Refuge

This type of structure, popularly known as socos, served the Majorero shepherds as a refuge against the wind and inclement weather. They were made by superimposing stones in places like this, with good visibility to control the herd. These structures could be of different types, quadrangular, circular, oval. etc.

Although in this case the basement that we can observe has a roof, many of them did not have one due to its fragility in the face of strong winds. In these cases, in order to protect themselves from the sun, the shepherds took advantage of the shadows that provided the walls as the day went by.

The image shows a representation of a typical island shepherd. They carried a wooden stick, generally made of wild olive (Olea cerasiformis) that widens at the bottom, where it has a metal tip called a spike, which was used to drive it into the ground. This tool was used to be able to move through the abrupt orography of the islands and thus be able to overcome large slopes and jump cliffs, a practice that is known as Salto del Pastor. Depending on the island we are, this tool has different names: in the western islands it is known as lanza or astia, and in the eastern islands as garrote (in Gran Canaria), and lanza (in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura).

Proyecto TSP de la Consejería de Educación, Universidades y Sostenibilidad. CC by-nc-sa. Empresa colaboradora MITCA studio. El pastoreo en Canarias (Autor: Mforgom) en CanariWiki. Disponible en https://www3.gobiernodecanarias.org/medusa/wiki/index.php?title=Archivo:Pastor.png

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