Atis Tirma! the saddest cry for the Canary Islands

In the access to Doramas Park by León y Castillo street, stands the sculptural monument of Manuel Bethencourt that commemorates the last and sad event in the history of the aborigines of the Canary Islands. In this article we will talk about the cry "Atis Tirma" and all the aboriginal history behind it. Read on and get to know it!

The history of the cry "Atis Tirma".

Legend has it that on April 29, 1483, the leader Bentejuí and Faya, the faycán of Telde, fell to the cry of "Atis Tirma!", which translates as "For you, Earth!", in the ravine that today is known by the same name, in Ansite. After the surrender of Gáldar, the resistance of the Canarii had moved to the interior of the island, with the fortress of Ansite as the last stage.

Bentejuí, the son of the guanarteme from Telde

Bentejuí was born in 1460 in Gran Canaria and died on the same island on April 29, 1483. Fun aboriginal son of the king or guanarteme of Telde, who led the last aboriginal resistance to the European conquest of the island of Gran Canaria in the late fifteenth century. His name is translated by some authors as 'the one who shouts or alert'.

Your family history

Bentejuí was born most probably in the decade of 1460 and was son of the guanarteme of Telde Bentagoyhe and cousin on his side of Tenesoya, Masequera and Autindana. José de Viera y Clavijo said that, in addition, he was nephew of the guanarteme of Gáldar Tenesor Semidan.

When his father died around 1476, Bentejuí could not inherit the title of guanarteme because he was a minor, so it passed provisionally to his relative Tenesor Semidan who took charge of the two guanartemes of the island and defended the rights of Bentejuí before the uprising of the Teldense warlord Doramas shortly before the arrival of the Castilian conquerors in 1478.

During the conquest of Gran Canaria

After the end of the aboriginal resistance in the interior of the island, in 1481, and the capture of Tenesor Semidán, guanarteme of Gáldar, by the Castilian Adelantado Alonso Fernández de Lugo, a treaty called Carta de Calatayud was signed between Tenesor, as representative of the Kingdom of the Canary Islands, and Ferdinand the Catholic, King of Aragon, on behalf of the Kingdoms of Spain, by which the Canary Islands became part of the Crown of Castile and the commanders of the Spanish army stationed in the Canary Islands obtained lands, as well as the different guanartemes, menceys or tribal kings, who remained as political leaders.

When Gáldar fell, the aboriginal resistance against the treaty with Spain moved to the mountainous areas of the interior, where Bentejuí, with the support of the faycán of Telde and the Galdense princess Guayarmina, organized the last resistance in the rocky heights of the island.

On April 29, 1483, the Guanarteme Tenesor meets with them, to try to convince them to cease the rebellion. After the meeting, Guayarmina Semidán, descendant like him of the Semidán, and Bentejuí in the fortress of Ansite, Guayarmina comes down and surrenders, while Bentejuí and the Faycan of Telde commit suicide following the aboriginal ritual, falling down the ravine of Atis Tirma, so called because that is the phrase that tradition tells that they exclaimed when they fell into the void: "Atis Tirma", "For you, land".

With his death, all armed and organized resistance to the conquest of Gran Canaria by the Catholic Monarchs ended.

A route to get to know the Ansite Fortress

From Casa Salinero, in half an hour you can reach the Mirador del Guriete, on the GC-65. This viewpoint allows to appreciate the volcanic building called Fortaleza de Ansite that gives its name to the legend of Atis Tirma. In it are located numerous aboriginal caves of habitation and burial, where a great quantity of archaeological material has been found.

In this area you can make excursions such as the Caldera de Tirajana, located in the center of Gran Canaria with southeast orientation. It is a wide caldera where the towns of Santa Lucía and San Bartolomé de Tirajana are located. This place is considered a space of great landscape singularity since it combines the steep relief of the territory, the architectural ensemble, the vegetal wealth and the agricultural landscape.

The Tirajana Ravine starts in the Tirajana Caldera and flows into the sea through the Juan Grande plains. This ravine has an extension of 76 square kilometers and visitors can appreciate different archaeological, botanical and geological aspects. A dam called Presa de la Sorrueda has been built in its basin. In this environment are the most beautiful and extensive palm groves of the island, especially attractive is the Palmeral de la Sorrueda located in the vicinity of the dam.

The Castillo de la Fortaleza Museum, located in the town of Santa Lucía, is another of the recommendations for visitors, since it is of great historical and cultural interest. This museum is basically archaeological, since it exhibits remains found in the archaeological sites of the area. In addition, it is possible to appreciate ethnographic, botanical and zoological elements. In the surroundings of this museum there is a garden where we can appreciate the existence of autochthonous flora and fruit trees from different latitudes.

The Canary Islands is a land with a thousand things to see, explore and learn about. If you are interested in knowing more interesting facts about Doramas, the aborigine of Gran Canaria, and the Canary Islands, its culture and traditions, we leave you below the link to the section Culture and traditions.

Photos: Hola Islas Canarias and Lainakai


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