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Fuerteventura Celebrates Victory over English Pirates Letters from the Atlantic by Barrie Mahoney

'Writing Inspired by an Island in the Atlantic'

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Fuerteventura Celebrates Victory over English Pirates

Fuerteventura Celebrates Victory over English Pirates (No, this is not another Brexit story)

Although the whole of Spain celebrates Columbus Day and Spain’s National Day on 12 October each year, the island of Fuerteventura held another celebration on Friday 13 October this year to celebrate a victory in battle with English pirates 277 years ago. Yes, life in Fuerteventura was very different 277 years ago, and local people were plagued with English pirates raiding their towns and farms, and as well as taking any valuable possessions they could find and often raping these residents, but the English pirates were also keen to steal sea salt produced on the island. Salt was a very valuable commodity many years ago, and an important local industry for exports.

The Town of Gran Tarajal in Tuineje hosted another re-creation of this particular battle with pirates 277 years ago, when local residents prevented them from attacking and stealing from them. Although these English pirates landed at Gran Tarajal and Tarajelejo, it was residents from Tiscamanita, Tuineje, Pajara, Agua de Bueyes, Casillas de Morales, Toto, La Florida and Las Casitas who worked together to protect their island from these pirate boats.

Local residents were dressed in authentic costumes of the period and re-enacted this Battle of Tamasite with English pirates landing at Gran Tarajal and fighting with local Fuerteventura residents. This annual event attracts many tourists, and is also described as a cultural event by the Government of the Canary Islands. This great battle of Tamasite ended with a parade of the local San Miguel band. Of course, the islanders of Fuerteventura won and the English pirates lost!

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