Gran Canaria, the silence of the Gran Canaria mother stone
The rock listened to a murmur of people. Their faces gave away a blur of hopes, fears, courage and uncertainty. It welcomed people into its rocky arms and protected them as best it could, for millennia, like a mother would. This was how the ancient population of Gran Canaria found shelter in amazing spots such as La Fortaleza and managed to develop a unique culture in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The rock’s silence made way for human voices. Furthermore, indigenous society used the mother stone’s cavities as a place to live and use as storage, funeral sites and possible sacred spots all over the three rocks in the site, the Large, Small and Lower or Titan Fortresses.
Then came other voices and, with them, the noise of the Conquest. Not even stone could protect this and other examples of fortified settlements in Gran Canaria. Silence eventually returned to La Fortaleza although its passages and the nearby visitors’ centre are real tunnels back through time.
La Fortaleza stands in the heart of the Caldera de las Tirajanas, also home to La Sorrueda dam and palm forest, one of the most important in Gran Canaria. Another culture grew up in its shadow, using the palm stems to make baskets, occasionally feeding themselves from the date palms, sweetening their lives with palm honey and sweeping the ground in front of their houses, their problems and bad omens away with palm leaves, which they used to coin the wise saying reminding us that “the higher the palm tree, the lower the ground to sweep.”
At the foot of La Fortaleza, under the palm trees, on the edge of the dam, after words, silence reigns.