Saturday, May 2

Relics And Religion Of The Ancient Canary Island Gaunche People

Gaunches ancient pots in Canary Islands
Clay pots made by the Gaunches of Tenerife
Plato described a rich and happy land in the Atlantic which was virtually destroyed by earthquakes and tidal waves some 12,000 years ago. This was Atlantis and many locals are convinced that the Canary Islands are what remains of the submerged paradise.

I was in the Canary Islands recently and came across a display of clay pots and other bits said to be from the time of the original residents of Islands such as Tenerife. These were the Gaunches.

The Guanches were virtually wiped out by the Spanish in the 1400s but relics have been discovered from their past.

The face of God?
Surrounded by Mother Nature who was inexplicable to them, the Gaunches were overawed by the immense power that made the stars turn in the sky above them, bringing them day and night, the gift of rain, or the desolation of drought, the misery of hunger, or the delights of abundance,

Every aspect of their lives, including life and death, all formed part of a single world, with no divisions between them.

The different parts of the Gaunches everyday lives (work, sexuality, social events) were governed by religion. Their funeral rites are said to show how the dead were considered as an image of the living. Death was merely a metaphor for life.

Very few representations or images of Gaunche religious beliefs have survived. The small figure (as shown in the photo above) is made from baked clay and is known as El Guatimac. It is described as being an exceptional find from the Canary Island's pre-history. It is not known as to what it represents. Various theories have a been put forward as to what it might be: a representation of God, an idol, a genie or even simply a lucky charm.

Much of the Guanche knowledge had been lost. As to whether the Canary Islands were once part of Atlantis the 'experts' are undecided..

Other Recent Canary Island Posts:
A Walk Along The Coast In Tenerife
Three Tenerife Loose Connection Coincidences
A Chance Journey To San Juan In Tenerife

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  1. From what one understands of Atlantis, I would have thought there would be better artifacts surviving and that the Gaunches would have been more developed unless they came from somewhere else later on. Of course they could be the traumatised remnants of the Atlantis civilisation I guess.

  2. I'd never heard of the Guanche. Intriguing. Novelist Taylor Caldwell wrote a novel - title escapes me - about the final days of Atlantis. It simply "came" to her and later in life, she came to believe it was a memory of her life there.