Plant fibres

Makers of baskets, mats, espadrilles, cages…

Archaeological remains show that the early inhabitants of Gran Canaria became highly skilled in working with plant fibres, such as reeds and palm leaves, to make various items and clothing. Fibres were still used after the conquest of the island, but the weaving techniques, types of items produced, and the addition of new, semi-hard materials such as palm spine, willow and reeds brought substantial changes to Pre-Hispanic methods. The technique consisted of weaving or intertwining plant fibres that had been treated so they could be bent without breaking, and making the piece in the desired shape. Craftworkers needed only a few, simple tools for this work: a wooden or metal splitter, a knife and a mallet. The plant fibres they gathered were mainly cane, palm leaves, palm spine, willow, reeds, rye, bulrushes and broom. After the American aloe was introduced, its fibres were commonly used by artisans to make yoke pads for draught animals, espadrilles, and ropes and halters. Cane was the most commonly used fibre in basketwork, by itself or combined with willow stalks or thick strips of palm branches (the central spine of the leaf of the Canary Islands palm tree). The type of fibre used to make a basket depended on the intended use and size of the finished item.

Los cestos para cargar mercancía pesada o que van a sufrir una constante manipulación (labores agrícolas, transporte, industria, construcción) eran elaborados
(integramente o parcialmente) con fibras duras, como el pírgano o el mimbre (cestos, serones, cestas pedreras, etc.). Los objetos domésticos o de uso más delicado eran elaborados con fibras blandas como el junco, la palma, centeno o caña (pequeñas cestas, sombreros, cestas hierberas, barquetas, costureros, hueveras, esteras, etc.)
La cestería se desarrolló en Canarias como un oficio complementario pues gran parte de los cesteros y cesteras eran a su vez campesinos o jornaleros. Estas personas empleaban las horas libres que les dejaban las tareas agrícolas para elaborar productos que, tras su venta, les permitían obtener un ingreso extra para mejorar la economía familiar.

Horario

Lunes a domingo de 10:30h a 17:00h

Teléfono

928 772 445

E-mail

faromaspalomas@fedac.org

Dirección

Pl. del Faro, 15,
35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas