Jonah G. Lissner
Guanches and Canarios were the names given to the natives of the Canary Islands when conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century following a hundred-year campaign. They are generally considered to be of Cro-Magnon origin having fair or red hair and blue/grey eyes, characteristics that are still to be seen today. Many writers have been convinced that the Guanches were the remnants of the Atlantean civilisation,> a belief noted by W.G. Wood-Martin over a century ago [388.1.212]+.< Recent DNA studies(j) reveal a diversity of origins for the descendants of Guanches, comparable with the general Canarian population today.
However, a number of recent genetic studies(l)(m) have established a clear relationship with the Berbers of North Africa. Furthermore, it is claimed that the aboriginal language of the Guanches is related to one of the Berber dialects(n). Further evidence favouring a Berber connection was provided in 2017(o). A 2018 paper develops this further with particular reference to the Lybico-Berber script(p).
Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, it is claimed that the population numbered over 20,000. It is not commonly known that in the 15th century many of the Guanches were abducted and brought to the Madeiras to work as slaves(g).
The Guanches were reported to have had no boats or maritime heritage. If they were all that was left following a catastrophic event, the Guanches were probably the descendants of mountain people who had no seagoing heritage. This view was queried by Henry Eichner who claims that this idea was generated by the faulty assumptions of one of the first Spaniards to visit the island, Nicoloso de Recceo. In 2013, Sergio Navio decided to disprove this notion with a practical demonstration. The plan is to use a basic raft-like boat, named ‘Ursa Minor’ to sail from Lanzarote to La Palma, a distance of 250 miles(f).
The Spanish conquerors of the Canary Islands may have been able to shed more light on the subject, had they been more interested in history than in territory. According to these early explorers, the natives were surprised to learn that other people had survived the disaster that had flooded their world and submerged much of their homeland. They excitedly asked the conquistadors for help translating ancient inscriptions left by their ancestors that they could no longer read, but unfortunately – for the natives and for history – the Spanish exterminated their tribe before any more information was learned about their history and legends. Their inscriptions remain undeciphered.
The Guanches have been linked with both ancient Egypt and America on a number of grounds including similar methods of mummification(i) and the step pyramids found at both locations(d). Perhaps the most radical idea to emerge in recent times from Jonah G. Lissner was the suggestion that the Guanches or more correctly their ancestors were the founders of predynastic Egypt(q). In a similar vein, Helene E. Hagan wrote The Shining Ones, in which she identified the Tamazigh, related to the Guanches, as the founders of Egyptian civilisation.
Reinhard Prahl has published a paper(k) on the Migration & Diffusion website in which he also highlights cultural similarities of the Guanches and ancient Egyptians.
In The Atlantis Encyclopedia [104.130], Frank Joseph wrote, “In 45 A.D., he (Marcellus) recorded that “the inhabitants of the Atlantic island of Poseidon preserve a tradition handed down to them by their ancestors of the existence of an Atlantic island of immense size, of not less than a thousand stadia [about 115 miles], which had really existed in those seas, and which, during a long period of time, governed all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.” Pliny the Elder seconded Marcellus, writing that the Guanches were in fact the direct descendants of the disaster that sank Atlantis. Proclus reported that they still told the story of Atlantis in his day, circa 410 A.D.” Joseph expanded on some of this in an article in issue #34 of Atlantis Rising(u).
José Luis Concepción (1948- ), a Canarian, has written a number of books with a local theme including The Guanches, Survivors and their Descendant , a booklet providing a brief history of the islands. He concurs with the view that the Guanches have an African Cro-Magnon ancestry and are related to modern Berbers. The author also claims that the Guanches are still the dominant race on the Canaries. The booklet has been translated into a number of languages and includes an extensive Spanish bibliography.
A website(a) discussing the Guanches has some interesting if controversial suggestions regarding their origins. Another site highlights a possible connection with the Dravidians of Southern India(c). This Dravidian connection is supported by the late Edo Nyland(e) in his Linguistic Archaeology. Some time ago, Arysio dos Santos wrote a paper, claiming that “we provide linguistic evidence that the Guanche language is very likely of Dravidian derivation, and not indeed Hamito-Semitic, as usually stated(v). The present article is intended to be read in connection with the one entitled: TheMysterious Origin of the Guanches(w).”
Two Russian writers, B.F. Dobrynin and B. L. Bogaevsky in the first quarter of the 20th century wrote articles that supported the idea that there were links between the Guanches and the original Atlanteans.
A 2020 article(t) on the BBC website reiterates the Guanche – Berber connection but adds that “They adapted caves and grottoes to be used as silos and temples. Some of those structures have been preserved to this day and indicate the Guanches’ sophisticated astronomical knowledge: holes on the caves’ walls allowed sunlight in at certain positions during different times of the year, marking solstices and equinoxes.”
[388.1.212]+ https://archive.org/details/traceselderfait00martgoog *
(g) https://menceymacro.blogspot.ie/2013/08/la-punta-del-sol-la-historia-de-los.html (Spanish)
(i) See Archive 2617
(q) https://joe3998.tripod.com/guanches/ (link broken)
(r) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | Atlantis (archive.org)
(s) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/39792/Abstract (Link Broken)
(u) Atlantis Rising magazine #34 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(v) Guanche language derived from Dravida? | (archive.org)
(w) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | (archive.org)