Basketwork in Canary Islands

Basketry, an art form based on plant fibres, has reached a high level of perfection in Canary Islands in Spain. The varied local flora, especially on the more western islands, offers a huge variety of materials.

Rye straw, the endemic viburnum rugosum, palm leaves, banana fibre, reeds, chestnut wicker or splints and cane are the most characteristic. In fact, basketry is even older than pottery and goes back to prehistoric times in the Canaries. A large number of palm and reed fabrics have been found on archaeological sites, especially on Grand Canary island, made from Holoschoenus vulgaris, a plant that usually grows on low to medium ground in damp places.


From the book: Guía de Artesanía de Tenerife, by Inés Eléxpuru. Gobierno de Canarias, Madrid 2000.

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