Gran Canaria
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Gran Canaria

Native Culture


The aboriginal pottery of Gran Canaria is the best in the Canary Islands, both for its shapes and its decoration, indicating a high degree of culture. It was only in Gran Canaria that colour was used as a decoration. There is also an extraordinary variety of motifs and forms, such as dishes, plates, pots, urns, bowls, etc. French anthropologist Verneau, in reference to this pre-Hispanic pottery, wrote "well baked, regular, symmetrical, often elegant, at first sight, you would think that they were made on a wheel".

The technique of making ceramics, by hand and without a potter’s wheel, is a direct inheritance from the aboriginal culture of the Guanches. The potters deploy an unrivalled skill in making clay utensils that are modelled and decorated with a remarkable artistic sense: sculptures, bowls, ovens, toasters, pots, jugs, pans, etc.

Like the original Canary Islanders, who never discovered the potter’s wheel, they mould their pottery from strips of clay, one on top of another to give their work its shape. It is then baked and finished without any form of glaze, thus maintaining the bright red colour of the original clay. This is pottery rather than ceramics.

To find traditional pottery, you have to go to La Atalaya de Santa Brigida, Hoya de Pineda, in Galdar, el Hornillo, Lugarejo, in Artenara, etc.