EARTH IS THE AIM 6 : Exoduses and survivors ; Part 2 : The peoples of the sea ; Newly published : Chapter 17 : The Guanches

EARTH IS THE AIM 6 : Exoduses and survivors

Part 2 : The peoples of the sea

Newly published : Chapter 17 : The Guanches


The guanches

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Canaries were inhabited by the guanches

The origin of the guanches remains unknown

They could come from Africa, Europe or the Americas


Several origins are possible because the populations of each island are different and do not communicate with each other

That confirm different origins by the succession of settlements

It is difficult to get an idea of their origins because since the 15th century the Spaniards not only christianized the populations but also unified the dialects and traditions


Ethnologists have distinguished two groups of ethnic groups

The bigger group is taller than 1.80 m, beardless, with clear eyes and skin, and broad forehead

The others, of normal size with matte skin and black eyes with a convex profile


A century after the arrival of the Spaniards, the 70,000 Guanches estimated in 1402 were no more than 20,000, due to the resistance to the invader and their enslavement in Spain

An epidemic decimated most of the survivors, the others were Hispanized


“The Canarian” by Boccaccio

Excerpts from the Latin translation of Boccaccio’s work:

“The Canary Islands – Book of the conquest and conversion of the Canaries”

Translated from medieval Latin by Nathalie Bouloux and Odile Redon:


“The first of the discovered islands is nearly one hundred and fifty thousand feet in circumference, entirely rocky and forested, but abundantly inhabited by goats and other animals, as well as naked men and women, And added to that he told us it was in this island that he and his companions had taken the greater part of the furs and tallow, and that they had not dared to penetrate too far into the island.

Thence, on their way to another island, which was almost greater than the preceding, they saw on the shore a great number of men and women, all of them almost naked; Some, however, who appeared to be more important than the others, wore red and yellow goat-skins, and, as might be judged from this distance, very fine and very supple, sewn fairly skilfully with casings;

And as one could judge from their behavior, it seemed that they had a chief, to whom they showed all reverence and respect. This crowd of people manifested his desire to have and maintain commerce with those who were in the boats. But for prudence, when boats from ships approached the shore, their occupants, not understanding the language of the islanders, dared not dock. It is, however, they say, a manner of speaking quite elegant and flowing like Italian. Seeing that no one was coming down from the ships, some attempted to reach them by swimming, and some were taken: among them were those who were brought back.

Then, as they no longer found anything useful here, the sailors set out again. When they went around the island, they found that its northern part was much more cultivated than its southern part, seeing there many dwellings, figs and trees and palms – though barren, and vegetable gardens, cabbages , vegetables. For this reason they disembarked twenty-five sailors in arms, who, searched the houses, discovered about thirty men, naked, who, terrified at the sight of the arms, fled at once. Entering the houses, they saw that they were made of squared stones remarkably carved, and covered with gigantic and very beautiful woods (paneled walls!); As the doors were closed and they wanted to see the inside, they began to break the gates with stones, causing the anger of those who fled, who began to fill the place with loud cries. However, once the locks broke, they entered almost every house, but they found nothing but dried figs in small baskets of palms, good as those found at Cesena, much more wheat Beautiful than ours, with grains longer and bigger, and very white; And also of barley and other cereals, of which, they concluded, they nourished the inhabitants. The houses, besides being very beautiful and covered with a very beautiful wood, were so white inside that they were said to be whitewashed. They also discovered an oratory or a temple within which there was no image or ornament except one statue, carved in stone, representing a man holding a globe in his hand, naked, his shameful parts covered with A loincloth, according to their custom. They took it and loaded it on their boat to bring it back to Lisbon. This island is densely populated and exploited; The inhabitants harvest wheat, cereals, fruits and especially figs. But they eat wheat and other cereals in the manner of birds, or they make flour, which they eat, however, without bread, and they drink water. (…) ”

(…) From there they approached several other islands, to the number of thirteen, some inhabited, others completely deserted, and the more they advanced the more they discovered, beside her the sea is much quieter that it is on our shores, and although the bottom is conducive to anchorage there are few harbors there, and freshwater abounds in all these islands, and it appears that the six islands they found inhabited on the thirteen that they approached, are very populous but they are not equally inhabited some have more inhabitants than the others.

Moreover, they say that the ways of speaking are so different between the islands that from one to the other they do not understand each other. In addition there is no boat or other instrument to go from one island to another, unless you swim.

They also discovered another island where they did not go down because he saw it as a prodigy. They say, in fact, that there exists a mountain whose height is estimated at thirty thousand feet at least; We see it from very far and something white appears at the top. And while the whole mountain is of stone, this white seems to have the appearance of a citadel: they think, however, that it is not a citadel but a very pointed rock that seems surmounted by a mast of the same height as the mast of a ship, to which is suspended the antenna with a sail like the great nave latin hollowed out in the form of shield, which, pulled upwards, swells of wind and spreads widely. And then, little by little, it seems to fall and in the same manner the mast, like that of a ship, and finally it goes up and so on; Those who have traveled around the island have observed this phenomenon on all sides. Believing that it resulted from magical incantations, they did not dare to land on the island.

They discovered many other things that Niccolò did not want to tell. It is clear, however, that these islands are not rich since the sailors have barely managed to recover their expenses. The four men they brought back, young, still beardless, have a beautiful face and walk naked. They have, however, a loincloth thus made: they gird the loins of a rope from which hang rods of palm or rush very tight, long of 3 inches, or of 6 at most; They cover the pubis and the shameful parts in front and behind unless the wind or other hazard raises them. They are not circumcised; They have blond-red hair, they wear it long almost to the navel, while walking barefoot.

The island where they were abducted is called Canaria and it is more populated than the others. (…) Once on the boat, they ate bread and figs and the bread they liked, although they have never eaten before. They completely refuse wine and drink water. They eat wheat like barley with full hands, cheese and meat, of which there is very great abundance and good quality. However, they do not have cattle, camels or donkeys, but they have a lot of goats, sheep and wild boars. They were shown coins of gold and silver, which were completely unknown to them. Nor do they know any kind of spices. If they are shown gold jewelery, chased vases, swords or swords, it seems that they have never seen or possessed them.

They show an extremely strong sense of sincerity and justice; If indeed one of them is given something to eat, he will not taste a single piece of it until he has divided it equally and divided it with the others.

Their wives are married and those who have known men wear loincloths like men whereas virgins go completely naked without feeling any shame at so doing. They have like us numbers, passing the units before the tens (…) ”


Life of the guanches

The Guanches lived in complete autarky, island by island

They grew barley, wheat and pulses

The flour of grilled barley grains served to make gofio, dough nourishing and dish typical of the Canaries

They were breeding goats, sheep and pigs

Wild fruits, mushrooms and fishing supplemented their meals


Their housing is troglodyte

Their garments were made of sewn leather or woven fibers

They made pottery but ignored the use of iron

They knew writing, astronomy and practiced poetry

Trepanning cases have also been found

Their legislation was elaborated and their religion had complicated rites


Society was hierarchical:

First the chief, the mencey, with his wife and his family

Then the assembly of the elders, then the nobles, the priests and the people

The Guanches give particular importance to women

They occupied a privileged place in the community


The Guanches and death

Their dead, lying on their backs horizontally, were deposited in caves used for collective burials, arranged with walls to compartmentalize the niches

The walls of the caves and the funerary furniture of the burials were decorated with painted and engraved motifs


Nobles and notables were deposited in tumuli or artificial caves, often grouped in necropoles

The hierarchy is found in the rituals of mummification and the richness of the materials in the burials, mainly skins


Mummification seems to have been reserved for nobles and notables

They mummified their deceased by coating them with butter and then were dried in the sun and then were embalmed and buried in caves or tumuli

Out of 370 mummies, it was possible to remove viscera and connective tissues, the analysis of which revealed a high proportion of O negative blood


Religion of guanches

The pantheon of the guanches is composed by:

Magec, the sun, is the chief of the gods

Achamán, the sky, is the god of luck

Guayota, an evil god, lived in Echeide, hell, before inhabiting the Teide volcano,he is represented as a woolly dog

Chaxiraxi, the Mother Goddess, was christianized as the Virgin of Candlemas

The paredros gods, male domestic deities, are mediators between men and the Celestial Great Mother

They have supernatural powers and are guardians


The creation of the world by the guanches

Guayota lived in Teide volcano

Guayota was a demon, the king of evil

Guayota kidnaped the god Magec, the god of light and sun, and dragged him inside the Teide

The guanches implored Achamán to help them

Achamán succeeded in liberating Guayota, taking Magec out from Echeide and closing the Teide crater with a cork

The cork placed by Achamán is called Sugar Loaf, because it is a cone of white color which crowns the Teide


An earthcake then split the island of Echeide which created the seven Canary Islands:

Tyterogaka (Lanzarote), Erbane (Fuerteventura), Tamarán (Gran Canaria), Achined (Tenerife), Gomera (the Gomera), Benahoare (the Palm tree) and Ezeró


Since that time Guayota remains locked up in Teide

When the Teide erupted, the guanches lit fires in order to frighten Guayota

If he succeeded in getting out of Echeyde, these fires served to mislead him, for he always believed himself in hell and passed his way


The Creation of Human

Originally there was Achamán, a powerful and eternal god

Before him was only nothingness and emptiness, the sea did not reflect the sky and the light had not yet colors

Achamán was also named Abora or Alcorac

All creatures owed their existence to him, for he created the earth and water, fire and air, and the life that animated these creatures

Achamán lived in the sky and sometimes on the tops of the mountains


One day Achamán stopped at the summit of Echeyde

Hence his work appeared to him more beautiful and perfect, like as if he discovered it for the first time

He thought he had to share it

He then decided to make human that they also admired what was created for them and to make good use of it

But also to keep this world in condition and to maintain it


Feasts and Guanches

The main feasts mainly concern the mother goddess Chaxiraxi, and the supreme and creative spirit, Achamán

They also venerated the dead and the ancestors.


The feast of Beñesmer is a celebration of the agricultural calendar

During this feast the guanches shared milk, gofio, goat meat or sheep

This feast was assimilated to the pilgrimage of the basilica of the Virgin of Candlemas

After the colonization, Christianization assimilated the goddess Chaxiraxi to the Virgin of Candlemas

Her feast takes place February 2 instead of August 15 to cover the date of the feast of the Mother Goddess


The festival of the new year Guanche was thus assimilated to the feast of Saint John


The festivities of the Romería of the Help in Güímar, the Corpus in the valley of the Orotava, and the Poleo in Icod de Los Vinos, are ancient traditions Guanches


In Icod de los vinos there is a dragon tree that would be 2500 years old

The dragon tree, tree symbol of Teneriffe, was sacred to the guanches, who used it to make medications of natural medicine


Language of the guanches

The alphabet of the guanches was collected by the first missionaries sent to the Canaries

It looks like the alphabets of Phoenician or Carthaginian


The linguists established connections between the Guanche and the dialects spoken by the Tuaregs and the Berbers

Traces of Arab influence are recognized


We discovered several petroglyphs in the islands of the archipelago with unknown characters, but we saw in the previous chapter that the petroglyphs are Mayan



Gravures Guanches , Iles Canaries

Photo Luc Viatour :

Photo Wikipédia CC : Angrense




Discovery of the Canaries

In 1402, Jean de Béthencourt discovered and conquered the Canary Islands

Jean de Béthencourt received the title of Lord of the Canary Islands by his suzerain king Henry III of Castile who had financed the expedition on the condition that he would pay homage to the lands to be conquered:

Thus the Canaries became Spanish


He was surprised to discover white-skinned men with blond or red hair and blue eyes who lived in the Stone Age

Fathers Bontier and Le Verrier, chaplains of the Bethencourt expedition said:

“Ensure that there was in Fuerteventura a man of a gigantic size who

Found in defense of a village which the men of the expedition attacked. His height was nine feet. ”

Which is about 2.70 meters


The Frenchmen were astonished to see that the guanches believed themselves alone in the world

They were persuaded to be the last survivors of a terrible cataclysm that had taken place several thousand years ago and would have annihilated humanity


In the name of Christian “civilization”, the guanches were exterminated or enslaved


History of the guanches

As we saw in the previous chapter, the first ones to settle in the Canaries were the Atlantes from – 6612, then the Iberians from – 4311

After – 3000 and the swallowing of Atlantide, the Mayas arrive

But if they are the main occupants, they are not the only ones, they cohabit with Iberians and Basques and other Peoples of the Sea

Towards – 1200 begins the extinction of the Peoples of the Sea, and it is the Phoenicians who arrive in their turn

About – 814, the Carthaginians succeed the Phoenicians


Plato in the 4th century BC describes the guanches as great blond men who master the metallurgy and live in cities

The guanches of the 15th century had lost all the knowledge that they receive from the peoples of the sea

The predominance of the blood group O of the guanches brings them closer to the peoples of the sea: Basque, Iberian, Venetian, Etruscan, etc.


And from – 146, the date of the destruction of Carthage by the Romans, these one arrive in the archipelago

The king of Mauritania Juba II, who became king in 13 AD, sent ships to explore the archipelago and trade with these prosperous people

The island of Tenerife with its date palms was called Junonia


In Tarfaya, in Berber: ⵟⴰⵔⴼⴰⵢⴰ, formerly Cap Juby, and Cerné in the 4th century AD, the Arabs traded with the Canaries and brought back a Guanche mummy wrapped in a lion’s skin

Knowing that there has never been a lion in the Canaries, this rare and precious item has necessarily been imported


From -146, and until 994, with the expedition of Captain Ben Farroukh, it is the Berbers who add to the populations in place

The Berbers were driven out of their lands by the invasion of the Muslims and then for more than a millennium there will be many refugees who will come to swell this community


Al Idrissi relates in about 1100, a last attempt of invasion by magrûrins, adventurers Moors, rejected by the Berbers of the Canaries

Then the archipelago will live quietly, because isolated, from the 11th century to 1402, but will also lose all its technology


In fact the guanches are a mixture of populations more or less refugees on these islands and who knew how to survive with a sufficient prosperity:

Atlanteans, Egyptians, Mayas, Basques, Iberians and other peoples of the sea, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Berbers

But during their 300 years isolation from the rest of the world, the archipelago has undergone a great cataclysm that has driven their islands into the sea

This is why there are ruins of cities and road and port infrastructures submerged

This cataclysm not only swallowed up their port cities, but deprived refugee survivors on the summits of the technology they had previously enjoyed


It is surely this cataclysm which, they believed, had decimated the entire earth, which they told to the Spanish conquerors and not the tsunami that swallowed Atlantide 4300 years earlier


For them these 300 years, lasted like as millenniums but it still also remain in the memories, traces of the engulfment of Atlantide




money is the human predator
This entry was posted in Acahaman, Achamán, Canary islands, Chaxiraxi, Guanches, Guayota, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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