Aboriginal society The Canary Islands were mainly engaged in animal husbandryThis increased his extraordinary skill in taking care of livestock. Shepherds could cross steep mountains and valleys at the speed of goats with the help of a stick between 2 and 4 meters long.

This ability greatly surprised the conquerors and their historians. XIX. in the century, when the archipelago started to become a tourist destination Travel literature became fashionable in Europe, there were many mentions of the extraordinary traditions of the Canary Islands.

Fascinate cultures with the same traditions

Many European travelers called it the shepherd’s jump. And that’s when the British Charles Edwardes He witnessed this practice in 1888 and said: “The peasant always carries his spear, a long wooden stick with a pointed tip, so that he can get to the bottom of steep cliffs, such as La Palma, one of the most mountainous and mountainous parts of the islands.”

This practice also surprised author Olivia Stone, author of the most famous travel book about the Canary Islands at the time. emphasized this technique used by shepherds to pole vault over rocks It is not possible for anyone to obtain it under normal circumstances.

Rod or pole?

The shepherd jump is a technique used on many Islands, but the most curious thing is that the stick has a different name on each one. In the report where the practice was declared as an Asset of Cultural Value, this situation is stated as follows: “lanza” in La Palma, “astia” in El Hierro, “asta” in La Gomera, lance, “palo” or “regatón” in Tenerife, “garrote” in Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura and Lanzarote “lath”. Another feature is that the most commonly used wood is Canary pine and the length of the pole varies depending on the ruggedness of each island.

Controlling livestock while grazing was a common practice in the Canary Islands

Add this to the end of the bar: A sharp metal tip for better grip on the ground. Of course, the inclusion of metal is relatively new, as the natives inserted a bone fragment.

Jump in pure Canary style

Shepherding was a common practice for controlling cattle while grazing, but it also had a recreational side where sports and show skills were put into practice. Competitions were held to determine the best jumping shepherd through games Precision jumps such as “passing the spear”, “making the flag” or “shepherd’s return”, or “minor’s jump” or “money jump”.

The most notable of these is the “dead dribble jump”, which involves falling from a height that can double the length of the stick without dropping the stick to the ground at the moment of jumping. Currently, groups that practice shepherd jumping in a fun way are called “jurria” and are grouped as follows: Salto del Pastor Canario Federation.

a unique place

More than an ancestral practice for those previously devoted to animal husbandry, Today, work continues to be done in the Canary Islands that no one else does anymore.This makes this archipelago a unique place. Some of them are known worldwide, but some are still kept secret. And these are the professions that are found only in the Canary Islands and are the hallmark of the islands.

history professions

Where else can we meet someone who is a professional whistler? Or someone who identifies as a guarapero? These are some of the professions found only in the Canary IslandsIn addition to the guachinchero, gofio miller or cochineal retractor. Some of them would even be on the verge of extinction if it weren’t for the efforts of a few romantics who wanted traditions to continue writing the history of this place.