Together with Silbo Gomero, crafts are another of the many treasures to be discovered on the island.
They emerged in the past as a way of meeting the needs of the inhabitants of La Gomera, making use of the raw materials found in their surroundings.
One of the rich traditions of the island of La Gomera is its crafts, characterised by their heritage, practicality and diversity.
Standing out among their different forms is the ceramics, made with clay, sand and red ochre, with the only tool being the craftsman’s hands, which makes every piece a one-off.
Other types of raw materials are also worked, such as wood, which is used to make the renowned chácaras (large castanets) and morteras (wooden bowls), and other decorative utensils.
Plant fibres are used by the craftsmen of La Gomera to weave baskets, bags and hats.
Also worthy of mention are the use of looms to weave beautiful trapera rugs, bedspreads, blankets and knapsacks out of rags and cotton threads.
What were trades up to the late twentieth century, today delight visitors to the island.
Crafts are a very special culture that has become a tourist drawcard, and the natural materials from the land are given form by hand.
These traditions that were born with the first inhabitants of La Gomera have been passed on until the present day.
The work of La Gomera’s craftsmen reflects people’s desire to keep the crafts of La Gomera alive. These good-natured people keep their doors always open to show the secrets of their daily labours to curious passers-by.
Despite modern conveniences, the patient craftsmen of Chipude and El Cercado (and a host of other villages) continue to transform clay into pots or wood into pretty toys to keep this tradition alive.
Many of the people who occupy their time with crafts are self-taught who have gone their own way, preserving some of the lessons of the past; they continue not to use potter’s wheels and they dry the clay in kilns.
The characteristic ochre colour of the ceramics after firing, sometimes leaving temporary red stains on your hands, is a guarantee that you are taking away with you an authentic piece of La Gomera craftsmanship. Because no two creations made by the hands of a craftsman of La Gomera are ever alike.