Canary Islands knives

These local knives are characterised by their handles, made from rings of cow or ram horn joined together and decorated with metal inserts in geometrical patterns. Knife makers worked solely on the handles, while skilled metal workers made the blades. The Canary Islands word naife, from the English “knife” or possibly the Portuguese naifa, is traditionally used to refer to these knives that are typical of Gran Canaria. They originated in the second half of the 19th century, when they were made in various parts of the island (Arucas, Gáldar, Guía, Telde and Teror). Canary Islands knives were mainly used by agricultural and livestock farmers for their daily tasks. They were often passed down through families because of their high symbolic value, and are still made today.


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