Guanches clothing

Guanches clothing. Set of personal clothes or outfits used in all cultures since prehistory by the Canarian aborigines . Made of suede sheep or cow leather , which crosses one shoulder and covers the middle of the back and chest . The most common type of clothing used by the ancient inhabitants of the Canary Islands is called tamarco .


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Description
  • 3 Did they get to know sewing? Did they sew the skins?
  • 4 Were the Guanches always dressed? Did they admit to going naked?
  • 5 Did the clothing worn by the Guanches of Gran Canaria have any peculiarity?
  • 6 Were they barefoot?
  • 7 Did the Guanches also do it?
  • 8 Sources


Los Guanche is the name applied to the ancient aborigines of the Island of Tenerife , in the Canary Islands , Spain , who inhabited it before the Castilian conquest in 1496 . This is one of the towns Aboriginal related genetic and culturally with Berbers from the north of Africa ..


The clothes and ornaments were usually of leather suede, as they did not know the linen or the cotton or possibly wool , although it had sheep , they belong to a race African without wool. The most important suit is the tamarco , which has two types: one short, which crosses the left arm and diagonally covers the middle of the back and chest , and another long one, which is tied at the neck and falls almost to the ankles. . This is the one used by the shepherds on the mountain to defend thecold . It is believed that at the bottom some rounded pebbles were tied that made a counterweight to offer greater resistance to the wind . The mantras layers of the peasants of La Esperanza , in Tenerife , remember in a certain way such a tamarco. Dresses used to color them with herbs and flowers .

Did they get to know sewing? Did they sew the skins?

Confection The skins are sewn with straps or casings goats through needles of thorns , but especially with punches bone goat. As an awl of shoemaker , is pierced the skin and the cord is introduced. In the mummies you can appreciate the skill of these stitches.

In winter , the hairs on the skin tend to go inward and the other side is often decorated with horizontal and vertical incisions. The tamarco is also adorned with rounded, angular strips of fur that overlap and are sewn to it.

For the fastening of the dresses and other purposes, braided cords and cords of vegetable fibers are used.

The Guanches were always dressed? Did they admit to going naked?

Little clothing In time of struggle they used to go naked for greater agility. Outside of this they used to cover themselves, although the Lanzarote residents used a half cape that only covered the back , but not the women who used to be well sheathed. It is not strange, given the climate of the islands and the naturalistic character of its inhabitants, that in summer and in the southern coastal area they were more naked than dressed.

Did the clothing worn by the Guanches of Gran Canaria have any peculiarity?

Aside from the general characteristics of the tamarco , in Gran Canaria they use some barrels or skirts made of reed or palm , extraordinarily woven , then a kind of blouse and, on top, the tamarco. Likewise, there are other differentiations in the clothing of each island .

Headdress head Each island offers a unique dress. In the headdress, those from Lanzarote wear a high fur bonnet ; those of Fuerteventura , a bonnet with three long feathers , and the women , a sash of goat leather , dyed red and adorned with the same feathers; those of Gran Canaria put on a goat bag whose claws fell from the ears and that they tied to the neck. But these picturesquenesses pointed out by the chroniclers must be considered more typical of solemnities or of the upper social strata .

Were they barefoot?

Footwear Although it is known that they walked most of the time barefoot, keeping this custom until recently among the little ones and up to a certain age, they had developed a type of footwear to be able to move better around the rough orography of the islands .

The most widespread shoes were leather of goat in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura called Maho and Tenerife xercos . The nobles in Gran Canaria wore shoes made of pieces of pig leather which is more consistent. It is possible that this type of footwear was used more commonly in the other islands.

In all the primitive towns , simple as they were, ornaments were used.

Did the Guanches also do it?

Ornaments They were adorned with necklaces . In Tenerife it is the island where necklaces of clay beads have been found abundantly . Other ornaments were of seashells or carved bones and small stones . The vertebrae of fish , carefully worked, also were used as beads necklaces. In Fuerteventura there are some necklaces of special beauty, made with bone plates, with rectangular and perforated shapes. They were also adorned with shell pendants. On the Island of Las Palmaswooden pendants in the shape of a drop have been discovered .


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