From World Afropedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Canary Islands, (Spanish: [Islas Canarias] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)), or sometimes the Canaries in (Spanish: [Canarias] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) is an archipelago off the coast of Morocco and Moroccan occupied Western Sahara, in Northwest Afrika. The Canary Islands is one of 17 autonomous regions of Spain. It is the second furthest Spanish controlled African territory in North Africa after Ceuta and Mellila. The islands are bordered by North Afrika to its East, the Portuguese island of Madeira to its North, Cape Verde to its South and the Atlantic Ocean to its immediate west.

Prior to European colonization and occupation, the islands were home to the indigenous Guanche Berber people from neighboring Morocco. The Guanche were the first people to arrive and inhabit the islands "beginning in 1000 BC" [1]. When the Spanish conquistadors [conquistadors] arrived in the Canary Islands in 1483 (nine years before Colombus left Spain), they defeated the Guanche despite resistance and absorbed the indigenous people into the conquistador and later Spanish settler population[2]. The Guanche language also disappeared as the Spanish colonization spread through out the island and was replaced by Spanish. Today, the Canarian people are descendants of mostly Spanish settlers from the 15th century onwards. Nevertheless, the mtDNA shows that many Canarian people also have Berber and West Afrikan genes as well. [3].

The Spanish spoken on the Canarias is closely related to Venezuelan Spanish. The Canarian accent has even influence part of the Venezuelan accent and other Caribbean Spanish dialects and accents. Canarians have also migrated to Venezuela and other Latin American countries during the Spanish colonization of the Americas beginning in the 16th century.