Historical Past of Tenerife In The Canary Islands

It was once stated to me in a nonchalant and uncaring way, that a name is just a name, and that that was the end of the matter. A philosophy lived perhaps, because that they had never known their parents, or their ancestral background. When any one of the human race is born, we are given our individual name from birth, but what this individual would never be able to come to terms with, was that they would never be able to investigate their ancestry.

A deep instinctive need most of us eventually experience, especially when we are faced with genetic similarities brought back through the generations of our families.

Once we start searching, it is inevitable that at some point we have to try and piece together with our logic, the missing parts of the puzzle. This is where intentionally or otherwise, legends and myths are born, because all matter, living or not has to start from somewhere from the past, but no matter hard we try to stay true, sometimes we have to make educated guesses, and hopefully record this in the results of our search.

In reality, the future generations who have been fortunate enough to have been born with their family name, and who read the results we have written, can very easily transform them into the myths and legends we all love to drift into once in a while. This fascinating human trend extends to all we come into contact with, where a perfect example can be found in The Canary Islands, where one of these Islands has been given many names since mankind first inhabited it.

Originally named by the islands aboriginal inhabitants, the Guanche race, as €˜Snowy Mountain€™ because of its towering and snow peaked dormant volcano, Mount Teide.

The volcano, In the Guanche language is Echeyde, or Echeide, or even Achinet, with the typical variants from antiquity in its spelling, and names. The Romans named the island as Nivaria, which is the Latin word of nivis or nieve meaning snow, a clear reference to the white topped Teide volcano.

To further confuse the issue, Teide, in the Benehaorits nations language, natives of La Palma, is Tene, their term for mountain, and Ife, their term for white, thus separately worded was then Tene – Ife. It was only when the Spanish nation took control of the island in the late 1400′€™s, that due to their own language structure, they added the and joined the two names together into Tenerife.

In contrast to this now well known name, early Spanish maps of this island referred to it as €˜Isla del Infierno€™, meaning The Island of Hell, clearly referring to the volcano’€™s activity. In complete contrast, and due to the wonderful climate there, the modern counterpart of the islands name is widely known as €˜The Island of Eternal Spring€™.