The Silbo Gomero is a whistling language used from immemorial times on the island of La Gomera to communicate over long distances. It is not a series of preset codes that allows the expression of limited content, but an articulate language, unconventional, where you can exchange an unlimited range of messages, reproducing by whistling the characteristic sounds of a spoken language.
The depth and distance between gullies produced the creation of a unique language in the world that has merited the protection of UNESCO, being recognized as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in September 2009.
It has an exceptional value, being a proof of the human creative genius. Besides being an adapted and developed system to facilitate survival in a particular environment, users have endowed it with great technical complexity and aesthetic.
The Silbo Gomero is the expression of the popular culture of La Gomera, is strongly rooted in the population of the island, has developed in a cohesive factor of the community for years, and is a hallmark of La Gomera and all the Canary Islands.
While being a cultural product it is also a process through which a culture is defined. Being a language that reproduces another language, it has coexisted with the Castilian language in a not competitive or exclusive way.
The Silbo Gomero has been passed on, from one generation to another, as an element of the community´s intangible heritage. This transmission, which for centuries was made possible through direct contact between master and disciple and usually within the family, now is done through formal education in schools of La Gomera, due to measures taken by the Government of the Canary Islands in order to safeguard this particular language.