Lanzarote’s Cabildo yesterday marked Canary Day by presenting a short film in honour of one of Lanzarote’s most well-known craftsmen, basket-weaver Eulogio Concepción.
At 88-years-old, Don Eulogio can still occasionally be seen in his workshop in Haría, next to César Manrique’s Casa Museum, working on the baskets that he is famous for. Usually reliant on local palm tree pruners to provide him with material for his work, in recent years he was forced to gather his own material.
That material is pírgano – the tough, pliable stems that the palm leaves are attached to (the leaves are used for much finer woven items, such as the traditional sombreros of La Graciosa). It’s tough work, requiring skill and patience, and that may be one of the reasons why Don Eulogio is the only traditional basket maker remaining on the island.
Earlier in life, Don Eulogio worked in agriculture and spent 30 years as the Concierge for Haria’s social centre, where his duty was to organise dances, carnivals and other events.
At the launch of the video, Cabildo Crafts Councillor Carmen Guadelupe said “This is a tribute to a career that has placed Lanzarote and Haría at the forefront of crafts in the Canaries, and an example for future generations of an activity that is practiced less and less.”
Local crafts are an essential part of Canarian culture, and will be on display throughout the island today, especially at the main square in Mancha Blanca and the Plaza del Varadero in Puerto del Carmen.
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