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There are different theories about the origin of Teguise’s diablets. One among them referrs to
the rituals dances of the mahos.
The ancient aborigenals who lived in the island, use to dance
with different aims. Dance competition, rituals and celebrations.
The mahos, during the harvest time, use to dance happily to
thank for the fruits collected.
Mahos associated the image of the goat with strength and
virility. It was logical to think that it could be a symbol of survival for
them, because goats provided everything they needed.
On one side the milk, the meat that they used as food. On the
other side the leathers that they use for clothing.
Finally, the horns that were used for different aims, such as
for field tasks.
In addition, during some funeral rituals
they sacrificed goats so that their skins can accompany dead people. Therefore, they
could wear a goat to pay homage to their beliefs.
Although of ancient origin, these cultural manifestations
persisted over the years and resemble some that are celebrated in Africa or in
The origin of the diablets’ dance is totally pagan. However, in
the fifteenth century, the arrival of the conquerors and their Christian
beliefs made the dancers acquire religious customs.
The Corpus became a big christian celebration in which the fight
between good and evil was represented.
Franciscans took advantage of the figure of the diablets to
represent the image of evil.
Later on the General Cabildo of Lanzarote, located in Teguise, started
to organize the Corpus Christi.
During the XVI century many blacks and numerosos negros and
moorish arrived to Lanzarote, to cover the need of workforce.
They have been integrated in the Corpus, as black drummers.
During the XVII century, the dancers of Teguise received the
name of Teguise’s diablets. At that time
the Corpus was at its golden days.
The church banned Teguise's diablets from participating to the
party. Then from the Christian festival
they returned to the pagan ones: the carnival of Lanzarote.
At the beginning diablets use to wear goats’ skins and masks of
a goat to symbolize their ancestral origin.
Later on, when they have been integrated to the carnival party,
they discarded the skins, changing them for linen suits, and the goat's mask
was exchanged for an ox.
Currently, the representation of diablets is with white pants
and camisole, painted with rhombuses formed by black and red stripes. In the middle there is a red or black dot.
On top of the clothes they show leather
straps with bells made of wood and brass. The face is covered with a striking
red or black mask, and two horns.
To complete the look, Teguise’ diablets
carry a stick with a bag, which serves to scare attendees and curious.
Teguise proudly shows its famous diablets. The best moment of
the year is Carnival, when adults and children enjoy remembering this ancestral
As Canarian Transfer we recommend to discover this tradition and many others, typical of the
culture of Lanzarote. We organize the best transfers and excursions to complete your visit of the island.
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