Grotesque “rams” charging through El Hierro get listed status
These grotesque looking rams which run through the streets of El Hierro have written themselves into the history books!
The characters, with young people inside, are known on the island as “Los Carneros de Tigaday” and have just won the prized status of “cultural interest” in the category of knowledge and traditional activity.
President of El Hierro, Belén Allende said it was a well-deserved accolade and congratulated all those who had campaigned for the recognition. The initiative was started by the council of La Frontera and received wide support, including from historians in Tenerife and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The “Carneros de Tidaday” make their appearance during the carnival celebrations and are closely associated with El Hierro’s cattle breeding which in years gone by ensure local residents’ survival.
Recreating them each year has become one of the oldest traditions on the island and was instigated by Benito Padrón who lives in El Hierro.
Residents of Frontera dress up as the rams in clothing made of skin and fur and chase after anyone who gets in their way. They have bells tied to their waist to make a thunderous noise and try to knock people down with their horns. The aim is to impregnate them with the nauseating smell generated by the skins and bitumen covering them.
Locals hope the “cultural interest” classification will help to preserve the tradition for generations to come.