History of LANZAROTE

Lanzarote is located in the eastern with a surface of 862 Km 2 and a maximal altitude of 671 mts. Lanzarote is composed of a small archipielago called " The archipielago Chinijo " located in the north and composed of La Graciosa with a surface of 27 Km2 and with an altitude of 266 mts., La Alegranza with a surface of 10 Km2 and an altitude of 289 mts. and Montaña Clara with a surface of 1 Km2 and an altitude of 256 mts. There are also 2 peaks ( which rise from the sea ) in the East with an altitud of 84 mts. and in the Western with an altitude of 41 mts.

There is a great problem to explain the History of Lanzarote and that is the lack of information regarding its creation and its first occupants.
There are serveral factors:

- The lack of archaeological discoveries - It seems to be that the first occupants never died in the island ( at least without being buried ). The prehistorical interments are shorts.

- Eruptions that smoothed and entombed a lot of accomodations, utensils, tools, " paintings ", etc.

- The sacking of the conquerors - While conquering, they destroyed and sacked everything they reached.

The first settlers of the island were the " majos " ; a description of them is given below,

Clothing .-The Normand Chronicle make a distinction between the habit of the men " They are naked, excepting a cape on the back that cover the popliteal space " adding that " they are not shy of their penis " and the women " wearing long leather hopalandas which reach the floor " The use of she-goats's leather was very often in the whole Archipielago. A chronicler.

Later, he tell us " The people from Lanzarote weared habits made with she-goats' leather like dress, up to the knees " and he adds " They had pointed beard, long hair, with a leather hat with 3 feathers. They, specially the women weared shells ornaments. The shoes consist of a piece of leather that covered the feet, were called maohs or mahos. The name " majorero " given to the occupants of Fuerteventura ( sister island ) comes from it.

Accomodation.- Among the natives of the island there was an old traditions of deep houses. These houses were built with stones and were composed of 3 small rooms, one of them opened air and with a triangle layout and connected through covered galleries.

The Conquest of Canarias .-During the XIII century a young from Genova called Lancilotto Maloxelo visited the Island called Tytheroygatra by the natives. He traded during 15 years in the Island and he was probably the person who gave the name of Lanzarote.
During the XIV a noble from Vizcaya called Martín Ruiz de Avendaño arrived at the Island. The King of the Island Zonzamas invited him to be accomodated in his own house and he had intimate relations with his wife, called Fayne. After 9 months she had a beautiful baby with a very white skin, who received the name of Ico. After the death of Zonzamas, his son Tinguafaya inherited and in 1393 he, his wife and 160 natives were taken captives. His brother Gauanarame inherited him and as also the first Egyptians used to do, he married with her own sister the princess Ico. Guadarfia was born of this marriage. So that the throne was left in Princess Ico' s hands ( with doubtful nobility ) she was required to prove her nobility. The proof consisted in keeping her with 3 plebeians in a closed room full with smoke and to pass this proof with success. Before coiming in the room, the princess Ico met an old lady who told her to keep a wet sponge inside her mouth while she was in the room. After the proof the Princess Ico came out of the room with irritated eyes but the 3 plebeians were death. So the princess Ico was able to rule and inherited the throne her son Guadarfía.
In 1402 arrived at the Island La Graciosa Juan de Bethencourt and he did not find many problems to conquer it because Guadarfía only had 200 men to protect the whole island. In September 28th the Señorio of Lanzarote was given to Diego de Herrera and Inés de Pedraza. The inhabitants of the island were angry with the tyranny of Diego de Herrera and the riot started. The rebelious took as prisoner a portuguese crew . But this riot did not take long.

Post-Conquest.- In September 1st 1730, after several dominons and marquisates, in the surroundings of Timanfaya some eruptions started and lasted till 1736. We will tell you about these eruptions in the chapter " Districts of Yaiza, Montañas de Fuego ". After these eruptions the life of the farmers in Lanzarote became very hard , but the islanders went on, cultivating even on the volcanic ashes.
The capital of the island was the Real Villa de Teguise ( Royal Villa of Teguise ) untill 1852. From that date and till nowsdays the capital is Arrecife. The reason is very simple: Arrecife had port and with the beginning of the Commerce, the port of Arrecife grow up in size, necessity and importance. It was the entrance and the exit of the island.
The Agriculture and the Fishing were during many years the activities that push the Economy of this island. Nowadays the most important source of incomes, jobs and investments turn on the Tourism.

In the chapter dedicate to the Districts we will have a look at the History of the 7 districts that make up the island, with its monuments explaining them and as much as possible giving details of them.

Wide History of Lanzarote



Esta pagina ha sido realizada por Sarabel y Chino.

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