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history gambuesa word

History of the word - Gambuesa

The word Gambuesa, in itself makes a journey of high etymological value, and although in our days we have it closely related to the "large stone corral, in which the goats are enclosed once gathered", or at least that is what the RAE affirms, in the historical evolution, which is when we have references, it has an interesting strength as a term, always accompanying the farmer, the cattle and as we will see, the islands.
If it seems clear, and in that the authors agree, that it is a pre-Hispanic voice that repeats in several of the islands of the archipelago and that have no explanation from the Berber, which is striking and is one of those unknowns, with which the ancient settlers of the Canary Islands remind us that there are great gaps in knowledge.
The first reference to the term collected in writings in the archipelago arrives very early in the conquest, in the year 1501, in the document of the Agreements of the Cabildo of Tenerife that first contains it and also with a form, gamabuesa, that could be closer to the true pre-Hispanic nature than the Gambuesa form that has prevailed. It prohibits all the people who have thrown their cattle into the Anaga pasture so that they can then take them out if it is not with the agreement of the Cabildo. That ordinance reads as follows:
"Others and ordered and commanded that this pasture oversaid [of Anaga], which is to raise goats and all other any cattle that are thrown there, ecebto pigs and cows, and all these said neighbors that there put their cattle that none can kill or take out or shoeing sy not with the agreement of the Cabildo, and asye they can not put syn agreement of said Cabildo so that it is known what kills, because they become their gamabuesas at the same time that it is concerted"
Fuerteventura, managed versus gambuesas
In the first historical references to the term on the island of Fuerteventura the apañada is confused with the gambuesa, or perhaps it is not a confusion and in that context, with the social value of the livestock act by autonomy, separating both meanings was more complicated ...
"These two islands [Lanzarote and Fuerteventura] are abundant with herbs and very fragrant flowers; and so there is a lot of cattle of goats and sheep and cows1... The cattle of this island of Fuerteventura is the tastiest of all the islands; which is loose all over the island; and when they wanted to take some cattle, they got together and made arrangements that they called gambuesas" Abreu Galindo 1632.
On the island of Fuerteventura the loose goats were raised by the cliffs, and when they made slaughter, they beat them and locked them in a place. These Apañadas are called Gambuezas. Viera and Clavijo 1772
From these documents we interpret what we say, that at some time the word gambuesa came to mean both things, but today the use of the term gambuesa is limited to the initial definition provided by the RAE.
In this way the later chroniclers relate the concept with this last meaning and relate it to the fold where the cattle end after the rigging, the place where it is taken to separate the farmers and mark them. Guanche vocabulary. Gambuesa, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, "Large corral to gather cattle in the apañadas". 1912 Bethencourt Alfonso History.
Another later definition that already includes the concept of "Coastal Cattle", is provided by Navarro Artiles in his edition of the work of the majorero Ramón Castañeyra"corral to enclose the coastal cattle caught in the apañadas"
Gambuesa as an aphorism
In this sense the term Gambuesa is, possibly, one of the best testimonies, one of the richest words in content, both etymological and semantic, that we have left of one of the most characteristic manifestations of the culture of the Mahos, the Coastal Cattle.
This initial approach to the Gambuesa concept wants to raise the strength of a word that accompanied the aboriginal culture and the social practices produced by the Coastal Cattle as the spearhead of the survival of a people.
The gambuesas are today and for a long time, large and communal corrals; they are made of dry stone, between one and two meters high, always in a more or less circular way and with certain interior dependencies to perform the different tasks of marking the cattle, castrating the baifos, separating the goats from the same owner, etc.; and they are usually on the slopes of the ends of the ravines, to better drive there the goats and sheep guaniles. (University of Las Palmas)
In successive entries we will try to complete the image, the route and the current state of the different gambuesas that continue to fulfill an ancient function on the island of Fuerteventura.

link to original article for pic
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