People & Customs
The island is inhabited since at least two millennia ago. The current inhabitants of the island are generically known as "conejeros" (hutchers). Before the Spanish conquest it was populated by Mahos, these being a Berber people. Ancient Mahos lived off sheperding, coast shellfish captures, harvesting of fruits and had a very limited agriculture, focused on the cultivation of Moorish wheat. They had no knowledge of metals and had lost the knowledge of oceanic navigation. They lived in caves or semi-buried huts of stone (deep houses), wore untanned goat hides and ate gofio, goat meat and fish. Almost all chronicles reflected their gentle and hospitable nature and their love of music and dance.
The Current Population
Due to Spanish colonization and the stopping of sea vessels from Africa, Europe and America, Lanzarote's people today are a fusion of indigenous and native majos on one side and Spanish, Andalusian, Portuguese, Genoese, Flemish, Norman and British emigrants, on the other. The fact of being a port of call has influenced the personality of its inhabitants, giving rise to a people whose identity is open midway between these three continents.
For the Lanzarote people were formerly called the hutchers, due to the large number of rabbits that were in Lanzarote, whose skins were exported to Tenerife in the nineteenth century. The inhabitants of the other islands still call them so. Traditional activities such as agriculture and fishing are still carried out by a small number of "hutchers".
There is a great tradition of pottery and products derived from the leaves of palm trees and other plant fibers, as well as diverse and renowned textile crafts.
Highlighted are pottery jars, pots and ceramic oil lamps or earthenware made with primitive tools or by hand. For its originality we have to mention the figures of the bride and groom "from" the pillar, a couple of human figurines with over-developed sexual attributes that were exchanged during the betrothal ceremony.
Those derived from plant fibers are favoured for works of basketry rushes, such as palm, small palm and thatch of rye, while in the area of textile works there have rooted loom products; rosette draft, embroidery, crochet and point and a half.
Characteristic of the island is the empleita, palm leaf, from which mats are made, bags and the tool used to shape the cheese.
At Teguise the famous Timple is made, traditional musical instrument of Lanzarote that dates back to the era of the conquerors. Also interesting are the openworks, rosettes and laces and hats made from palm leaves characteristic of the countryside people.
It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it is today without Cesar Manrique. Painter, sculptor, ecologist, curator of monuments, construction counselor, planner of urban complexes, landscapes and gardens designer. A whole example to follow.
The Centres for Arts, Culture and Tourism of Lanzarote are a must and certainly a pleasure for the senses.
Places to eat
Let yourself be carried away by the great gastronomic offer that the variety of bars and restaurants on the island possess.
Choose from the many options that the island gives for your accommodation. An unsurpassed variety and quality.