The sacred dimension

Among the animistic religions, mountains usually occupy a prominent place. The North African Amazigh societies attributed a sacred character to certain mountains. Logically, the same happened with the Amazigh populations of the Canary Islands. It is possible that this sacralising of the mountain areas was due to the fact that their elevation towards the heavens made them the most suitable place from which to approach what was considered the abode of the sacred, in order to ask for protection and assistance.

Mountainous areas are imbued with sacred forces, the very highest points being related to the transcendent, to the superhuman. The symbolic and religious values of the mountains are very diverse, being considered the point of union between heaven and earth and, therefore, like the axis mundi, the conception that the celestial vault is supported by a pillar holding up the two physical realities of heaven and earth and the two worlds, those of above and below, in which both good and evil spirits reside.

The existence on Gran Canaria of mountain sanctuaries and the rites associated with them are well documented in the narrative texts produced within the framework of European colonial expansion and archaeology.

It is no coincidence that the Cultural Landscape hosts the greatest number and the best existing examples on Gran Canaria of cave engravings of triangles with inverted upper vertex, as well as domes and cupules or cup marks carved into floors and walls.

These cultural manifestations have been historically and anthropologically interpreted as elements linked to beliefs and cults about human and ecological fertility, propitiating the regeneration of all the resources that are necessary for existence in agro-pastoral societies. The main iconographic element, in all of this, is the schematic female pubic triangle, with or without representation of the vulva, an almost universal symbol of fertility.