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The village and the mill of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura

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General presentationGeneral presentation
The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Moulin. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Tiscamanita is a small farming village of about 500 inhabitants, south of the island of Fuerteventura. Tiscamanita is part of the municipality of Tuineje.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. ruined farm (author Luca Guzzo). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).In the early twentieth century the village could compete with its population Tuineje; but today many old village farms are abandoned and rapidly falling apart.

SituationSituation

Tiscamanita is located 4 km northeast of Tuineje on the FV-20 road from Tuineje to Antigua (9 km northeast) Pájara is 11 km west.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. La Caldera de Gairía (author Og Mac ind). Click to enlarge the image in Flickr (new tab).To the east of the village lies the volcano of Caldera de Gairía, one of the last volcanic structures of the island of Fuerteventura; it is a Strombolian volcano, with a height of 461 meters. This recent volcanic activity has created an arid area in very particular biological environment.

Volcanic ash from the volcano have long been exploited, including the "agricultural technical cultivo enarenado” (“Culture silted”) where the fields are covered with pozzolan to preserve the soil from evaporation of water by the powerful winds of the region. Pozzolan careers have left deep crevices in the flanks of the volcano, but the Caldera de Gairía is now protected as a natural monument.

Despite its depopulation, Tiscamanita remains one of the agricultural centers of the island. In relatively moist valley bottoms of the ravines (gullies) are grown cereals in fields irrigated by wind turbines that pump groundwater from greater depths.

VisitsVisits

ChapelSt. Mark the Evangelist chapel (Ermita de San Marcos Evangelista)
The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. St. Mark Chapel (author gmbgreg). Click to enlarge the image in Panoramio (new tab).St. Mark’s Chapel is at the southern edge of the village of Tiscamanita, Calle San Marcos s / n.

La Ermita de San Marcos was founded by the Franciscans in the late seventeenth century; registration - placed above the arch of the portal - shows the date 1699. The Franciscan influence is reflected in the sobriety not devoid of grace of the building, and the crenellated wall surrounding the building. The simple façade took its present form in 1750; it is flanked by two towers of unequal sizes. The chapel is covered with a red-tiled roof.

ReceptionThe Interpretation Centre of Moulins (Centro de Interpretación de los Molinos)
The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Moulin. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The Interpretation Centre of Moulins Tiscamanita is installed in a wind mill and its outbuildings (miller’s house) dating from the nineteenth century, but carefully restored. This ethnographical museum presents the history of the mill, the different types of mills, construction of mills, cereal cultivation and manufacture of “gofio” in Fuerteventura, since pre-Hispanic times to the present day.

For centuries, the gofio was the staple food of the inhabitants of the island, the Mahos aborigines then after the Norman and Spanish conquest, the Majoreros. The gofio - like Mahos themselves - is of Berber origin. This is a flour toasted grains, rich in protein, vitamins and minerals essential for human consumption; the gofio is eaten in many forms. The vital importance of gofio for human survival during famine has made ​​- and still makes - the iconic food of the Canary Islands and their popular culture.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Moulin. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Aborigines gathered wild cereal grains such as barley and wheat, they were roasting and concassaient in stone mortars dug shaped vessel, and grind in hand mills consist of two stones turning one on the other. Spanish settlers resumed the use of hand mills Mahos without much improvement, and used - in addition to barley and wheat - rye and corn, cereal when this native of South America was introduced in Europe. One of these hand mills can be seen in the kitchen of the Interpretation Centre; visitors can itself try to grind a handful of grain as did the Aborigines.

Later, we used the “tahona” a millstone vertically upright and towed circularly by horses, oxen or even a group of men; the “tahona” was generally located in the same peasant housing. Grain milling and manufacture of gofio often constituted a social event.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Moulin. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).At the end of the eighteenth century windmills appeared in the landscape of Fuerteventura, taking advantage of the trade winds blowing almost constantly on the island. The first windmills were introduced from Castile, on the model of the giants against whom fought Don Quixote. These so-called moulins “male” (molinos) were solid stone masonry buildings and clay, whitewashed, with a circular cone shape, crowned by a wooden screw, which was turned by a bar to guide blades wind. The “molino” contains two or three levels on the lower level are stored utensils used by the miller; to the middle floor, flour or gofio is collected, while the top floor houses the grinding mechanism, a machine of wood and iron.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Moulin. Click to enlarge the image.From the second half of the nineteenth century these mills “male” divided the island landscape with windmills “female”, the “molinas” frail and certainly more practical use, invented by Isídoro Ortega Sánchez (1843 - 1923), a native of Santa Cruz de La Palma. The “molina” has the advantage on the “molino” that all manipulation of cereals and milling processes are performed on a single floor, eliminating the need to go up and down the miller scales, loaded with heavy bags grains. In the interpretation center a model for understanding the difference between the two types of grinders, which are widespread on the island. A specimen can be seen “molina” on Tefía, among others.

In the twentieth century, the mills also cohabited with water extraction wind, locally named “chicagos” because of their popularity in the United States, despite their European origin. Windmills gradually replaced the hand mills and tahonas; farmers preferred to wear their wheat, millet and barley to the miller, who collected his share of grain and other agricultural products until the twentieth century, when widespread was the cash payment.

The wings of windmills turned in the sky of Fuerteventura until economic changes retired push in the second half of the twentieth century, when the miller craft disappeared almost completely from the island.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Moulin. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Next to the museum, a magnificent mill copy of “male” awaits the arrival of visitors. One can discover it from within and - if the wind is favorable - see it working. If you have the chance to speak with the miller he will explain the milling and fine words it uses: the grain passes from the hopper to the bucket, and then spaced rhythmic tremor that prints the bulletin board movement falls between the millstones and loses its consistency in the bite of the flutes; the gofio or flour falls from the trough in the bag that awaits on the floor below, enveloping the building of an intense aroma.

The mills of the Interpretation Centre was opened at the end of 1997; it is part of the Network of Museums Fuerteventura, depending Historical Heritage Department of the Insular Chapter (Patrimonio Histórico del Cabildo Insular). It forms an ethnographic and historical together with the Mill Crafts Centre Antigua (Centro de Artesanía Molino de Antigua), the Museum of Grain La Oliva (Museo del Grano) and the Eco-museum of La Alcogida (Ecomuseo de La Alcogida) of Tefía. These mills are connected by the “Route des Moulins” (“Ruta de los Molinos”).

Visit the Centro de Interpretación de los Molinos of Tiscamanita :

If we manage to Tuineje by road FV-20, turn left, then right, behind the bar Tío Pepe.

Hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 18 pm.

Phone: 00 34 928 164 275

Price: € 2.

The Centre has many objects and information panels about the history of the mill; free guide is available in different languages.

After the visit, the Centre staff offers visitors a candy made ​​from gofio - ground in the mill center - oil and sugar. It is also possible to purchase gofio.

Manufacture The factory products CanaryAloe
When you leave Tiscamanita by the FV-20 road towards Tuineje, we see, after 800 meters, the main hall of the factory Avisa, surrounded by aloe fields. The company, founded in 1989, is the oldest European manufacturer of cosmetic products based on real aloe (Aloe vera); its products (shampoos, gels, creams ...) are sold under the brand CanaryAloe.

The village of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura. Champ true aloe (Aloe vera) (Nikodem Nijaki author). Click to enlarge the image.In Fuerteventura, the aloe fields are located around the village of Tiscamanita is a major growing area. In Lanzarote there are larger plantations near Teguise and Arrieta. The industry is booming and the aloe vera is on track to become a major industry. In order to obtain as pure a product as possible some plantations in Fuerteventura produce organically, and deliberately avoid the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

After three to four years, the outer leaves of the plant can be harvested. They are then peeled manually; the gelatinous flesh of the plant has then only be filtered; then, in gel form, it serves as basis for medicaments or cosmetics. In folk medicine, aloe vera has long been used as a remedy: the plant is used externally against burns, irritations and small cuts.

Address: Carretera General de Sur, Km 30, Tiscamanita

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 18 pm.

Phone: 00 34 928 164 240

Site on the Web: www.aloetiscamanita.com

Order products: ventas@aloetiscamanita.com

You can buy products directly on the front yard of the factory.

Practical informationPractical information

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The village and the mill of Tiscamanita in Fuerteventura
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