancuria and lasted six months. It was after this that the defence towers of Val Tarajal, el Toston and Caleta de Fuste were constructed. This also speeded up the creation of a military command , the Colonels, as a defence for the island. Based in the La Casa de Los Coroneles in La Oliva, the Colonels had total military power on the island, and were independent of the Lord. The Colonels gradually assumed not just defence functions, but administrative roles, until a new Lord governed from 1708-1859. In those days the islanders lived from the selling of slaves, sugar, and later cereal export which heralded the arrival of the windmills on Fuerteventura. 18th-19th CENTURY The start of modern history of the Canary Islands with big changes economically and socially. In 1812 the Spanish constitution of the Court of Cadiz totally abolished the Senorios and Colonels which brought about the creation of most of the present municipalities. The island abandoned cereal cultivation and started to export BARILLA a vegetable used in the production of soap, and COCHINEAL a beetle used in the making of dye, and much sought after by the European upper classes. In 1852, under the reign of Isabel II, the Canaries were declared Duty Free to stimulate commerce, a decisive point in the commercial development of the Canaries. In Fuerteventura the people started to export salt and lime, filling the island´s landscape with lime-kilns and salt-flats. During these centuries there were many hungry times caused by drought which, often coinciding with economically grave crises, stimulated migration to other islands and America. At the end of 19th century the islands started mass cultivation and exportation of bananas, although the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote were too dry for this crop.
Fuerteventura´s recent history is linked to the cultivation and export of the tomato, goat farming and cheese production, fishing, and the close relationship of the island to the neighbouring Western Sahara. The ports of Puerto Cabras and Gran Tarajal were created, the latter dedicated to tomato export. A fundamental aspect of the modern history, and yet strangely little studied, is the necessary and close relationship between Fuerteventura and its people with the Western Sahara.
- 1912 The Island Councils were created, in charge of the administration of each individual island and co-ordination of the Town Halls. Since then the Island Councils (Cabildos) have become the central axis of the social, political and economical organisation of the Canaries.
- 1924 During the dictatorship of General Primo de Ribera, the Spanish writer and vice-chancellor of the University of Salamanca, Miguel de Unamuno, was exiled to Fuerteventura for his criticisms of the dictator. Unamuno wrote beautiful passages about the island, from where he fled to Paris some months later. His most famous quote is that Fuerteventura is “an oasis in the desert of civilisation”.
- 1936 Francisco Franco, General of Spanish Africa, sets off from Gran Canaria to initiate the armed insurrection against the second Spanish Republic, which led to the Spanish Civil War and later overthrew the Spanish Republic.
- 1960 The start of tourist development in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, quickly to become two of the mass-tourism destinations. Tourism becomes the motor of the Canarian economy.
- 1975 General Franco died and a constitutional monarchy was restored with King Juan Carlos I as king. Spain de-colonised the Sahara, leaving it to be later invaded by Morocco. The de-colonisation imposed an economic and social trauma for the islands, especially for Fuerteventura and its people whose lives were inter-woven with those of the Saharuis. The majoreros worked in the phosphate mines of Foss Buccra, and had a large population living in the colony, benefiting from the rich Saharan/Canarian fishing zone.
- 1978 The new Spanish Constitution was declared, creating a Democracy and State of Autonomies.
- 1982 A State of Autonomy is established in the Canary Islands, with elected representative bodies and a self-governing regional constitution.
- 1989 As part of Spain, the Canary Islands are integrated into the European Community, although maintaining certain special allowances on agriculture, fishing and taxes, as a peripheral region.
End of 20th CENTURY
Fuerteventura is starting its big economic boom thanks to the tourist industry and new advances in natural energy and water de-salination. A dizzying demographical growth is underway.
Canary Islands Connection – AramcoWorld
I’m surrounded by date palms. Around them run dry watercourses that look like ones I find not far from my home in Tucson, Arizona. The traditional architecture in town would not be out of place in Tucson, either—or almost anywhere from southern Spain to Mexico and up into the southwest us. The fruit trees and grapevines hark back even further, to traditions of my ancestors from Syria and Lebanon. Perhaps this is what a visit to the Canary Islands is really all about. Indeed, much of what is cultivated on this Spanish archipelago of seven volcanic, mostly undersea mountains can be traced back to crops that came aboard ships from as far away as Phoenicia, in the eastern Mediterranean, as far back to the eighth century bce.
But no less striking are the echoes here of what went westward, to the areas I’ve known for most of my adult life in the arid New World landscapes of the “desert borderlands” of the Southwestern us and northern Mexico. This includes, on the us side, Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado and West Texas; on the Mexican side, the states of Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua; and cities from Ensenada to San Antonio.
For more than a dozen years, I have been tracing agricultural and culinary influences shared among communities from the Levant to North Africa and southern Spain, to the Canary Islands, to Mexico and the vast North American desert-borderlands region. The journey makes me think of a string of beads, each distinct, but reflecting one another along a common chain.
Here in these islands I can smell the same flowers—orange blossoms, rose and jasmine—in both the gardens and patios of Córdoba in Spain, and those of my uncles and aunts in Lebanon’s semiarid Bekaa Valley. I can taste the same foods, literally from A to Z: meatballs spiced with parsley, onion and garlic called albóndigas; eggplants stuffed with fruits or ground meats called berenjena rellenas, swimming in creamy walnut sauce topped with pomegranate seeds; a kind of biscuit dusted with powdered sugar and laced with the bite of anise called biscochitos. There are callos of tripe sautéed with chickpeas; empanadas stuffed with chard or spinach; kebabs, or asados, marinated in spices and olive oil, strung on skewers and grilled, and fritters dowsed in orange syrup or honey called zalabias.
The austere lands of the Sonoran Highlands may have been attractive also because they likely reminded the newcomers of the semiarid lands of al-Andalus.
I can see prickly pear cacti and towering, flowering stalks of agaves such as sisal. I can taste the cactus juices, feel the texture of rich tomato pastes and revel in the heat of chili peppers stuffed with cheeses. All these and more were once agricultural passengers from the Americas transplanted to the Canaries and far beyond to a world eager for novelty and nutrition. It was the eastbound leg of what is known historically as the Columbian Exchange, which began with the Spanish arrival in the West Indies more than 500 years ago.
Of the many questions that swirl around in my head, there is just one really big one: How did people of Arab ancestry—people of all faiths and geographical origins who may claim the name, in whole or in part—come to play roles in shaping what grows today in the region that includes Tucson, where I live? And how does that affect what I eat?
To deepen my search, I head for the Canaries, home of important, but not always well-known, “bridges” between Old and New Worlds. I pay a visit to noted Spanish- and Arabic-speaking agricultural ecologist Jaime Gil, and he guides me to Lanzarote, the easternmost island, which once had the largest population of people the Spanish referred to as Moriscos. Like many such ethnonyms, Morisco meant somewhat different things over different times and places. Most frequently it meant Muslims of North African or Iberian descent who, in the wake of the Spanish bans on Islam, Judaism and Protestantism from the late 15th and well into the 17th centuries, either converted or, under duress, outwardly professed conversion to Christianity. Gil cautions me that when it comes to the agricultural and culinary links between the Middle East and the Canaries, I could be looking at a dense web of relations over a far greater period—nearly 3,000 years.
To show the extent of the Canaries as a kind of western outpost of even the earliest Mediterranean maritime networks, Gil points me to the work of Canarian archeologist A. José Farrujia de la Rosa, an expert in prehistory at the Universidad de La Laguna in Spain. Farrujia and his team have found sixth-century-bce inscriptions in the Canary Islands with Libyco-Berber characters identical to those that have been found in Morocco.
Gil also explains that just as the term Morisco has carried diverse meanings, so too has Converso, which was used to identify Sephardic Jews as well as Protestants who had to renounce or conceal their faith from Spanish authorities.
While the number of members of each faith affected by Spain’s religious edicts are unknown, historians generally agree it is in the hundreds of thousands for both Moriscos and Conversos. Demographic historian Trevor Dadson and ethnohistorian Karoline Cook have explained that the numbers are difficult to assess because emigrants frequently either concealed their background in official port-of-embarkation records or avoided documentation altogether. To the Canaries, however, Dadson estimates that the ratio of Morisco to Converso emigrants—refugees—may have been as high as 10 to one.
Though ruled by Spain then as now, the Canaries for a while lay at a relatively safe remove from both the Crown and the Inquisition, Dadson says. But eventually, with the immigrants came social and economic tensions. Dadson notes that the Moriscos who had lived long in the Canaries “were anxious that the Inquisition activity directed against the Granada Moriscos did not touch them.”
Adding to the complexity, many of the Muslims who departed Spain for North Africa—and the kingdoms and principalities of Morocco in particular—found less than warm welcomes. This too stimulated migrations, both westward to the Canaries and to numerous other locations, and many people also found ways to sneak back into mainland Spain. Canarian historian Luis Alberto Anaya Hernández estimates that as much as 14 percent of the half-million Morisco refugees from the Spanish mainland later fled from Morocco.
While the Canary Islands at first offered a haven, the islands soon became overpopulated. Then the reach of the Inquisition spread, and the Crown’s price for an official name-change—a symbolic ritual called “blood cleansing” that was a tantamount profession of Catholicism—became out of reach for both native-born Canarians and immigrant Moriscos. A voyage to the terra incognita—the West Indies and the Americas—became more attractive, despite the risks and uncertainties.
It was in this way that New World Moriscos and Conversos came with incentive to settle as far from the Inquisition tribunals as possible. In continental North America, many chose to head north to the arid hinterlands—especially after the establishment in 1610 of the Inquisitional Court in Mexico City. The austere lands of the Sonoran Highlands may have also been attractive because they likely reminded the newcomers of the semiarid lands of al-Andalus, as the parts of southern Spain under Muslim rule were called. (Catholic colonists and immigrants recognized this too about the desert-borderlands region: In the 18th century, Jesuit priest Ignaz Pfeffercorn wrote of welcoming Europeans and North Africans alike to “an altogether blessed country” that he favorably compared to the landscapes of Spain.)
“Due to [formal] prohibitions on Moriscos’ and Muslims’ emigration to Spanish America,” writes Cook, “many histories of the Iberian Atlantic world have overlooked the possibility that Moriscos and Muslims played a role in colonial society.” Her work and that of other historians who have researched primary records, including census documents and church archives from settlements, towns and cities on both sides of the Atlantic now allow us to trace the arrivals of nearly 800 Canary-born colonists—including descendants of both Muslim and Jewish families—who settled in the desert borderlands. They set up residence in places we now know well: Tucson; San Antonio; St. Augustine; and Santa Fe, New Mexico, among others.
In these remote outposts, it seems that only a few were in fact arrested by Spanish authorities and charged with blasphemy, heresy or adherence to non-Christian food taboos and forced to travel to Mexico City for interrogation. Fewer still, it appears, were brought to trial, and yet even fewer were convicted, imprisoned or executed.
Still, it comes as no surprise that settlers of Morisco or Converso backgrounds were reluctant to identify as such. Nonetheless, there is evidence they were aware of each other, and this awareness likely contributed to continuity in the trade and production of heritage agriculture and foodstuffs—many of which they also had in common with Catholic settlers.
Records point to what scholars are coming to see as a practice by both Moriscos and Conversos to adopt new surnames that referenced animals or plants, and trees in particular. This worked as a kind of code. Research into the founding families of Tucson, Santa Fe, San Antonio and Monterrey, Nuevo León, show a surprising number of these “floral” and “faunal” names: Aguilar, Alicante, de la Garza, de León, Cabrera, Castañeda, Granada, Martinez, Manzanares, Mora, Olivo, Olivera, Palma, Robles, Romero, Rosa, Uvedo and so on. All are names that continue to abound throughout the region today as a kind of linguistic link to the agricultural and culinary heritages of crops, fruits, nuts and game that flavor the culture of this part of the Americas.
Fittingly, those who chose to adopt such surnames appear to be among those who helped introduce and adapt what number more than 50 kinds of Old World crops and animals. Of course, some of these terms have much older origins, harkening back to millennia of interactions among the civilizations joined by the long shores of the Mediterranean. Some of the words come from Hispanicized Arabic or Berber-influenced Arabic, while other words have been adapted from other languages including Persian, Dravidian and Sanskrit.
Today we can make food-historical links, because by the time they arrived, these food crops were mostly called by names that were already in use in Iberia, and often also in the Canaries.
Along with Middle Eastern fruit crops like date palms—which arrived in Mexico as early as the 1530s—there came also figs, pomegranates, olives and grapes; there came spices like anise, coriander, cumin, fennel and safflower. Settlers essentially reconstructed the oases of their former homelands, using irrigation systems of qanats and acequias as models to better farm crops they knew best how to farm. They complemented these with plantings learned from Native American tribes, most famously squashes, beans, peppers and maize.
Recently, historians have received help from geneticists in tracing the origins of crop and livestock species. The Mission olive, a cultivar of Olea europea, prized in Arizona and the Californias, is closely related to both the Andalusian variety, Cañivano Negro, and its Moroccan counterpart, Picholine Marroquine. The Mission grape, Vitis vinifera, is closely identified with a dark red grape of the Canary Islands, Listán Prieto, which was formerly grown also on the Iberian Peninsula. The closest variety to the Mission fig, a cultivar of Ficus carica, is the Albacor or Coll de Dama Negra, which is still found on the southern Spanish coast and in the Canaries.
AramcoWorld spoke with chef and Latin-cuisine specialist Elizabeth Johnson, founder of the unesco-recognized San Antonio City of Gastronomy, and archeologist Jonathan Mabry, cofounder and president of the Tucson City of Gastronomy.
What does it mean to be a unesco City of Gastronomy?
Johnson: As a chef, and as somebody who is deeply interested in our history and our culture, I believe that food tells a story. I believe that what you eat tells a story about who you are and the people that you descend from. It talks about trade. It talks about wars. It talks about immigration. These are all aspects that I believe are alive in the plates of food that we eat on a daily basis. So it means that we are now expected to use food and culture as that medium for living cultural heritage to affect change in our city. It connects all the things that touch and affect food and culture with sustainability initiatives, groups of people as well as our history and of course our future.
Mabry: I’m an archeologist, and the excavations that I directed were some of the projects that demonstrated Tucson’s 4,000 years of agricultural history. Our goal is to use this designation [as a City of Gastronomy] to increase recognition of our region’s agricultural heritage, food traditions and culinary distinctiveness.
What does recent scholarship documenting the diversity of people who came to the borderlands region in the colonial era, especially via the Canary Islands, mean to the food histories of your cities?
Mabry: I would say that Tucson’s cuisine is culturally layered. The foods that were introduced during the Spanish colonial period were transformative. The winter wheat, the cattle, the different varieties of citrus, and a whole host of other Old World plants that were introduced by the earliest missionaries and colonists complemented the native crops. So in addition to 4,000 years of native crops, we have a 300-year tradition of orchards and vineyards, and cattle ranching layered on top of that.
Johnson: One of the things that kept people here was our source of water. It basically created a breadbasket, if you will, in a semi-arid landscape. Our river was the reason that the Spanish decided to come here. It’s the reason the Canary Islanders came and established the first civil form of government here.
Mabry: An interesting difference between San Antonio and Tucson is the varieties of fruit trees, the olives, the citrus, the apricots and a whole host of other varieties that were introduced to Tucson’s region by those first colonists, including immigrants from the Canary Islands. Heirloom varieties of trees that we identified trace back to those trees introduced during the Spanish colonial period, including a number of varieties that Gary [Paul Nabhan] has determined came from the Canary Islands.
Johnson: Many have written about our iconic dish called chile con carne. People claim it’s a fusion between [Spanish and] our native indigenous cultures, which would have prepared wild meats with chile pequin and made like a stew out of them with hot rocks. Also if you look at our Tex-Mex cuisine, cumin is king. So cumin is probably one of the most important parts of our seasoning profile, and it’s undeniably a link to our Canary Island heritage.
With regard to livestock, the Churra Libranza sheep of southern Spain is a likely precursor to the Navajo-Churro still valued for its two-layered wool. (The other potential source is a Churra breed from near Basque country in northwestern Spain.) The Criollo Corriente cattle (Bos taurus) of the borderlands comes from a blend of ancient livestock breeds that go back to North Africa, particularly Morocco, the southern Iberian Peninsula and the Canaries.
Back on the island of Tenerife in the Canaries, where I see how Listán Prieto, Listán Negro and Listán Blanco grapes, all precursors of Mission grapes, remain widely grown, Gil directs me to one of the island’s historic vineyards. This one is owned by the Núñez Garcia family, and they show me their use of a very old cultivation method: Their vines grow horizontally, just above the ground, on trunks of rope three to five meters long, not trellised upward as in most modern vineyards. This is the very same grapevine style I had encountered both in Baja California Sur, at Misión San Francisco Javier, more than 300 years after it was introduced there, as well as in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.
Such discoveries of shared farming and food heritages, both large and small, now also have support on a global scale through the unesco Cities of Gastronomy, which is part of the greater Creative Cities Network program. Out of 26 cities worldwide, three in the desert borderlands now belong to the gastronomical network—Tucson, San Antonio and Ensenada—and Santa Fe participates as a unesco Creative City.
These affiliations are putting contemporary chefs and food historians in closer contact both with their own histories and with one another. Cultural-culinary creatives from Spain, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran are all engaging with North American counterparts.
And for me now, whether I am biting into a hot empanada in Tucson, savoring grapes in the Canaries or sitting down to lunch on my cousins’ farms in Lebanon, I feel more connected than ever along this necklace of history strung across a hemisphere.
When artist Norman MacDonald compared his own brushes, inks and watercolors in his Amsterdam studio to records of those in Egypt as long as 3,500 years ago, he says he “realized again how little the tools of a painter’s craft have changed.”
Gary Paul Nabhan
Gary Paul Nabhan is a Lebanese American writer, agricultural ecologist and ethnobotanist who lives in the Mexico-US borderlands. He has been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship, the Vavilov Medal for plant exploration, and lifetime achievement awards from several professional societies. He has authored or edited more than 30 books as well as numerous scholarly and popular articles.
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Transport on the island
Tenerife is the largest island in the archipelago. It is divided into 31 municipal districts. It has a well developed transport network. You can use buses, taxis and trams, as well as rent a car or motorcycle, to get to any corner of the island
Main distances: (airport):
- Tenerife North Airport > Santa Cruz de Tenerife −> 13 km / 15 min.
- Tenerife North Airport > Puerto de la Cruz -> 27 km / 30 min.
- Tenerife South Airport > Las Américas / Los Cristianos / Costa Adeje −> 20 km / 20 min.
- Tenerife South Airport > Los Gigantes −> 44 km / 40 min.
- Tenerife South Airport > Puerto de La Cruz −> 90 km / 70 min.
Transport on the island
El Hierro is the smallest of the Canary Islands, only 50 km long from north to south. The public transport system is adequate for its size. To travel around the island, you can use a taxi, bus or rent a car.
Main distances (airport):
- Main > La Restinga -> 41 km / 52 min.
- Highlights > Frontera -> 26 km / 30 min.
Transport on the island
Fuenteventura is the next largest island after Tenerife. This is the most flat island of the archipelago, which makes moving around it fast and convenient. Buses, taxis, car rentals are at your disposal to make your trips around the island comfortable.
Main distances (airport):
- Main > Corralejo -> 39 km / 40 min.
- Highlights > Morro Jable −> 84 km / 1:15 hours
- Highlights > Costa Calma −> 65 km / 60 min.
- Highlights > Caleta de Fuste −> 8 km / 10 min.
Transport on the island
Lanzarote is located in the very east of the archipelago. To get anywhere on the island, take a bus, taxi or rented car or motorcycle.
Main distances (airport):
- Main > Puerto del Carmen -> 10 km / 15 min.
- Highlights > Playa Blanca −> 33 km / 30 min.
- Highlights > Costa Teguise −> 15 km / 20 min.
- Highlights > Puerto Calero -> 15 km / 10 min.
Transport on the island
La Palma is the greenest island in the archipelago, covered with dense forests. It is also called the “Beautiful Island”. The clear sky above it at night fascinates with myriads of sparkling stars. From the large tourist center, you can reach the most remote corners of the island with the help of a variety of transport.
Main distances (airport):
- Main > Port of Naos -> 40 km / 60 min.
- Highlights > Los Cancajos −> 5 km / 10 min.
Transport on the island
La Gomera, or “Columbus Island”, is also not large in size. The transport network allows you to travel around the island from north to south, using different modes of transport.
Main distances (airport):
- Highlights > Gran Rey Valley −> 45 km / 60 min.
- Highlights > Playa Santiago −> 5 km / 5 min.
- Highlights > San Sebastián de La Gomera −> 35 km / 50 min.
Transport on the island
Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the archipelago (1.560 km2). The island has a modern transport infrastructure, including an extensive bus network, as well as a taxi service and rental cars and motorcycles. Thanks to this, it will not be difficult for you to visit any place on the island.
Main distances (airport):
- Main > Playa del Inglés -> 32 km / 30 min.
- Highlights > Las Palmas de Gran Canaria −> 26 km / 20 min.
- Main > Port of Mogan −> 54 km / 37 min.
- Highlights > Puerto Rico −> 50 km / 33 min.
Gran Canaria attractions on the map
Gran Canaria (Spanish: Gran Canaria) is one of the Canary Islands, the third largest (area 1560. 1 km²) in the archipelago after the islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura. As of 2012, the island’s population was 852,225, making Gran Canaria the second largest Canary Island in terms of population. The capital of Gran Canaria is the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the administrative center of the province of the same name.
Gran Canaria is part of the Canary archipelago and is located 210 km west of the southern coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean. The neighboring islands are Tenerife to the west and Fuerteventura to the east. Gran Canaria has a round shape with a diameter of about 50 km. The coastline is 236 km.
Like all the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is an island of volcanic origin. About 80% of the island’s area (1000 km²) was formed during the Miocene epoch between 14 and 9million years ago. The second cycle of landscape formation (100 km²) falls between 4.5 and 3.4 million years ago, during which the main mountain peaks were formed. The last period of formation began about 2.8 million years ago and continues to this day. The last volcanic eruptions occurred about 3500 years ago. The highest point is the extinct volcano Nieves (1949 m) in the center of the island. Mount Roque Nublo (1813 m) is considered one of the symbols of Gran Canaria.
Due to its geographic and climatic diversity, as well as the richness of its flora and fauna, Gran Canaria is also known as a “continent in miniature”. The island is divided into 14 zones with different microclimates. Mountain landscape dominates in the center of the island. Among the mountains are arid gorges (barrancos), leading to the very coast. During heavy rains, strong streams of water sometimes form in them, therefore, in populated areas, the valleys are usually strengthened.
Under conditions of constant influence of the trade winds, the north of the island is dominated by laurel forests dominated by Canary laurel, foul-smelling okothea and Indian perseus. Also in the northern regions grow Erica tree and Canary bell – one of the symbols of the archipelago. Due to the intensive exploitation of natural resources, the area of laurel forests has decreased significantly in recent years. In the highlands, pine forests predominate, consisting mostly of Canarian pines.
The vegetation of the southern part of Gran Canaria is adapted to a dry climate. The sparse vegetation cover characteristic of the semi-desert consists mainly of plants of the Euphorbiaceae family (for example, Canary Euphorbia), as well as thick-leaved representatives of the bruise genus. Pine bruise is endemic to the island of Gran Canaria.
Archaeological finds have shown that the Canary Islands were inhabited no earlier than 3000 years ago. The oldest finds date back to around 800 BC. e., but exact information is not available.
The first mention of the Canary Islands dates back to the 1st century AD. Pliny the Elder and Pomponius Mela called them “the islands of those in a hurry to happiness. ” Pliny refers to the descriptions of the Moorish king Yuba II, who undertook a journey to the archipelago in 40 BC. e .. In the same text, the name Canaria is first found (presumably the name of the island of Gran Canaria). Pliny the Elder believes that the name of the island was given because of the large number of large dogs on the island. Two dogs were taken by Yuba to his homeland (the territory of modern Morocco), and then got on the coat of arms of the Canary Islands.
The indigenous people of the Canary Islands are collectively called the Guanches, but each island had its own tribal names. Canarians lived in Gran Canaria. The origin of the Guanches is not exactly known, the most popular version of the relationship with the Berbers. The aborigines lived in the Stone Age – they did not know the wheel, boat and iron tools, or lost this knowledge after settlement. In addition, there are no iron rocks in the Canary Islands, the Guanches were forced to make tools from stone.
The early capital of the Guanches was Agaldar (now Galdar). In the pre-Hispanic period, the indigenous population of Gran Canaria was divided into several groups, each of which was headed by a leader. One of the chiefs, Gumidafe, started a war for his supremacy, which led to the submission of smaller groups to him, and proclaimed himself the ruler of Gran Canaria. His son Artemy Semidan strengthened his position as the sole ruler of the island. After his death, the island was divided between his sons into two kingdoms – Agaldar and Telde – which lasted until the time of the conquest of the Canary archipelago by the Spaniards.
Conquest of the islands by the Spaniards
The Genoese Lancellotto Maloncelli, who gave the name to the island of Lanzarote, is considered the discoverer of the Canary Islands. But the first official document confirming the fact of the Portuguese expedition to the islands is dated 1341. A bull of Pope Clement VI dated November 7, 1351 convenes the formation of a Conference of Catholic Bishops in Telda with the aim of converting the local population to Christianity. At the same time, an attempt was made to peacefully convert with the help of merchants from Mallorca, who were also interested in business contacts with the Canaries. At 139In the year 3, the Seville flotilla, which aroused Spain’s interest in goods from the Canaries, including the slave trade, attacked the archipelago. In this regard, the attempt to convert to Christianity in Gran Canaria failed, because the indigenous population could no longer distinguish between the peaceful Majorcan settlers and the Seville conquerors and resisted all outsiders.
The conquest of the Canary Islands by the Spaniards began in 1402 and lasted almost a hundred years. The inhabitants of Gran Canaria successfully resisted the invaders until June 24, 1478, when a huge Spanish squadron led by Juan Rejon landed on the northeastern coast of the island. At first they tried to subdue the island to the Spanish crown peacefully, but this failed and war broke out. The Guanches offered fierce resistance, preferring guerrilla warfare to open battles, attacking simultaneously in several places. the natives were armed only with spears, clubs and stones, the conquerors with swords and firearms. The northeastern part of the island was the first to fall into the hands of the conquerors. Agaldara’s last guanartemé, Tenesor Semidan, was captured by Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. Tenesor was sent to Spain, where he was baptized under the new name of Fernando Guanartemé, and upon his return to Gran Canaria tried unsuccessfully to persuade his fellow tribesmen to stop resisting. In the spring of 1483, Pedro de Vega, together with Fernando Guanartemé, forced the islanders to surrender to the Crown of Castile. This was greatly facilitated by epidemics of introduced diseases, to which the natives had no immunity. In 1484, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was proclaimed the new capital of Gran Canaria. The islanders were robbed of their culture, language and religion. Many chose to throw themselves off cliffs rather than surrender, and thousands were sold into slavery. In the late 1500s, the indigenous population almost disappeared. Although the war only lasted five years, it cost Spain more lives than the conquest of the Aztec empire in Mexico.
The number of settlers in the Canary Islands during the period of the Spanish conquest turned out to be quite large compared to the indigenous population. However, the islands were still sparsely populated, as America seemed more attractive. By the beginning of the 16th century, less than three thousand people lived in Gran Canaria. Due to the active spread of sugar cane plantations on the island, there was an influx of immigrants from the Iberian Peninsula and the importation of slaves from Africa. By the middle of the century, the population of Gran Canaria had grown to 8,000. But by the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century, the population had fallen to 6,000 due to pirate attacks in 1590s, epidemics, poor harvests, and population exodus after the end of the sugar boom.
At the end of the 17th century, about 22,000 people lived in Gran Canaria. The reason for the rapid growth was the transfer of the economy to winemaking, which is mainly export-oriented. Population growth continued into the 18th century. However, a large number of Canarians emigrated to America. Immigrants from the Canary Islands who settled in the area of Louisiana, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela were nicknamed isleños (“islanders”). Canary culture had a greater influence on Latin American countries, but many elements of South American culture were also entrenched in the Canaries.
History from the 19th century to the present day
In 1852, Queen Isabella II declared the Canary Islands a special economic zone, which again led to economic growth.
In 1821 the archipelago was declared a Spanish province with its capital in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. However, Las Palmas also fought for the title of capital, as a result of which, from 1840 to 1873, the archipelago was divided into western and eastern parts. In 1912, the Cabildos Act was passed, according to which each of the islands received its own government – the cabildo. At 19In 27, the Canary Islands were divided into two provinces, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas, with capitals of the same name. Since 1982, the Canary Islands have been one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain, with two capitals Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas. At the same time, the head of the Canarian government moves every four years.
Administrative and political structure
Gran Canaria is divided into 21 municipalities:
Municipalities of Gran Canaria
- Valsequillo de Gran Canaria
- Vega de San Mateo
- La Aldea de San Nicolás
- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- San Bartolome de Tirajana
- Santa Brigida
- Santa Lucia de Tirajana
- Santa Maria de Guia de Gran Canaria
In 2012, 852,225 people live on the island. In terms of population, Gran Canaria is in second place after Tenerife. The capital of the island, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which is home to more than a third of the population of the island (383 thousand people, in the agglomeration of more than 600 thousand people), is the largest city in the archipelago and the administrative center of one of the two provinces of Spain in part of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands – the province of Las Palmas.
As in the rest of the islands of the archipelago, the main body of government is the Cabildo. According to the results of the 2011 elections (inhabitants of the island take part in the vote), the cabildo (consul) of Gran Canaria is a member of the People’s Party, José Miguel Bravo de Laguna.
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Gran Canaria and Tenerife are the two most popular islands in the Canary archipelago. Now Tenerife has the palm, although the number of tourists visiting Gran Canaria is huge. The main tourists on the island are Europeans, the inhabitants of the CIS have not yet had time to choose the island so much for spending their holidays on the wonderful island of the Canary archipelago.
The third largest, since ancient times has been proudly called “Mainland in Miniature”. The name is fully justified, given that the territory is not at all large, a little more than 1500 km2, and the diversity that Gran Canaria can surprise you with is unimaginable. Plants from Europe, America, Africa, Australia, combined with the local fauna, create masterpieces of nature that the islanders are rightly proud of. Canyons and gorges, rocks and volcanic rocks – just for the sake of this splendor it is worth visiting here. Gran Canaria is listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, thanks to the mountain gorge that is located in the center of the island. An amazing place for lovers of mountain walks, and the photos that you take on the excursion will warm you on winter evenings at home.
The islet is also amazing in that on an almost perfectly round piece of land (50 km in diameter) there are 800 thousand indigenous people, which makes the territory the most densely populated in the archipelago. The Canaries have 2 capitals: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is interesting to know that Las Palmas de Gran Canaria became the capital in 1927, thereby uniting the eastern provinces of the Canary Islands: Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.
At the time of the 2004 census, 376 953 people, the largest city in the Canaries is one of the 10 most populated cities in Spain.
Gran Canaria has many climatic zones, each of which fascinates with its beauty. Here it can snow at the same time (on the top of the volcano in winter) and fry the sun, and desert zones alternate with thickets of tropical foliage. Banana plantations and rocky ravines – the number of places to walk is countless, and if you rent a car, you can appreciate the beauty of the whole island, having visited all the places of interest. The island is divided into two parts, southern and northern: south – beaches and dunes, where the whole year is sunny and warm. North – subtropical forests and valleys, the delight of greenery will turn you into a 5-year-old child who was presented with a long-awaited lollipop, and the air that fills your lungs will be a pleasant contrast after the city smog. One of the main prides is the dunes, the hallmark of the island. 8 kilometers of sand create a desert atmosphere. Near them settled one of the most popular resorts of Maspalomas, a warm and dry climate. Just what you need for an unforgettable vacation on the ocean. Another good news is that Maspalomas is an amalgamation of 5 resorts that can satisfy completely different requirements and wallet sizes. The center of the complex can be called Playa del Ingles – the beach of the English, the name originated at the beginning of the 20th century, when this place became a favorite among English sailors. It was this fact that determined the vector of development of the tourist center, in the “epicenter of events” – the most accurate name is Playa del Inglés. A place of parties and entertainment, a resort for those who like to have fun – it is very popular with European youth from 18 to 30, but the beauty of the Canaries is that older people will find parties for themselves. So you will not be isolated due to age.
Another delightful place on the island is rightfully called the capital of Las Palmas, where guests of the island can find a cultural program for every taste. Attractions of the city: the historical quarter of Vegeta, in 1990 was included in the UNESCO list, for a huge number of houses in the colonial era, the Cathedral of the 16th century rises on St. Anne’s Square, which can be seen from any part of the city. Built to celebrate the victory of the Spaniards over the Dutch, who wanted to conquer the city. The cathedral is painted by the most famous Canarian artist of the 18th century, Juanda de Mirada. The building of the 15th century, which has long been called the House of Colombes, although the house belonged to the governor, now it is one of the parts of the Cassade-Colon Museum, in which they will tell you about the history of the Canaries and the discovery of America, and opposite the church, where Columbus prayed before sailing to the new light. You can list the sights of the city for hours. Talking about a fantastic number of cafes, bars, restaurants, nightclubs is not worth even starting. And food in the Canaries is not just a meal, a whole tradition of eating fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits and homemade wine. They eat slowly, flavoring everything with a couple of glasses of homemade wine, take a break in the coolness of umbrellas after busy walks through historical places, isn’t this a paradise?
But this is not the end of Gran Canaria. Rural tourism presented on the island is a type of restorative vacation, favorable factors for the physical and psychological health of a person. The movement is very popular among Europeans who live in big cities, thereby deprived of direct contact with nature. The island has restored country houses, living in which can completely restore mental balance. Most of them are located in the green north, in mountainous regions and in the center. Pleasant variety among the choice of the same type of hotel rooms.
This is just a brief overview of the island, which will enchant and win your heart once and for all.
Population of the Canary Islands – Tenerife Real Estate Agency
The Canary Islands were settled long before the arrival of the first European sailors.
Guanches means “man” in their native language, and this was the name given to the locals.
The Guanches are believed to have arrived on the islands between the 1st and 2nd century AD. probably from Africa. They lived during the Cro-Magnon period, were tall, white-skinned, blue-eyed and blond. Guanches lived in caves, which seems quite logical in the climate of the Canary Islands. The cave was ideal during both summer and winter, storing food like a refrigerator in summer, and sheltering people from wind and dampness in winter. But how did the Guanches come to the islands if there was no evidence that they had boats? In fact, although no one knows for sure, there is a theory that the first humans were landed on the Canaries as a desert island by pirates or possibly exiled as criminals.
Another theory is that they may have traveled downstream from North Africa on reed rafts.
The ancient society existed at the level of the Stone Age, but was not completely primitive: they had a relatively complex social structure. Society was divided into tribes, which were ruled by chiefs, who in turn were subordinate to a council of elders. When the aborigines were discovered by the Spaniards, they were Neolithic in development, although they were advanced enough to have pottery. The basis of their diet was mainly milk, butter, goat meat, pork and some fruits. Their clothes, which included leather tunics or vests, were woven from leather. They left alphabet-like engravings that have not yet been deciphered.
Guanches (Pueblo Chico)
Guanches – Canary aborigines, whose number reached 20 thousand people. The unusual appearance of these blond and blue-eyed people with fiery red hair gave rise to legends. In Western Europe, the existence of the Canarians has been known since ancient times. In the Greek myths narrated by Homer and Hesiod, the Canary Islands are described as “the abode of the blessed” and the garden of the Hesperides.
Today you will see proud, friendly and benevolent people on the islands. They are very proud of their culture and are always ready to serve as guides for tourists. The Canary Islands have been a bridge between Europe and the rest of the world for far too long, so long that now their population is a mixture of all the ethnic cultures of the world.
The Canary Islands now have a population of just over two million. Ethnically, these are Spanish colonists who have inhabited the islands since the discovery and conquest of the Canaries from the beginning of the 15th century, and the remnants of the original population of the islands, the Guanches, mixed with them.
Later, historians and geographers decided that these islands were all that was left of Atlantis, which sank to the bottom of the sea continent described by Plato. In ancient times, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Egyptians and Greeks sailed along the coast of Africa and could not help but notice the archipelago. The Romans called these islands the Lucky Islands on the other side of the Pillars of Hercules (as the Strait of Gibraltar was called).
The historian Pliny the Elder in his “Natural History” tells that the Guanches at that time were breeding very large dogs, which were called “berdinos” (Verdinos). From the Latin word “canis” (dog) Pliny forms the name “Canaria”, which he assigned only to the island of Gran Canaria (the second largest island of the Canary archipelago). And later this name was applied to all the islands of the archipelago, and this is the first name of the islands that has come down to us. Over time, dogs of this breed degenerated to normal sizes, but according to the testimony of the first European conquerors of the Canaries, they were so ferocious that subsequently the Spanish authorities in Tenerife were forced to pay money for their destruction.
The name of this tribe comes from the words “Wanchinet” (wanchinet) or “Gwanchinet” (guanchinet), – “wa” (wa) or “gwa” in the Guanche language meant a man or son, and “chinet” (chinet) – in At that time, this was the name of the island of Tenerife. “Chinet” in translation means “big volcano” (chin – volcano). Thus, the island was associated with the Teide volcano. Therefore, the word “guanche” can be translated as “son of the volcano” (son of Tenerife). The people who inhabited the islands of the Canary archipelago were very different from each other, since there was no connection between the islands. There is also no evidence and not a single archaeological find confirming that the Guanches (or Guanches) sailed the sea. However, the islands could only be reached by sea, therefore, given the fact that the Moroccan coast is nearby, it was assumed that the Guanches are from Northwest Africa and are Berbers or Tuareg (as in Algeria the current Kabila people).
The only known thing about the Guanche language is that each island had its own dialect, and all of them were mastered by Spanish settlers, so until now the local version of the Castilian language (dialect of Spanish) contains many “canarisms”, so to understand the locals, even knowing Spanish well is not easy. The first navigators who found themselves in the Canary Islands were amazed at the language with which the Guanches communicated with each other. Being nearby, people simply silently moved their lips and at the same time perfectly understood each other, and at a distance they communicated with the help of a whistle. There is a legend that as punishment for some guilt, the leader of the Guanches ordered to cut off their tongues. Incredibly, however, the inhabitants of the Canary Islands could communicate with the help of a whistle at a distance exceeding 15 kilometers! The Guanches have long disappeared from the face of the earth, but their language is still alive, and the modern population uses it if necessary, amazing numerous tourists.
Guanches lived in caves, which they themselves carved into the rocks, and walked in small capes made of goat skins or completely naked, because the climate on the islands has always been comfortable for people. They were mainly engaged in cattle breeding, there were especially many goats on the islands, which were grazed by men. The Guanches were skilled at fighting with long poles, the technique of fighting with poles was complex and effective. Until now, local shepherds move around the mountainous terrain with the help of such long poles and talking to each other with the help of a whistle. Many ancient techniques of combat with poles are not forgotten to this day.
The Guanches are one of the peoples who made mummies from their dead. The body of the deceased was rubbed with oils, dried in the sun for 15 days until it became almost weightless, wrapped in sheep skins, tied with leather straps, and then placed in caves or special burial mounds (tumuli – tumuli). The mummification technique of the Guanches was less perfect than that of the ancient Egyptians. However, Egyptologists find a lot in common between the Egyptians and the Guanches in the technique of embalming.
The Guanches left rock paintings with inscriptions that have not yet been deciphered. Some of them look like letters, others resemble geometric shapes. At the moment when European ships moored to the Canary Islands, the Guanches were at the Neolithic stage of development. The presence of writing among the people at the time of the Neolithic is an unprecedented phenomenon. Modern scientists believe that the age of the rock inscriptions in the Canary Islands is two thousand years.
The Pyramids of Chacón, discovered on the island of Tenerife in the Guimar Valley, testify to the origin of an ancient civilization on the islands.
The Guanches, who did not know the plow, nevertheless grew cereals such as barley and wheat, as well as legumes, in the Canaries. Gofio (gofio) was made from barley flour – a dough that still remains the most typical food for the local inhabitants of the Canary Islands. The Guanches were engaged in cattle breeding. They mainly, like the Berbers, raised goats, which provided meat and milk, from which they churned butter. They also raised sheep and pigs. The diet was replenished with fruits, mushrooms and fish. They lived in rather deep caves, which the Guanches dug under the rocks, which is reminiscent of the customs of troglodytes. Until now, some peasants in Gran Canaria live in similar caves in the Canary Islands. All the attire of the Guanches consisted of sewn goat skins. In the imagination of modern Europeans, Guanches are associated with Cro-Magnons.
Like the Cro-Magnons, the Guanches did not know iron. Nevertheless, the conquistadors got a great deal from wooden and stone weapons, from pikes (afiepas – aniepas) with fire-hardened tips or with long and sharp blades made of volcanic stone. The Guanches made pottery according to a technology that is still used by modern inhabitants of the Canary Islands and the Berbers. They didn’t have a potter’s wheel.
At the head of each tribe was a monarch, who in Tenerife was called the mencey (mencey), and the conquistadors the king, although it would be more correct to call him a prince or leader. In addition to him, his wife, family and assembly of elders who were the advisers of the leader, society in the ancient Canaries was divided into two main “classes”: people of noble birth and plebeians. A separate category belonged to the clergy, whose main task was to ennoble the plebeians.
Life of wonderful names. What animal are the Canary Islands named after? Who are the Canary Islands named after?
What animal are the Canary Islands named after?
In honor of dogs. Canaries are named after the islands (of which they are aborigines), and not vice versa.
The archipelago takes its name from the Latin name of the largest of the islands, which the Romans called the “Isle of Dogs” ( Insula Canada
) due to the huge number of these animals on it – both wild and domesticated.
It is said that a volcano on Palm Island, part of the archipelago, could destroy its entire western half, causing a tsunami that could cross the Atlantic Ocean and, after just eight hours, bring down a wave up to thirty meters high on the US East Coast.
One of the traditional sports competitions of the inhabitants of the Canary Islands, where all participants compete in a sand circle – “ terrero
“, is called the “Canarian wrestling”. The main goal is to make the opponent touch the sand with any part of the body, except for the feet. No strikes are allowed. This sport originated among the Guanches – the first islanders who lived here before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Another attraction of the Canaries – the so-called “Homer whistle” ( Silbo Gomero
): a method of communication used on the Canary Island of La Gomera to transmit information in mountainous, ravine-carved terrain. “Speakers” of such a language are called “silbadurs” ( silbadors
). And although initially communication took place in the native language of the Guanches, over time, the “silbadurs” adapted to whistle in Spanish. Today, “Homer’s whistle” is a required subject in local schools.
Canaries are small birds like finches. For centuries, British mining law mandated that these tiny birds be kept in mines to detect gas. Canaries were used in this role until 1986, and the corresponding article remained in the safety regulations for mining operations until 1995. The essence of this requirement was that toxic gases like carbon monoxide and methane killed birds before their concentration could pose a threat to the lives of miners. Preference was given to canaries because they sing a lot, so that the ensuing silence, when the bird falls silent, can be noticed almost immediately.
By the way, only males sing; they can also mimic the ringing of telephones and other household appliances. Yellow Tweety Pie in the famous cartoon series “Songs with greetings” ( “Looney Tunes”
) is also a canary.
Canaries were originally greenish brown, but 400 years of cross-breeding have resulted in the familiar yellow, “canary” color. No one has yet managed to breed a red canary, but a red pepper diet changes the color of the bird to orange.
London’s Isle of Dogs was first named as such on a map dated 1588, possibly because the island was home to the royal kennels, though it may well be that the name was merely a derogatory term. By a strange coincidence, this is where the Canary Wharf tower (or Canary Wharf) is located.
What is the smallest dog in the world?
The world record belongs to a Yorkshire terrier from Blackburn, Lancashire, England. The dog was groomed by Arthur Marples, editor-in-chief of the English newspaper Our Dogs. His ward weighed 113 grams, growth at the withers reached 6.5 cm, from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail was 9.5 cm, lived for two years and died in 1945.
The smallest dog breed is usually considered to be the Chihuahua. However, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, today’s world record for the smallest dog does not necessarily belong to a representative of this breed.
Whitney, record breaking Yorkshire terrier, lives in Shoeburyness, Essex; its height at the withers is 7.3 cm. Chihuahua named Danka Kordak Slovakia – 18.8 cm in length and lives, you guessed it, in Slovakia.
Today there are more than 400 dog breeds in the world, and they all belong to the same species. Any male can cross with any female. There is no second creature in the world, which would be represented by such a wide variety of shapes and sizes. No one has yet figured out why.
The unique diversity of dog breeds is primarily due to man, but the biggest mystery is that all dog breeds without exception originate from ordinary wolves.
The Doberman Pinscher was bred by crossing German Pinschers, Rottweilers, Manchester Terriers, and possibly Pointers in as little as thirty-five years, effectively challenging Darwin’s theory of species evolution that such processes take thousands, if not millions of years.
For some reason unknown to us, when crossing different dog breeds, not some average creature is born, but a complete surprise. Moreover, the new “breed” retains the ability to interbreed.
Chihuahua got its name in honor of the state of the same name in Mexico: it was believed (based on the art of the Aztecs and Toltecs) that this breed has lived there since ancient times. However, none of the archaeological finds confirms such a theory, and today it is generally accepted that the animals depicted by the Indians are a kind of rodent.
Most likely, the ancestors of these dogs were brought to Mexico by the Spaniards from China, where the practice of breeding dwarf plants and animals has a rather long history.
Chihuahua cheese is very popular in Mexico, but it is named after the state, not after the dog.
How do dogs mate?
I wonder if other dogs consider poodles to be members of some strange religious sect?
Dogs mate back to back, not doggy style.
When you see one dog climbing on top of another and pumping back and forth like a pump, you are actually looking at the body of the movement, which is a procedure for establishing dominance. Ejaculation in these cases is a rarity. That’s why your neighbor’s mongrel is always so actively attached to children’s legs. Sex is not the main thing for her, her task is to establish her position in the pack, and for this, the smallest ones are selected first.
When mating, the dogs actually start from behind, but then the male throws one hind leg so that in the end the partners end up back to back. Once this has happened, the tip of the male penis (so-called bulbus glandis
) is engorged and swells, preventing it from being removed.
This situation is called “mating” because the dogs seem to be connected to each other. Its main goal is to minimize the leakage of semen: a classic example of “sperm competition”, a way to keep the gene pool of other dogs from getting inside. After mating, there is a period of “gluing” during which ejaculation occurs, the penis becomes limp, and the dogs may separate.
It’s hard for newbies: when they’re tied up, the poor guys sometimes react very violently. In such cases, the “gluing” and the accompanying screeching and whining is more like a fight than a romantic relationship.
June 24, 1497 navigator John Cabot discovered Newfoundland – now part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We offer you to find out how these places gave birth to popular breeds and why they are worth a visit not only for avid dog lovers.
A very picturesque island with rocky, sometimes hard-to-reach shores. From time to time it is shrouded in mists, which makes the landscapes extremely mysterious and enigmatic…
At first, the territory of Newfoundland was inhabited by purely Indian tribes. On June 24, 1497, an expedition of the merchant-navigator John Cabot arrived to its shores, initially with the aim of thoroughly studying the space of present-day Canada. The discovery of the island was unexpected and pleasant: the Old World just did not have enough living space, and in Newfoundland it was possible not only to live, but also to cultivate the land and cut forests, and a lot of fish were found off its coast. Deciding that it was quite possible to feed themselves here, the Europeans began to settle and develop the “newly discovered land” – this is what the name of the island looks like in English.
Dogs of the same name, better known in Russia as divers, appeared on this island as a result of crossing water breeds with mastiffs and shepherd dogs, which were brought by expeditions following Cabot. Newfoundlands helped people in the transportation of goods, rescued drowning people – and thus secured a long future for themselves.
Today, this Canadian island offers excellent opportunities for an exciting holiday. Local ocean landscapes attract thousands of artists, and travelers bring entire albums of stunning photographs from Newfoundland. The northern part of the island is a tundra, which only true fans of drive look into, but on the south side there are many serene forests, small rivers and lakes. The Terra Nova and Gros Morne National Parks are full of interesting hiking trails and delight their visitors with unspoilt areas of nature.
Comfortable accommodation for the guests of the island is offered by inexpensive three and four star hotels.
Newfoundland’s neighboring Labrador Peninsula also gave its name to the most popular dog breed. Remarkably, the “homeland” of the Labradors themselves is officially Newfoundland, but numerous researchers dispute this and insist that the first representatives of the breed appeared just in Labrador.
At some point in Labrador, deposits of a dark-colored igneous petrified mass, which was called labradorite, were discovered. Today, labradorite is used as a finishing material for facades and for facing the blind area of buildings. The breed of European helper dogs that settled on the peninsula at first had the same color as the stone, but over time it began to darken. And today, Labradors are found in different color variants of the exterior.
There are unique lakes on Labrador – the results of millennia of melting of glaciers with the purest water. The north is famous for Lake Minto; Bienville is located in the center, and travelers admire Mistassini in the south.
A real expanse in Labrador for hunters. After obtaining a special permit on the local land, you can hunt deer, hares, martens, lynxes and foxes. The flora of this piece of Canada is also diverse: forest tundra, coniferous forests, thickets of small trees and the absence of violent human activity give Labrador a special color and purity.
Today is Friday again, and the guests are in the studio again, spinning the drum and guessing the letters. We have a field of miracles on the air and here is one of the questions in the game:
There is an erroneous version that the Canary Islands are named after canary birds, although the situation is exactly the opposite. Moreover, in Latin, “Canaries” are not bird islands at all. And what?
The correct answer is
The Canary Islands do not get their name from the large number of canaries living there. In fact, the opposite is true – it was the birds that were named after the islands.
And the name – Canary – goes back to the Latin word canis – dog. So the Romans called the island when they encountered its inhabitants, who deified dogs. And today it is dogs that support the shield on the coat of arms of the Canary Islands.
The Canarian archipelago consists of 7 islands of volcanic origin, so the sand on the beaches is black, consisting of volcanic ash. There are beaches with yellow sand, but all of it is imported.
Canary Islands name
. An interesting fact is the fact that the name “ Canary Islands
“translated from Latin means literally” dog islands “. This archipelago received this name due to the fact that, according to the ancient scientist Pliny the Elder, on one of the Canary Islands
inhabited by large dogs; or sea wolves. These dogs, or sea wolves, were found on the islands in large colonies. Canary Islands
are an archipelago that consists of seven islands of volcanic origin.
Where are the Canary Islands
? Elite, popular among tourists, the Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, near the northwestern coast of the nsky continent (near the following countries of Western Sahara and Morocco). So, having found out quite well, where are the Canary Islands on the map
travelers and tourists can safely plan an exciting journey and vacation.
Canary Islands which country
? Famous for the whole picturesque resort Canary Islands
belong to the European Kingdom of Spain and are part of the Autonomous Communities. Canary Islands
have two capitals: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. However, until 1927, the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the only capital of Canary Islands.
– a prestigious resort region of the Kingdom of Spain.
. In addition to the seven large inhabited islands, it also includes several small but very picturesque islets.
In the central part of the Canary archipelago
is the largest island -, whose area is 2057 square meters. km. From the islands of the Canary archipelago
is not only the largest, but also the most populous island.
In the west of the archipelago are the following islands: Palma, whose area is 708 square meters. km; with an area of 378 sq. km; and the island of Hierro, area – 277 sq. km.
The island is located to the east of . is the third largest island Canaries
. The area of the island of Gran Canaria is 1532 square meters. km.
Canary archipelago Fuerteventura island
. To the east of the island of Gran Canaria are:, whose area is 1730 square meters. km; and the island, the area of \u200b\u200bwhich is 795 sq. km. Numerous tourists from the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg arrive on the island of Lanzarote.
Small islands of the Canary archipelago
. Of the six small islands of the Spanish resort Canarian archipelago
only the island of Graciosa, which has an area of 27 sq. km, is inhabited.
In the east of the Canary archipelago
the following small islands are located:, with an area of 10 sq. km; Lobos, 6 sq. km; Montaña Clara, with an area of only 1 sq. km; Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. Canaries
includes 13 islands.
It is worth clarifying that, in terms of geography, the famous resort Canary Islands
are included in the group of islands of volcanic origin, along with such as the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands, as well as the island of Madeira.
Canary Islands photo
Canary Islands. Coral reefs
Canary Islands. Tenerife Island
Canary Islands. The picturesque landscape of the island of Tenerife
What animal are the Canary Islands named after? May 19th, 2013
The coat of arms of Spain depicts the Pillars of Hercules, which in ancient times the peoples of the Mediterranean considered the natural boundary of the inhabited world. There, in the west, the sun was setting. There was nothing but a formidable and dangerous desert of waters.
And the coat of arms of Spain also has a proud motto: “Plus Ultra” – “Further than the limit”, as a memory of those times when the country owned the territories located just behind the very Pillars of Hercules. Even today, Spain is a cultural metropolis for the vast Latin America, almost entirely Spanish-speaking.
So, in those proud times, the ships leaving the Spanish ports for America did not turn strictly to the west, which, it would seem, should have shortened the path. They sailed a southwesterly course along the coast of Africa for several days in order to land on the Canary Islands. This was done both in order to check the ship and the crew in business, and in order to replenish food and water supplies in the Canary Islands before a long ocean crossing.
Now this is how flights to other planets are planned. The spacecraft is first launched into near-Earth orbit, and from there it “jumps” into interplanetary space. Thus, for several centuries, the Canary Islands were something like the current orbital space station: there is already an ocean around, but it is still close to reliable land.
Today, first of all, numerous tourists “go crazy” from this. The Canary Islands are now a popular resort located in African latitudes, but with European-class service. It’s nice to bask in the pool and look through its side towards the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. It is pleasant to live in a five-star hotel surrounded by black rocks, reminiscent of the fact that a formidable volcano once erupted here. The Canary Islands are of volcanic origin, and there is still an active volcano on the island of Palma. Volcanologists say that he is in a dormant state, but if he suddenly wakes up, it will not seem enough to anyone, even distant America. The eruption and accompanying earthquake will cause a thirty-meter-high tsunami wave that, moving at almost the speed of an airplane, will cover the US East Coast in eight hours.
It’s also nice to feel abandoned to the ends of the earth. After all, the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, are the westernmost point of the European Union. And the westernmost point in the Canaries is the western coast of the island of Hierro. In principle, it was here that some kind of triumphant, or something, arch should have been erected, and “Plus Ultra” should be written in capital letters on it.
Ancient Romans knew about the existence of these islands. They gave them the name “Canariae Insulae” – “Isles of Dogs”. There were many dogs here and the dogs were large. A Roman writer wrote about it0294 Pliny the Elder (Plinius Maior) (23 – 79)
in his book Natural History. True, Pliny himself did not visit the Canary Islands, but he refers to the evidence of the Moorish king Yuba II (52 BC – 23)
, who made an expedition here and brought dogs from here.
So the Canary Islands are named after dogs, but the small birds that were found here in abundance were already named “canaries” after the islands.
Canaries are a local, island breed of finches, distant relatives of sparrows and siskins. In the 16th century, the Spaniards began to take them out of the island and sell them: the birds sang beautifully. For some time, canaries were a strategic commodity. To prevent them from breeding, only males were sold. Even the name of the birds was kept secret, they said that they were brought from South America. But she sewed in a bag, and you can’t hide a canary in the Canary Islands. Birds spread throughout Europe and very soon became domestic animals. By the way, the canary is one of the domestic animals that Darwin took as an example when discussing the origin of species.
Canary breeding was carried out in two directions at once. First, they changed the color of the plumage from the original green-brown to that bright yellow, which we now call “canary”. And secondly, more singing, more sonorous breeds were bred. It is interesting that the exterior of canaries was mainly dealt with in “frivolous” France, and, so to speak, with the internal content – in “solid” Germany and Tyrol. No one has yet managed to breed a blue canary. The name of the well-known song “Blue Canary” should be translated as “Sad Canary”. There is also such a meaning in the English word “Blue”.
In Russia, before the revolution, canaries were loved and willingly bought for fun and comfort in the house. And after the revolution, the yellow songbird, along with a harmless geranium (by the way, a good folk remedy for pathogenic microbes and mosquitoes in the house) was accused of philistinism. The proletarian poet pronounced a severe sentence on her:
After that he immediately gave a cage with a canary to his beloved Lilya Brik. For fun and comfort in the house, as already mentioned.
In the 16th century, canaries “flew” from the Canary Islands to Europe. And in the opposite direction, to South America, sugar cane “started” from here almost at the same time. The fact is that the birthplace of this useful plant is Southeast Asia and India. In the 12th century, it appeared in Europe. The Arabs brought it here and began to grow it in Egypt. The Spaniards found that this plant takes root very well in the Canaries. So by the time
The origin of the name of the Canary Islands: from a seal? a dog? a canary? a rat? — Discuss
Origin of the name of the Canary Islands: from a seal? a dog? a canary? a rat? — Discuss
Origin of the name of the Canary Islands: from a seal? a dog? a canary? a rat?
The name “Canary” comes from the Latin word “canis” (dog). “Isles of Dogs” (Canariae insulae). This version is more plausible. From the testimonies of Pliny the Elder, one can extract a hint (the word “solution” does not fit here) to the origin of the people and the name of the island. The Canary Islands (Islas Canarias), “the islands of eternal spring”, are washed by the waters … The archipelago was named Canary after the name of the island of Canaria (modern Gran Canaria).
Correct!!!!Isles of Dogs
The name “Canarian” comes from the Latin word “canis” (dog). “Isles of Dogs” (Canariae insulae). This version is more plausible. From the testimonies of Pliny the Elder, one can extract a hint (the word “solution” does not fit here) to the origin of the people and the name of the island. The Canary Islands (Islas Canarias), “the islands of eternal spring”, are washed by the waters … The archipelago was named Canary after the name of the island of Canaria (modern Gran Canaria).
Correct!!! Dog Islands
The modern name of the Canary Islands goes back to the Latin word canis – “dog”. The islands are called so because in ancient times they were inhabited by numerous wild dogs
Well done!!! Correct
All the best!!!
From thieves’ jargon: “GET OUT of here, radish” and it was customary to call the Canary Islands.
Question remains open
For what reason?
Yes, everything in the Canary Islands
Yes and no
Descended from dogs that lived there many years ago
probably from a canary, although I prefer a seal
Isles of Dogs, from Latin
I will know
Live a century, learn a century! All the best!!!
that’s right, thanks
Vladimir Deputy. …
From a dog. Are you satisfied? Do you conduct educational program?
Well done!!! But the first one to ruffle!
I don’t know I wasn’t interested, not my area
Luggage of knowledge has no chapel and areas.
…begs the answer…from the canary…))))
. .I knew it…it shouldn’t be so easy..there is some kind of catch…((
Latin Isle of Dogs
… thanks for the hint … I’ll know … sorry .. that not all of us know Latin … Good night !!!
All the best!!!
…I hope…until the next interesting question…)))
We will try
There is something criminal in this. Ka…nary..
Maybe canaries. But I’m sure it’s wrong
I will know
Live a century, learn a century!
All the best and good luck in everything!
And you are
Dog-headed marine animals
Just Dog Islands
What You Need.
knareiki. but I heard that the dogs.
From Latin, Isles of Dogs
What You Need.
They smoked weed on the bunk.
No answer, it doesn’t matter, if you stop naughty, your son will!!!
don’t remember, but not canaries
Thank you! All the best!!!
And I am a scout
The border guard!
Scout in oil production
So write in Google :-):-):-).
No answer, no problem with age if Google is not covered!!!
I don’t remember, I think dogs
Isles of Dogs from Latin
canaries most likely
from a seal?
Isles of Dogs from Latin
So it’s better to ask the Latins why they called it that.