Fuerteventura, a wall, two tribes, two kings

The truth about the primitive Fuerteventura’s inhabitants is a great mistery, difficult to clarify due to the lack of archeological, historic and linguistic evidences; but still there are several research trends that stand for different theories.

Some authors call the island «Maxorata», named after the biggest of the kingdoms the island was divided into; however there is a place name –recorded by Norman authors— our focus in order to approach the age of the ancient prehistoric kingdoms in Fuerteventura. This place name is «Erbania» or «Herbania», and a research trend relates this name to «Arbani» —the place where the wall is—. It makes reference to the wall, made of dry stone, which divided the island of Fuerteventura into two parts, near Jandia’s isthmus, a wall of which there are still some remains nowadays. On the basis of this research trend and of some other data that was recorded we can try to get a picture of what the firsts inhabitants of this island were like. The island was divided into two tribes or kingdoms, ruled by two kings. Each of them had their own descendants’ groups, related among themselves or through economic or marital exchanges; this way they created a bipolar tribal society characterized by hostile relations among themselves, and known as dual system.

The need of a greater amount of pastures and the fight for more and more limited resources would take kinship groups to look for higher politic organizations to cope with the military confrontation towards the other tribe, genealogically more distant.
Despite hostility between the two kingdoms, this was not permanent, as both tribes had a feeling of belonging to the same ethnic group, which they showed when they cooperated against a foreign enemy (the Normans) or when they adopted a pacific relationship in festivities and rituals that were common to the whole population in Fuerteventura.

Majorero kings must be considered as leaders or military chiefs, outstanding because of their warlike qualities. Their promotion was due to the lengthy military confrontations among the tribes, and to the need of organizing the defense against European incursions during the XIV and XV centuries. Those pastoral tribes had an aggressive nature and their military confrontations were very common, usually having to do with livestock and pastures. Normans always talk about them as ferocious warriors, with a good aim but without armour, with poor gadgets such as stones and wooden spears with no iron, similar to the ones existing in the rest of the archipelago.

The last aboriginal kings we have records about are Guize (to the North of the Wall) and Ayoze (to the South) and the two existing regions would be named after them.

As we said before, other research trends reject this theory because of the difference about the areas of these regions, the Northern one being much wider than the Southern one, though despite this difference both areas were very close in resources.

Until here we have tried an approach to the aborigine and fist inhabitants of this part of «La Macaronesia».

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