Guanches were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands. Strictly l’Ami de La Religion, Volume 67 PDF, the Guanches were the indigenous peoples of Tenerife. Inscriptions, glyphs and rock paintings and carvings are quite abundant throughout the islands.
The geographic accounts of Pliny the Elder and of Strabo mention the Fortunate Isles but do not report anything about their populations. During the 14th century, the Guanches are presumed to have had other contacts with Balearic seafarers from Spain, suggested by the presence of Balearic artifacts found on several of the Canary Islands. Alonso Fernández de Lugo presenting the captured Guanche kings of Tenerife to Ferdinand and Isabella. The Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands began in 1402, with the expedition of Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de la Salle to the island of Lanzarote. Gadifer would invade Lanzarote and Fuerteventura with ease since many of the aboriginals, faced with issues of starvation and poor agriculture, would surrender to Spanish rule. The other five islands fought back. El Hierro and the Bimbache population were the next to fall, then La Gomera, Gran Canaria, La Palma and in 1496, Tenerife.
Guanches ambushed the Castilians in a valley and killed many. Only one in five of the Castilians survived, including the leader of the expedition, Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. Lugo would return later to the island with the alliance of the kings of the southern part of the island, and defeated the Guanches in the Battle of Aguere. Canaries following desertification of the Sahara at some point after 6000 BC. The islands were visited by a number of peoples within recorded history.
A 2003 genetics research article by Nicole Maca-Meyer et al. Both the study done by Maca-Meyer et al. Tenerife aborigines and the study done by Fregel et al. The study done by Maca-Meyer et al. According to a recent study by Fregel et al. 2009, in spite of the geographic nearness between the Canary Islands and Morocco, the genetic heritage of the Canary islands male lineages, is mainly from European origin. Even if a part of these « eastern » haplogroups were introduced by the Spanish too, we can suppose that a good portion of this rate was already there at the time of the conquest.
Berber Y-chromosome lineages were detected in the indigenous remains, confirming a North West African origin for their ancestors which confirms previous mitochondrial DNA results. The native Guanche language is now only known through a few sentences and individual words, supplemented by several placenames. It has been classified by modern linguists as belonging to the Berber branch of the Afroasiatic languages. Little is known of the religion of the Guanches. There was a general belief in a supreme being, called Achamán in Tenerife, Acoran in Gran Canaria, Eraoranhan in Hierro, and Abora in La Palma.
In times of drought, the Guanches drove their flocks to consecrated grounds, where the lambs were separated from their mothers in the belief that their plaintive bleating would melt the heart of the Great Spirit. Most researchers agree that the Guanches performed their worship in the open, under sacred trees such as pine or drago, or near sacred mountains such as Mount Teide, which was believed to be the abode of the devil Guayota. The native Guanche goddess known as the Sun Mother. A divine child, son of Chaxiraxi. The god of the Sun and the light, and also thought to be one of the principal divinities. The principal malignant deity and Achamán’s adversary.
Demons in the form of black dogs, these were children of Guayota, the malignant deity. They took part in some rituals. In this event the Guanches shared milk, gofio, sheep or goat meat. Mummification was practiced throughout the islands and was highly developed on Tenerife in particular. In La Palma, the elderly were left to die alone at their own wish. After bidding their family farewell, they were carried to the sepulchral cave, with nothing but a bowl of milk being left to them. In 1933, the largest Guanche necropolis of the Canary Islands was found, at Uchova in the municipality of San Miguel de Abona in the south of the island of Tenerife.