Smiths, tinsmiths, cowbell makers…

After the Islands were colonised, smithies became a constant feature in the growing settlements, until their decline in the 1960s. As well as making parts for sugar mills, presses, windmills and wells, smiths made a range of items and tools. In addition to shoeing animals, they made tools for working the land, such as hoes, planting sticks, sickles, pruning sticks and winnowing forks, and all the tools and items needed for construction, including stonecutters’ hammers, sledge hammers, chisels, hinges, locks, nails, tie rods and railings. Metal workers were also needed to produce items for household and professional use, such as buckets, knives, axes, weighing scales and bridles.

Alongside blacksmiths and locksmiths, other trades associated with metalwork were documented in the 16th century, including tinsmiths, coppersmiths, and founders of bells and artillery pieces, who worked with bronze. Other artisans that were documented include the goldsmiths and silversmiths who produced liturgical and luxury items, andswordsmiths.

Over the centuries, three craft professions associated with metalwork have survived to the 20th century virtually unchanged since they first arrived in the Islands: blacksmithing, tinsmithing and cowbell making. These professions were carried out only by men, who handed their knowledge down from father to son. Blacksmiths and tinsmiths worked full time, as their products and services were in constant demand.


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35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas