Culture

A distant beginning Fuerteventura was created more than 30 million years ago, with the start of eruptions that built up the island’s foundations under the sea, and its surface began to emerge 23 million years ago. Since then, prolonged volcanic processes and erosion produced by the constant trade winds, have resulted in the scenery we admire today. The first settlers The origin of the first Fuerteventura settlers has always been sprinkled with legends, due to the lack of literature that remains about them. Different theories place the arrival of the first inhabitants at between 1,000 to 300 before Christ, but there are still different opinions and great uncertainty. The most recent studies point to Berber roots of the Mahos, the name given to the aborigines from Fuerteventura. A vast legacy of Libyan- Berber inscriptions and engravings scattered throughout the island are the main clue that supports the belief of an origin that comes from the neighbouring African continent. The conquest The island was conquered and colonised by Juan de Bethencourt, a businessman of Norman origin, and Gadifer de la Salle at the beginning of the 15th century. They established its first settlement in 1404 on the most protected area of the island, naming it Betancuria in honour of its founder. Nowadays, this central area of Fuerteventura, which at the time was the first capital of the Canary Islands, is one of the most beautiful places on the island and that which has the most history. In 1405, after Guize and Ayoze – who were the aboriginal kings that ruled the two kingdoms the island was divided into then, known as Maxorata and Jandía – surrendered, and thus the process of conquering Fuerteventura came to an end.From the 15th century to the 19th century, the island of Fuerteventura was a dominion that was dependent on the Catholic Kings, until it became the Spanish province of the Canary Islands. A date with culture The island of Fuerteventura is the bearer of a cultural heritage that is distant and near at the same time and that remains in each of the island’s corners: From the old settlers, the engravings, archaeological sites and place-names that are present everywhere. From the colonial heritage, manor houses, enchanting churches, chapels, lighthouses and mills. From modern times, open air sculpture parks, art centres, such as the Juan Ismael Art gallery in Puerto de Rosario, theatres and international festivals that nowadays converge with century old cultural manifestations. Traditions Processions, small markets, popular fiestas continue in all the villages throughout the year, or crafts made from openwork, basket weaving and clay, are examples of a tradition that continues today. Museums The Network of museums in Fuerteventura offers the opportunity to travel in time through a history that brings you closer to learning about the Majorero people. Cueva del Llano. It is a volcanic lava pipe that is 648m long in which we can examine the introduction of certain animal species throughout history. Villaverde, La Oliva. Beatancuria Archaeological Museum. A trip through the island’s aboriginal culture with examples of great archaeological and ethnographical value. Betancuria La Alcogida Ecomuseum.. A village of seven houses that makes up an example of the traditional Fuerteventura habitat. Tefía, Puerto del Rosario Visitor centre at the archaeological site of La Atalayita.This is an archaeological site, which in its day made up the village of the Mahos, the aborigines of Fuerteventura. Pozo Negro Valley, Antigua. Tostón Lighthouse Fishing Museum. An area dedicated to disseminate to the art of Majorera fishing situated in a beautiful 19th century lighthouse. El Cotillo, La Oliva. Salt Museum. This is made up from a cultural complex integrated by the Salinasdel Carmen, built around 1910, and museum centre that shows an overall view of the culture generated around salt. Salinas del Carmen, Antigua Unamuno House Museum. It is the house where the famous writer lived during his exile on the island and has many objects and tools from Unamuno’s stay in Fuerteventura. Puerto del Rosario. Los Molinos Visitor Centre. Situated in a traditional house of the last century, it exhibits the materials and ways of making gofio. Tiscamanita, Tuineje Molino de Antigua Craft Centre. It contains expressions of indigenous peasant history, crafts, sculptures and a large mill with its machinery for gofio that is still intact. Antigua Casas de Felipito. On the sides of Guisguey valley we find this picnic-park, a perfect place for BBQs with family and friends. Guisguey, Puerto del Rosario Morro Velosa Observation Point. Designed by the famous artist Cesar Manrique, it offers an incredible view of the landscape in the northern centre of the island from a unique perspective. Betancuria Grano La Cilla Museum.In the Cilla House, dating from 1819, you can learn about the history of the traditional agricultural cycle, its relationship with the climate and see a collection of agricultural tools. La Oliva Doctor Mena House Museum.The home of Doctor Mena has been converted into a museum and is furnished with features of a well-to-do rural house. Ampuyenta, Puerto del Rosario Gastronomy Fuerteventura dishes have a taste of salt, sea and pasture of Majorera goats. The popular kid goat and goat’s meat, fish in all styles, the traditional gofio and the potatoes, wrinkled or roasted, are present at very get-together. Majorero Cheese With denomination of origin since 1996, it is the first goat’s cheese to achieve its denomination of origin in Spain. Cured, partly cured or tender; natural, with gofio, paprika or oil;…. It is without a doubt, the exquisiteness of Maxorata, proof that has been recognised by many international awards.