Special stamp marks Silbo’s heritage
The famous whistling language of La Gomera has been commemorated with a special stamp “Silbo” is officially listed as a heritage jewel (“Patrimonio Inmaterial de la Humanidad”) and this was recognised by the Post Office during a special ceremony with the island’s Cabildo.
The event was led by president, Casimiro Curbelo Curbelo and head of the post office network in the Canaries, Humberta Pérez Perdomo.
The whistling language has been passed down from generation to generation and is unique in the world. It is still practised by about 22,000 people.
The whistled language replaces the vowels and consonants of Spanish by whistles: two distinct whistles replace the five Spanish vowels; and four consonants. The whistles are distinguished by their tone and interruption or continuity.
Taught in schools since 1999, the language of Silbo Gomero is understood by almost all islanders and practiced by a large majority of them, particularly the elderly and young people.
It is also used during fiestas to prevent its disappearance.
The Post Office has always been keen to support heritage issues with special editions and this is no exception.
The stamp is illustrated by the work of French painter Francés Bernard Romain (Roanne, 1944).
It has a circulation of 300,000 copies and a face value of 2.84 euros. The design dedicated to Silbo Gomera is by Francisco Fidalgo and is in full colour.