La Gomera

El silbo gomero is a whistling language that has been used on the island since time immemorial to communicate across great distances. The language is not a series of pre-established codes used to express limited ideas, but rather an articulated, non-conventional, reductive language that is used to communicate an unlimited range of messages by reproducing the resonant characteristics of a spoken language using whistles.

The depth and distances separating the island’s gorges facilitated the creation of a unique language which has earned the protection of UNESCO, who, in September, 2009, assigned it the status of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The language possesses exceptional value as a manifestation of human creativity. In addition to being a system that has been adapted and developed to facilitate life in a specific environment, users of the language have bestowed it with significant technical and aesthetic complexity.

El Silbo Gomero s a living expression of popular culture on the island. It has strong links to island’s population and has been a unifying factor among the community for many years, constituting a trademark for both the island and for the archipelago as a whole.

GARAJONAY

The Garajonay Nature Reserve owes its name to the legendary lovers, Gara, a Gomeran princess, and Jonay, a peasant’s son from Tenerife. When faced with family disapproval of their union, they impaled themselves with lances and threw themselves off the highest peak on the island.

The park is above all noted for the existence of what is known as “laurisilva” or laurel forest, an ecosystem from the Cenozoic (formerly Tertiary) Era which disappeared from the continent as a consequence of the climate changes of the Quaternary Period.

The Garajonay laurel forest is home to half of the archipelago’s extension of this type of vegetation and is in an optimum state of conservation.

Of the seven islands that make up the Canary Island archipelago, La Gomera is the one which maintains its customs and traditions in their purest form.

The folklore of La Gomera is somewhat unique among the islands and includes the “baile del tambor”,or “dance of the drum”, an ancestral song and dance unique in the Hispanic world for its ancient combination of romantic song and line dancing, typical of the music and choreography of the islands. The song lyrics are composed of epic and romantic narrative poems that chronicle entire stories from beginning to end.