Gran Canaria
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Gran Canaria

Native Culture

Basket weaving

The Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands, wove baskets and bags of all kinds. But how this is related to modern Canary Island basket work is practically unknown.

In Gran Canaria, where farming played a vital role in the balance of traditional economies, basketwork was an important activity.

Thanks to simple components to be found in almost any gully, such as cane, willow and palm fibre, a craft industry was created to satisfy people’s needs. The central fibre of the palm leaf provided the pirganeros (basket weavers) with the original raw material for making baskets and bags.

Traditionally, wickerwork production was used for farming and housework. The best examples of basket weaving are to be found in mats, bags and hats made from high quality palm leaf.

The areas that have traditionally been the home to this craft industry are Santa Lucía, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Mogán, La Aldea de San Nicolás, Teror and San Mateo, although there were skilled basket weavers in practically every town and village of the island.