The conquest of the Canary Islands by the Crown of Castille took place between 1402 and 1496. It can be divided into two periods: the Conquista señorial, carried out by Castilian nobility in exchange for a covenant of allegiance with the crown, and the Conquista realenga, carried out by the Spanish crown itself, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs.
Conquest of the Canary Islands
Location of the Canary Islands
The ties between the Canaries and the Mediterranean world which had existed since antiquity were interrupted by the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire. Although these linkages were weakened, they were not totally severed, and the Canaries' isolation was not total. During the Middle Ages, the first reports on the Canaries come from Arabic sources, which refer to some Atlantic islands which may have been the Canaries. What does seem clear is that this knowledge of the islands did not signify the end of the cultural isolation of the native inhabitants.
Visits to the archipelago began to increase after the end of the 13th century for reasons including:
The first visit by a European to the Canary Islands since antiquity was by Genoese captain Lanceloto Malocello traditionally dated 1312 (but possibly a little later, between 1318–1325). Malocello's motives were unclear - it is believed he might have been searching for traces of the Vivaldi brothers who had disappeared off Morocco, around Cape Non back in 1291.[a] Malocello made landfall (possibly shipwrecked) on Lanzarote island, and remained there for nearly twenty years. Malocello may have attempted to erect himself as a ruler among the aboriginal peoples and been eventually expelled by them.
According to some sources, shortly after his return to Europe, in 1336, Malocello led a return expedition to the Canaries, sponsored by the Portuguese crown. However, the existence of this expedition has been dismissed by most modern historians, as being based on later forged documents.[b]
Evidently drawing from the information provided by Malocello, in 1339 appeared the portolan map by Angelino Dulcert of Majorca showing the Canary island of Lanzarote (named Insula de Lanzarotus Marocelus and marked by a Genoese shield), as well as the island of Forte Vetura (Fuerteventura) and Vegi Mari (Lobos). Although earlier maps had shown fantastical depictions of the "Fortunate Islands" (on the basis of their mention in Pliny), this is the first European map where the actual Canary islands make a solid appearance (although Dulcert also includes some fantastic islands himself, notably Saint Brendan's Island, and three islands he names Primaria, Capraria and Canaria).
In 1341, a three-ship expedition sponsored by King Afonso IV of Portugal, set out from Lisbon, commanded by Florentine captain Angiolino del Tegghia de Corbizzi and Genoese captain Nicoloso da Recco, and employing a mixed crew of Italians, Portuguese and Castilians. Cruising the archipelago for five months, the expedition mapped thirteen islands (seven major, six minor) and surveyed the primeval aboriginal inhabitants, the 'Guanches', bringing back four natives to Lisbon.[c] (This expedition would become the basis of later Portuguese claims of priority on the islands.)
European interest in the Canaries picked up quickly after the 1341 mapping expedition. The descriptions of the primeval Guanches, in particular, drew the attention of European merchants, who immediately saw the prospect of new and easy slave-raiding grounds. In 1342, two Majorcan expeditions, one under Francesc Duvalers, another under Domenech Gual, assembled by private merchant consortia with a commission from Roger de Robenach (representative of James III of Majorca) set out for the Canary islands. The results of these expeditions are uncertain.
The Catholic Church was also drawn by the news. In 1344, the Castilian-French noble Luis de la Cerda (Count of Clermont and Admiral of France), then serving as a French ambassador to the papal court in Avignon, submitted a proposal to Pope Clement VI, offering the Church the more palatable vision of conquering the islands and converting the native Canarians to Christianity. In November 1344, Pope Clement VI issued the bull Tuae devotionis sinceritas granting the Canary islands in perpetuity to Luis de la Cerda and bestowing upon him the title of sovereign "Prince of Fortuna". The pope followed this up with another bull, in January 1345, giving the projected Cerda-led conquest and conversion of the islands the character of a crusade, granting indulgences to its participants, and papal letters were dispatched to the Iberian monarchs urging them to provide material assistance to Cerda's expedition. The Portuguese king Afonso IV immediately lodged a protest, claiming priority of discovery, but conceded to the authority of the pope. Alfonso XI of Castile also protested, claiming that, by the ancient Visigothic dioceses and prior reconquista treaties, the islands fell within the Castilian jurisdiction and 'sphere of conquest', but nonetheless recognized Cerda's title. Despite their formal concessions, preparations were stalled by the opposition of the Iberian monarchs, with the result that no expedition was mounted before Cerda's death in 1348.
With De la Cerda out of the picture, other parties resumed their adventures and we have notices of further expeditions by Majorcans (now annexed by Aragon) to the area - Jaume Ferrer in 1346 (aiming for Senegal, but might have touched the Canaries), Arnau Roger in 1352, and a royal-sponsored expedition by Joan Mora in 1366 (with instructions to also patrol for interlopers). These expeditions (and doubtless many other unrecorded ones, not only by Majorcans, but also likely by merchants of Seville and Lisbon) were almost wholly commercial, with the primary purpose of capturing native islanders to sell as slaves in European markets. But there was also some peaceful trade with the locals, particularly for orchil and dragon's blood, which grew wildly on the islands and were much valued as dyes by the European cloth industry.
The pope did not give up on his hope of converting the natives. In 1351, Pope Clement VI endorsed an expedition by Majorcan captains Joan Doria and Jaume Segarra, with the object of bringing Franciscan missionaries, including twelve converted Canarian natives (apparently seized by previous Majorcan expeditions), to the islands.[d] Whether this expedition ever set out is uncertain. Apocryphal legend relates the missionaries succeeded established an evangelizing center at Telde (on Gran Canaria), which the pope elevated to the 'Diocese of Fortuna' (although no bull to that effect has been found), until they were expelled in a native uprising in 1354. More confidently is the bull issued in July 1369 by the Avignon Pope Urban V erecting the diocese of Fortuna and appointing Fr. Bonnant Tari as bishop, and a follow-up bull of September 1369 instructing the bishops of Barcelona and Tortosa to dispatch 10 secular and 20 regular clergy to preach to the Canarians in their native languages.[e] But whether this actually set out or just remained a paper project is also uncertain. We have a more reliable record of a Majorcan expedition in 1386 carried out by 'Pauperes Heremite', sponsored by Peter IV Aragon and Pope Urban VI. Although their exact fate is unknown, there is a later report that thirteen "Christian friars" who had been preaching in the Canaries "for seven years" were massacred in an uprising during 1391.[f] At least five missionary expeditions would be sent (or at least planned) between 1352 and 1386.
Geographic knowledge of the Canary islands coalesced with these expeditions. La Gomera and El Hierro are depicted in the 1367 portolan of the brothers Domenico and Francesco Pizzigano. The Catalan Atlas of 1375 shows the Canaries almost completely and accurately mapped (only La Palma is missing). The eleven islands are named in the Catalan Atlas (from east to west) as Graciosa (La Graciosa),laregranza (Alegranza), rocho (Roque), Insula de lanzaroto maloxelo (Lanzarote), insula de li vegi marin (Lobos), forteventura (Fuerteventura), Insula de Canaria (Gran Canaria), Insula del infernio (Tenerife), insula de gomera (La Gomera), insula de lo fero (El Hierro). The name 'tenerefiz' is first given alongside 'Infierno' in the 1385 Libro del Conoscimiento.
During the 1370s, when Portugal and Castile were engaged in dynastic wars following the assassination of Peter I of Castile, Portuguese and Castilian privateers were dispatched against each other, several of which made detours to the Canary islands for shelter or slave-raiding jaunts. Ignoring the 1344 bull, Ferdinand I of Portugal granted (in 1370) the islands of Lanzarote and La Gomera to the adventurer 'Lançarote da Franquia' (believed by some to be none other than the impossibly-aged Lanceloto Malocello).[g] This Lanzarote made an attempt to seize the islands and is reported to have engaged in fighting with "Guanches and Castilians" there.[h]
There are several other expeditions, since determined to be apocryphal.[i] Among those deemed purely legendary are:
In the 14th century, a variety of forces competed for control of the Canaries: Genoese, Catalan-Mallorcan, Castilian, and Portuguese. In the following century, Castile and Portugal were the primary contenders.
The conquest took place between 1402 and 1496. It was not an easy task, militarily, given the resistance of the Guanche aboriginals in some islands. Nor was it easy politically, given the conflicting interests of the nobility (bent on fortifying their economic and political power) and the state, particularly Castile, with an interest in reinforcing its own power in competition with the nobles.
Historians identify two distinguishable periods in the conquest of the Canaries:
The first period of the conquest of the Canaries was carried out by the Norman nobles Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle. Their motives were basically economic: Bethencourt possessed textile factories and dye works and the Canaries offered a source of dyes such as the orchil lichen.
Bethencourt received important political support in the court of King Henry III of Castile. His uncle, Robert de Braquemont, gained the king's permission for the conquest of the Canary Islands on behalf of the Norman noble. In exchange for these rights Bethencourt became a vassal of the Castilian King. Robert de Braquemont invested a significant amount in the venture. The story of the Bethencourt Conquest was recorded in the chronicle known as the Canarien, compiled by two clerics Pierre Bontier and Jean Le Verrier. The original was adapted in two later versions, one by Gadifer de La Salle (which appears the more reliable of the two) and the other by the nephew of Bethencourt, Maciot de Bethencourt.
The Norman expedition set off from La Rochelle and stopped off in Galicia and Cádiz before arriving in Lanzarote in the summer of 1402. The island's aborigines and their chief Guadarfia were unable to resist the invading forces and surrendered. The Normans established themselves on the south of the island where they constructed a fortress and founded the Bishopric of Rubicon. From this location they attempted an assault on Fuerteventura.
This campaign lasted between 1402 and 1405. The extended duration was not due so much to the resistance of the islanders as to the difficulties and internal divisions between the two captains leading the invaders. Hunger and a lack of resources forced the expedition to retreat to Lanzarote. Jean de Bethencourt then travelled to Castila to drum up further support. There King Enrique III supplied the necessary measures and the confirmation of Bethencourt's exclusive rights to conquer the island, thereby marginalising Gadifer.
During Bethencourt's absence Gadifer had to confront a double rebellion, one by a section of his men led by Bertín de Berneval, who had restarted the capture of slaves and the other by the Lanzarote guanches who resisted this practice. Pacifying the island took until 1404 and the conquest of Fuerteventura recommenced at the end of that year. However, the two commanders acted separately, each one fortifying his own domain (the castles of Rico Roque and Valtarajal). The conquest of the island was completed in 1405 with the surrender of the native kings of the island. On an unknown date Gadifer abandoned the island and returned to France to defend his rights, but he would never return to the islands.
After the victory Bethencourt, absolute owner of the islands, returned to Normandy in search of settlers and new resources in order to continue the conquest of the rest of the islands.
The conquest of El Hierro took place in 1405. There was no resistance offered by the scattered Guanche population who were largely sold as slaves. The island was then repopulated with Norman and Castilian settlers.
Bethencourt remained on the islands until 1412 when he returned permanently to his lands in Normandy, leaving Maciot de Bethencourt in charge of his possessions.
The Bethencourt era ended in 1418 when Maciot sold his holdings and the rights to subjugate the remaining islands to Enrique Pérez de Guzmán. From this point on the intervention of the King of Castile increased. Between 1418 and 1445 dominion over the islands changed hands on a number of occasions. Finally, control over the conquered islands and the right to further conquests fell to Hernán Peraza The Elder and his children Guillén Peraza and Inés Peraza. The death of Guillén Peraza in the attack on La Palma has been immortalized in a moving lament. After the death of her brother Inés and her husband Diego García de Herrera became the sole rulers of the islands until 1477 when they ceded La Gomera to their son Hernán Peraza The Younger and the rights to the conquest of La Palma, Gran Canaria and Tenerife to the King of Castile.
The island of La Gomera was not taken in battle but was incorporated into the Peraza-Herrera fiefdom through an agreement between Hernán Peraza The Elder and some of the insular aboriginal groups who accepted the rule of the Castilian. However, there were a number of uprisings by the guanches due to outrages committed by the rulers on the native Gomeros. The last one, in 1488 caused the death of the islands ruler, Hernán Peraza, whose widow, Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio, had to seek the assistance of Pedro de Vera, conqueror of Gran Canaria, in order to snuff out the rebellion. The subsequent repression caused the death of two hundred rebels and many others were sold into slavery in the Spanish markets.
The second period of the Spanish conquest of the Canaries was different from the first in a number of ways:
There were three stages in the conquest of Gran Canaria:
a) Initial stage, June – December 1478. The first expeditionary force disembarked on La Isleta on 24 June 1478. The force was commanded by Juan Rejón and Dean Bermúdez, as representative of the Bishop of San Marcial del Rubicón, Juan de Frías, who was a co-financier of the expedition. They founded Real de La Palmas near to Barranco de Guiniguada on the site of the present day Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. A few days later the first battle of the campaign took place near to Real when the islanders were defeated. This initial victory gave the Castilians control of the north east corner of the island.
b) Guanche resistance and Castilian divisions from the close of 1478 until 1481. This period is defined by aboriginal resistance in the mountainous interior, the lack of men and materials and internal disputes between the invaders. During this stage Juan Rejón was dismissed on the orders of the Catholic Monarchs. His place was taken by Pedro Fernández de Algaba who was subsequently executed by order of the deposed Rejón. The naming of Pedro de Vera as the new governor of the island and the arrest of Juan Rejón put an end to the in-fighting that had continued until 1481.
c) Suppression of the guanche resistance and conquest of the island, 1481–83. Pedro de Vera, now undisputed commander of the Castilian forces, resumed the conquest of the island's interior and the guanche fiefdom of Gáldar. He was able to do this because a large contingent of reinforcements had been sent from Gomero by Diego García de Herrera. The guanche leader Doramas was subsequently killed in the Battle of Arucas. The capture of Tenesor Semidán, king of Gáldar, by Alonso Fernández de Lugo was a decisive factor in the victory of the invaders. Tenesor Semidán was sent to Castile where he was baptized with the name Fernando Guanarteme and after signing the Calatayud Pact with Fernando the Catholic he became a loyal and valuable ally of the Castilians. His actions have been interpreted in a number of ways throughout history: some think he was a traitor to the aboriginal cause; while others feel he was an able negotiator who saved many lives. On 29 April 1483 Guayarmina Semidán, considered to be queen of Gran Canaria, surrendered at Ansite Fortress. On the same day Chief Bentejuí and his shaman-advisor Faycán committed suicide by jumping off a cliff while shouting Atis Tirma (for my land).
Alonso Fernández de Lugo, who played an important role in the conquest of Gran Canaria was granted the rights of conquest for La Palma and Tenerife by the Catholic Monarchs. The agreement with the Crown included a fifth of the captives and 700,000 maravedís if the conquest was completed within a year.
In order to finance the enterprise Alonso Fernández de Lugo entered into association with Juanoto Berardi and Francisco de Riberol. Each partner contributed a third of the costs and would receive the same proportion of the benefits.
The campaign was relatively easy, commencing on 29 September 1492 when the Castilians landed in Tazacorte. Alonso Fernández de Lugo made use of agreements and pacts with the guanches which respected the rights of the chieftains giving full equality with the Castillians in order to attract them to his cause. Resistance was generally minimal, with the exception of an incident in Tigalate. However, there was more concerted resistance in the canton of Aceró (Caldera de Taburiente) where the chief, Tanausú, was easily able to hold out as the only two access points to the area were readily defendable against the advance of the invading forces.
Seeing that the year would soon be up and fearing that he would lose the bonus of 700,000 maravedíes Fernández de Lugo proposed a meeting with Tanausú which was to take place in Los Llanos de Aridane. The Castilians ambushed and captured Tanausú when he left the Caldera. He was then sent to Castile as a prisoner, however, he starved to death on the journey. The official date for the end of the conquest is given as 3 May 1493. Following this part of the population of Aceró and other cantons which had signed peace treaties were sold as slaves although the majority were integrated into the new society formed after the conquest.
Tenerife was the last island to be conquered and the one that took the longest time to submit to the Castilian troops. Although the traditional dates of conquest of Tenerife are established between 1494 (landing of Alonso Fernández de Lugo) and 1496 (conquest of the island), it must be taken into account that the attempts to annex the island of Tenerife to the Crown of Castile date back at least to 1464. For this reason, from the first attempt to conquer the island in 1464, until it is finally conquered in 1496, 32 years pass.
In 1464, takes place in the barranco del Bufadero taking symbolic possession of the island by the Lord of the Canary Islas Diego Garcia de Herrera. This signing a peace treaty with menceyes, allowing shortly after mencey Anaga build a tower on their land, where Guanches and Europeans had treatment until it is demolished around 1472 by the same Guanches.
In 1492 the governor of Gran Canaria Francisco Maldonado organizes a raid ending in disaster for Europe, as they are defeated by the Guanches of Anaga.
In December 1493 Alonso Fernández de Lugo obtained the Catholic Monarchs confirmation of his right of conquest over the island of Tenerife and in exchange for renouncing the bonus promised for the conquest of La Palma he claimed governorship of the island, although he would not receive revenue from the quinto real tax.
The finance for the conquest was achieved by the sale of his sugar plantations in the valley of Agaete, obtained after the conquest of Gran Canaria, and by forming an association with Italian merchants who had settled in Seville.
At the time of the conquest Tenerife was divided into nine Menceyatos or kingdoms which can be divided into two camps, one largely in favour of the Castilians and the other opposed to them. The former which became known in Spanish as ″el bando de paz″, comprised the peoples of the south and east of the island (from the ″menceyatos″ of Anaga, Güímar, Abone and Adeje) who had previous contact with Castilians through the activities of the missionary Candelaria. The opposing ″bando de guerra″ was based in the ″menceyatos″ of the north: Tegueste, Tacoronte, Taoro, Icoden and Daute and maintained a fierce resistance to the invasion.
The invading force set sail from Gran Canaria in April 1494 and landed on the coast of present-day Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The force comprised 2,000-foot soldiers and 200 cavalry made up of peninsular Castilians as well as soldiers from the other Canary Islands (mainly from Gomera and Gran Canary). After building a fortress they advanced towards the interior of the island. They tried to negotiate with Bencomo, the most important king in the ″bando de guerra″, and offered peace if he accepted Christianity and submitted to the authority of the Catholic Monarchs. Bencomo rejected the conditions attached to the offer making confrontation inevitable.
The first armed encounter between the two sides was the celebrated First Battle of Acentejo that took place in a ravine called the Barranco de Acentejo or Barranco de San Antonio in the present day municipality of La Matanza de Acentejo. A force of more than 2,000 men advanced towards the north of the island through the valley of Taoro. The objective was to defeat the Guanches in the centre of their heartland. The guanches ambushed the invaders who suffered a grave defeat, losing eighty percent of their forces in the battle. Alonso Fernández de Lugo managed to escape to Gran Canaria where he organized a new force with better trained troops and greater financial resources supported by Genoese merchants and Castilian nobles. After the battle the guanches destroyed the fortress built by the Castilians.
With a better trained and armed force Alonso Fernández de Lugo returned to Tenerife. After rebuilding the fortress at Añazo he advanced towards the plains of Aguere (San Cristóbal de La Laguna) where in November he defeated Bencomo in the Battle of Aguere as the gaunche leader committed the error of engaging the Castillian forces in battle in open ground. The use of cavalry and reinforcements provided by Fernando Guanarteme were the deciding factors in the Castillian victory. The guanches lost 1,700 men including Bencomo and his brother (or possibly stepbrother) Tinguaro. It is claimed that an epidemic had infected the population before the battle, decimating the island's population and leaving the survivors weak or ill, this is known as the "gran modorra" or the great drowsiness. However, the exact size of the epidemic and its importance in the outcome of the battle remains disputed by some historians.
In December 1495, after a long period of guerrilla warfare, pillaging and war fatigue the Castilians again advanced on the interior in the direction of Taoro, this time from the north. A force of several thousand guanches awaited them in a ravine near to the present day municipality of La Victoria de Acentejo, not far from the site of the First Battle of Acentejo. The Castilian victory in the Second Battle of Acentejo brought about the collapse of aboriginal resistance and access to the Taoro Valley remained open. The battle marked the conquest of the island of Tenerife and the end of the conquest of the Canary Islands.
Adelantado (Spanish pronunciation: [aðelanˈtaðo]) (meaning "advanced") was a title held by Spanish nobles in service of their respective kings during the Middle Ages. It was later used as a military title held by some Spanish conquistadores of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Adelantados were granted directly by the monarch the right to become governors and justices of a specific region, which they were charged with conquering, in exchange for funding and organizing the initial explorations, settlements and pacification of the target area on behalf of the Crown of Castile. These areas were usually outside the jurisdiction of an existing audiencia or viceroy, and adelantados were authorized to communicate directly with the Council of the Indies.Alfonso de Bolaños
Alfonso de Bolaños (Burgos?, Crown of Castile - 1478, Menceyato de Güímar, island of Tenerife) was a Franciscan friar and missionary of the 15th century. He is nicknamed the "Apostle of Tenerife" because he initiated an evangelizing process on this island approximately 30 years before the conquest of it.Antón Guanche
Antón Guanche was a Guanche aborigine of the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) protagonist of the events around the presence among the Guanches of the Christian image of the Virgin of Candelaria (patron saint of Canary Islands) before the European conquest of the island.According to the historical tradition, Antón was captured as a boy around the year 1420 on the coasts of Güímar by the European settlers of the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura who carried out slave raids on the unconquered islands. Years later, already a Christian and baptized with the name of Antón, he returned to Tenerife after receiving freedom from his master so that he could convert his compatriots according to some, or fled during an arrival to the island according to others.
Discovered by the Guanches, Antón was taken to the cave of Chinguaro where the king or mencey of Güímar resided, and there he discovered the size of the Virgin that the Guanches worshiped under the name of Chaxiraxi. Antón explained to the king that this image was the Virgin Mary, and convinced him to be transferred to a sanctuary of his own. The image was then taken to the cave of Achbinico, Antón being in charge of its custody. Antón also served as translator to the missionaries settled on the island such as Alfonso de Bolaños (nicknamed the "Apostle of Tenerife") and the monks of his hermitage.Battle of Aguere
The Battle of Aguere, or Battle of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, was fought between forces of the Crown of Castile, led by the Adelantado (military governor) Alonso Fernández de Lugo, and the natives of Tenerife, called Guanches. The battle took place on 14-15 November 1494.
Fernández de Lugo had suffered defeat by Guanche forces at the First Battle of Acentejo. The Battle of Aguere was a Castilian victory; whereas in the First Battle of Acentejo the Guanches had been favored by their knowledge of the mountainous terrain, in this engagement, the native forces found themselves at a disadvantage on the plain of Aguere.
The Battle of Aguere was later followed by the decisive Second Battle of Acentejo more than a month later, which resulted in the complete Castilian conquest of Tenerife.Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio
Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio (Medina del Campo, 1462 – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1501) was the daughter of Juan de Bobadilla and the niece of her namesake Beatriz de Bobadilla. Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio was married to ruler of La Gomera island Hernán Peraza the Younger (es) and after his death she became the ruler of La Gomera and El Hierro.Bimbache
Bimbache or Bimbape is the name given to the inhabitants of El Hierro, who inhabited the island before the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands that took place between 1402 and 1496. The Bimbache are one of several peoples native to the Canaries, with a genetic and cultural link to the Berber people of North Africa. The Bimbache people shared a common link with other aboriginal peoples of the Canary Islands.
The island of El Hierro was known to the Bimbache as Eseró or Heró. The word "Bimbache" means "Sons of the Sons of Tenerife", so were believed to be descendants of the Guanches, the ancient inhabitants of the island of Tenerife.Cave of Achbinico
Cueva de Achbinico, also called cave of San Blas (Spanish: cueva de Achbinico) is a Roman Catholic church and cave located in Candelaria, Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain).
After the conquest of the Canary Islands it was the first Christian sanctuary of religious significance. It was also the first sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Canary Islands, where the Virgin of Candelaria, the patron saint of the Canary islands, was worshipped.Chigaday
Chigaday is an orchestral piece of classical music by the Spanish composer and pianist Gustavo Díaz-Jerez. Chigaday refers to a rocky formation in the Canary Island of La Gomera where, according to writer and historian Benito Pérez Armas, in 1488 during the Spanish conquest of the Canary Islands, the last islanders who resisted decided to kill themselves before surrendering to the enemy troops. Together with Ymarxa, Ayssuragan, Aranfaybo, Azaenegue, Erbane and Guanapay, Chigaday is part of a cycle of seven orchestral works inspired in different places of each of the Canary Islands. Chigaday was commissioned by the Fundación Autor and the AEOS (Spanish Association of Symphonic Orchestras) and given its first performance on June 3, 2016 at the Auditorio de Tenerife by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife under maestro Perry So. It was very well received by audience and critics alike. Chigaday is a one-movement work lasting about 20 minutes, merging elements from spectralism and algorithmic procedures.Fernando Guanarteme
Fernando Guanarteme (born Tenesor Semidan) was a Guanche ally of the Spaniards who assisted them in their conquest of the Canary Islands during the late fifteenth century. He was originally from Gran Canaria. He traveled several times to the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, who served as godparents to his baptism, which was celebrated with great splendor on May 30, 1481 in the city of Calatayud. He aided Castilians during the Battle of Aguere (1494), on the island of Tenerife. His brother was Maninidra.
By participating in the conquest of the Canary Islands, Fernando Guanarteme is a historical figure who enjoys a popular animosity in the Canary Islands passing later tradition as a traitor par excellence of their land and culture.First Battle of Acentejo
The First Battle of Acentejo took place on the island of Tenerife between the Guanches and an alliance of Spaniards, other Europeans, and associated natives (mostly from other islands), on 31 May 1494, during the Spanish conquest of this island. It resulted in a victory for the Guanches of Tenerife.
The Spaniards were under the command of the Adelantado ("military governor") Alonso Fernández de Lugo, who had sold his properties in order to finance his conquest of Tenerife. Fernández de Lugo was aided by the fact that missionaries had already begun to Christianize the Guanches of Tenerife, and several of the Guanches' menceyatos or kingdoms, which included Guimar, Abona, Adeje, and later Anaga, were friendly to the Castilians (and known in Spanish as bandos de paz). Fernández de Lugo landed at Añazo, near present-day Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in late April, and built the fortified camp of el Real de Santa Cruz. Advancing towards the interior of the island, Fernández de Lugo confirmed his friendship with the bandos de paz and attempted to reach the same arrangement with other Guanche menceyatos, including Taoro. Bencomo, the ruler of Taoro, refused Fernández de Lugo's terms, and instead began to form his own alliance against the Castilians, composed of the menceyatos of Tacoronte, Tegueste, Daute, and Icod.
In a state of war, Fernández de Lugo advanced through present-day San Cristóbal de La Laguna to the area known as Acentejo. The Castilians committed the terrible blunder of walking blindly into the ravine now called Barranco de San Antonio (Farfan was its Guanche name), in Acentejo. Despite their technological superiority —the Spaniards, protected with armour and shields, fought with blunderbusses and cannon— the Guanches, fighting naked, attacked them from the slopes with stones and spears of hardened wood (known as banotes). The Spaniards were unable to maneuver with their horses, because these slopes were covered with very thick, arboreal brush, and the Guanches, who numbered some 3,300 men under the leadership of Bencomo and his half-brother Tinguaro, chief of the comarca of Acentejo, made use of their mobility and intimate knowledge of the terrain to gain the upper hand. While Tinguaro with 300 men ambushed the vanguard of the Castilian forces, Bencomo arrived at the battle with 3,000 men, attacking the rearguard of the dispersed Europeans.
It is believed that four out of five Spanish soldiers fell in this battle, leaving 900–1,000 dead on the battlefield out of the initial 1,120. The defeat was not total, however. Fernández de Lugo, though wounded, was able to escape with his life (by exchanging the red cape of an Adelantado for that of a common soldier), and his surviving forces (some 200 men) were harried until he was forced to re-embark at Añazo and sail back to Gran Canaria. The Adelantado was able to return and defeat the native forces in two major battles: the Battle of Aguere and Second Battle of Acentejo, and other minor clashes, such as the Battle of Las Peñuelas.
A town built on the site where the battle occurred is called La Matanza de Acentejo ("The Slaughter of Acentejo"), which also contains a large mural commemorating the victory.
This was the greatest defeat in the history of the Spanish Atlantic expansion, in terms of casualties suffered by Spain.Guanche language
The Guanche language is an extinct Berber language that was spoken by the Guanches of the Canary Islands until the 17th century or possibly later. It died out after the conquest of the Canary Islands as the Guanche ethnic group was assimilated into the dominant Spanish culture. The Guanche language is known today through sentences and individual words that were recorded by early geographers, as well as through several place-names and Guanche words that were retained in the Canary Islanders' Spanish.Iglesia de San Andrés (Tenerife)
The Iglesia de San Andrés Apóstol (Church of St. Andrew the Apostle) is a Catholic church and parish of the village of San Andrés (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain). It is one of the oldest churches in the Canary Islands which was built between 1505 and 1510 (shortly after the conquest of the Canary Islands).Juan Rejón
Juan Rejón (died 1481) was an Aragonese captain in the service of the Castilian navy, who was appointed by the Catholic Monarchs to participate in the conquest of the Canary Islands. Rejón founded the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
After being named captain, he recruited a contingent of 600 men, mostly Andalusians. Their number included Alonso Fernández de Lugo, future conqueror of La Palma and Tenerife.From the Puerto de Santa María, the expedition departed on three ships on May 28, 1478. On June 24, 1478, they disembarked off Las Isletas (today part of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria). Rejón set up camp at a nearby palm grove; this became the nucleus of the city of Las Palmas. Tension and problems with his men, including one of his followers, named Bermúdez, resulted in Rejón being imprisoned and then sent back to Spain by his replacement as governor of Gran Canaria, Pedro de Algaba.
Rejón was taken in chains to the Castilian court. However, he obtained his liberty, returned to the Canary Islands, and ordered the decapitation of Pedro de Algaba and the exile of Bermúdez to the island of Lanzarote.
In 1480, he participated in military operations on the island of La Gomera, not fully conquered by the Castilians. He disembarked with his troops at Hermigua with two goals: to complete conquest of the island and to meet with Hernán Peraza, the feudal lord of La Gomera. However, Peraza considered Rejón, a commander with many troops operating in territory not controlled by Castile, as a threat to his own power. Peraza sent his own troops to Hermigua. In 1481, Rejón was murdered by one of the vassals of Peraza.
Peraza was forced to explain Rejón’s death at court. He was pardoned but had to meet certain conditions. He had to participate in the conquest of Gran Canaria with troops from La Gomera and complete conquest of the island, a plan that had not been completed by Rejón. Peraza himself was later killed by the Guanche Hautacuperche.Pirate attacks on Fuerteventura in 1740
The 1740 attacks on the island of Fuerteventura (in Spanish : Batalla de Tamasite) by English privateers took place within a month of one another, and were both put down with little trouble by the island's militia. They coincided with the Anglo-Spanish war of 1739. Privateering by the British was common during this conflict and the attacks on Fuerteventura in 1740 can be seen as an extension of this period of discord between Britain and Spain.Religion in the Canary Islands
As in the rest of Spain, the majority religion in the Canary Islands is the Catholic Church. The Catholic religion has been the majority since the Conquest of the Canary Islands in the fifteenth century. This religion would largely replace the Canarian aboriginal religion through the prohibition of the latter and syncretism. According to a survey conducted in 2015, Canary Islands is the second autonomous community in Spain with the highest percentage of people who declare themselves to be Catholics after the Region of Murcia, with 84.9% of the population.In the Canary Islands there are also minorities of other religions, such as Islam, Evangelical Churches, Hinduism, Afro-American religion, Chinese Religions, Buddhism, Bahaism and Judaism, as well as the existence in the archipelago of a form of autochthonous neo-paganism, the Church of the Guanche People. The Canary Islands is currently one of the regions with the greatest religious diversity in Spain and Europe.Second Battle of Acentejo
The Second Battle of Acentejo was a battle that took place on 25 December 1494 between the invading Spanish forces and the natives of the island of Tenerife, known as Guanches. The battle had been preceded by the Battle of Aguere, fought on 14-15 November that year, which had been a Castilian victory.
Advancing along the northern shores of the island, the Spaniards pursued the remaining Guanche forces and faced them once again at Valley of Taoro, near Acentejo, the site of the first battle, called by the Spaniards La Matanza ("The Slaughter").
Adelantado ("military governor") Alonso Fernández de Lugo divided his forces into two, with the Castilians bearing fire-arms taking the advantage. After three hours of fighting, the Guanches were defeated. Those who were not made prisoners of the Spaniards fled to the mountains.
With shouts of "Victory! Victory!" the Spanish forces celebrated their triumph, and Alonso Fernández de Lugo erected a hermitage in honor of Our Lady of Victory on the site of the battle. A town grew up around it, called La Victoria de Acentejo.
An old Canary Island pine, a witness to the battle, still stands in La Victoria de Acentejo. In its shadow the first mass was celebrated on the day of the battle. From its branches a bell was later hung, since the hermitage that Fernández de Lugo built in the same spot lacked a bell tower.
The mencey Bentor is said to have thrown himself from the heights of Tigaiga after learning of the outcome of the battle.
The Second Battle of Acentejo was certainly not the last battle on Tenerife between the Spaniards and the Guanches, but was certainly the most decisive, resulting in the ultimate incorporation of the island into the kingdom of Castile and the final subjugation of the aborigines.Spanish diaspora
The Spanish diaspora consists of Spanish people and their descendants who emigrated from Spain. The diaspora is concentrated in places that were part of the Spanish Empire. Countries such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, Cuba, Nicaragua and, to a lesser extent, Brazil, the United States, Canada and continental Europe.Tajaraste
Tajaraste (From Berber TAJARAST) is combined music and dance typical of the Canary Islands, (Spain). It is specific to the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. Essentially an upbeat, happy and syncopated rhythm, danced in pairs accompanied by tambourines, drums and small castanet-like instruments called chácaras.
The dance is collective in nature and its choreography changes from island to island. The differences arise from the originating island.
Tajarastes arrived in the European courts in the 16th century. Its songs are from ancient romances that were revived after the conquest of the Canary Islands. They describe stories, miracles and forbidden loves.Tinerfe
Tinerfe "the Great", legendary hero who was a guanche mencey (aboriginal king) of the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). It is estimated that he lived at the end of the 14th century.
He was the son of mencey Sunta, who ruled the island in the days before the conquest of the Canary Islands by Castile. Tinerfe the Great lived in Adeje (like all his predecessors), approximately hundred years before the conquest of 1494.
Upon Tinerfe's death, his sons divided the island into nine kingdoms. At the time of the conquest the kings of these kingdoms were:
Acaimo or Acaymo (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Tacoronte).
Adjona: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Abona).
Añaterve: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Güímar).
Bencomo: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Taoro).
Beneharo: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Anaga).
Pelicar: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Icode).
Pelinor: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Adeje).
Romen: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Daute).
Tegueste: (mencey (king) of Menceyato de Tegueste).
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