Marianne Perdomo marianne at historiaviva.org
Tue Feb 15 11:50:11 EST 2011


Thanks for all the comments and pointers. I'll be taking a look to see if
there's anything I can pick up... in my copious free time... We've been
working on Del's Negri reconstruction :)

There's nothing in the sources linking these dances to the Canary Islands.
>  There are a few
> theories, including:

I know they are nothing directly from the Canary islands, they just allude
to them, much in the manner the Branle d'Ecosse alludes to Scotland. Still
people are more curious about this dance than elsewhere, I think, because it
bears the name.

> * The dance "Canary" was called that because it looked a bit like the
> hopping dances done by
> the natives of the Canary Islands.  The Islands were named after a dog
> (because the islanders
> worshipped dogs, or a dog-headed Egyptian god), or possibly a seal that
> looked like a dog (the
> latter explanation is accepted by wikipedia).

The god part is pure speculation. Of the idols found none are so shaped that
I'm aware. Nor is it mentioned, that I'm aware, in the chronicles. But this
is not the place for such a discussion. Let's say that's not wikipedia at
its most reliable.. ;)

> * The dance "Canary" was named because it looks like a canary (the bird)
> hopping on its perch.

But the birds are from the islands, being named after them. So it all ends
up being vaguely related anyway ;)

>  The Islands were named after a dog or seal, unrelated to the naming of the
> dance.

> As both the natives of the islands and their language are extinct, there's
> no reliable data to
> back any of that up.

A good few words are known, mostly from toponyms. The problems is, as far as
I know, that only outsiders called them canaries (and at first only one
island was so called). Myth meets renaissance propaganda in all this and I
believe there probably isn't much actual connection at all between all of
these things.
The people themselves didn't become extinct, by the way, they just melted
into the bigger invading population and their culture did go extinct.
They're still an important cultural reference as people identify with them.

Cheers and thanks again!

Marianne / Leonor

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