A type of castanet called chácaras, drums, ceramics, leather, basket-weaving and all kinds of objects made of wood. La Gomera is home to craftmanship that the island’s inhabitants once used to meet their own needs, and today it has become another of its attractions for tourists and visitors. Crafts on La Gomera have their origins in the use of raw materials as a means to produce different items, and are reflected in the different types:
Ceramics are one of the most outstanding crafts on La Gomera. They are often made by craftsmen and women, without a potter’s wheel, using clay, sand and a red pigment called almagre. Like any artisan process, although simple, it requires dedication. Once the ceramicists have given the desired shape to the vessel, dish, pot or whatever they are making, they leave it to dry and put it into the kiln to fire. The colour obtained is light brown, characteristic of Gomeran ceramics. Ceramics made in Chipude and El Cercado are the best-known and most outstanding. This is most certainly something that everyone who visits La Gomera should see.
Utensils made in wood are also very characteristic in Gomeran crafts. They can be very varied, from spoons, pestles and mortars, a type of castanet called chácaras, and also decorative objects. They are made with wood from species of La Gomera trees, such as laurisilva, as well as other types. The palm tree is also one of the raw materials used in handicrafts, and banana stems are used to make bread baskets, jewellery boxes, flowers...
The shapes of the handmade baskets are very varied, as are the materials used, although cane and wicker are the most commonly used.
As we have mentioned, handicrafts from La Gomera are another attraction for tourists and visitors, and are characterised by their originality, authenticity and exclusivity. Every article produced is unique.
La Gomera plays host to many craft fairs, proving the importance of craftsmanship on the island, including the one held in Vallehermoso in June. The aim of these fairs is to show the island’s appreciation for this great cultural asset and spread the word.
If you visit La Gomera, as well as nature, food and an endless list of attractions to be found here, discovering its traditions will also make you fall in love with the place even more. Come and see for yourself!