Canary Islands

Canary Islands
   The Guanches, now an extinct population and an offshoot of the race of Berbers, were the native inhabitants of the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands form an archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean facing the Moroccan Atlantic coast and is an autonomous region of Spain. The archipelago consists of seven important islands and some islets. They are Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, the nearest to the Moroccan shores; then come Tenerife and Gran Canaria, while farther westward are Palma, Gomera, and El Hierro. The total area of the islands is about 7,273 square kilometers; their current population is about 1, 635,000. The country in general is mountainous and volcanic; in Tenerife, the Pico de Teide reaches a height of 3,718 meters and towers above other mountains that extend throughout the islands, generally from northeast to southwest. There is no large river, but there are numerous springs and torrents. The fauna differ little from that of Europe, with the exception of the dromedary and the thistle finch, or canary bird. There are extensive forests of pine and laurel, and some tranks reach a gigantic height. The climate of the islands is mild; hence, they are much frequented as winter resorts. The Canary Islands are essentially agricultural. Their economy, though subject to frequent droughts, produces an abundance of fruits, sugarcane, tobacco, bananas, tomatoes, fish, and wines. The most important centers of population are Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Orotava, and La Laguna on the island of Tenerife; Las Palmas and Arrecife on Gran Canaria; Santa Cruz de la Palma on Palma; and Quia and Valverde on El Hierro.

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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