Among the seven islands of the Canary Islands, La Gomera, preserves its customs and traditions in a more pure way.
The folklore of La Gomera has something unique within the folklore of the island. The drum dance, an ancestral combination of singing and dancing at the rhythm of the typical drum of La Gomera, is a unique expression of folk music in the Hispanic world. The archaic selection of songs of romance combined with choreography of people in facing lines, symbolizes the folk culture. The lyrics of the songs, composed from epic poems, love stories or narrative, always tell something to do with island and its people.
The development of the dance is very simple, several singers meet, each one with his drum or chacaras, and the main singer begins to sing a rhyming couplet, which rhymes with the romance. Sometimes the romance is invented for the occasion and this is repeated by the rest of the players with the drum (among these players, there may be female voice). There are currently two forms of versification: the “Pie de romance”, sung while the “tajaraste” rhytm sounds, and the “Décimas” or “Punto Cubano”, accompanied by a lute or a guitar. Both forms are eminently narrative, telling legends or historical events, among the “Punto Cubano” we must remark on a classical where the history of the count is described. The Malagueñas, Isas and Folias, similar in other islands, are songs, often combined with folk choreographies and accompanied by instruments of string: timples, guitars, “bandurrias”,(a typical stringed instrument similar to the mandolin), etc. .. Tajaraste is the most ancestral and important music expression of La Gomera.
Dancers and instrument players are able to dance and play at the rhythm of Tajaraste for many hours in a reminiscent manner, similar to the trance dances of the primitive islanders. The Tajaraste consists of a hectic dance, with the beat of drums and chacaras (hollow percussion instruments, usually made of moral wood that are attached to each hand and produce peculiar sounds) keep the music time, while a chorus repeats a phrase or “Pie de romance” after each soloist intervention. For the outsider, understanding the text will be virtually impossible. They are sung during the drum dance, singers give a special intonation and the subject of the romance is usually misfortune and famine, issues of the history of the island, that are sung with the sly humor that depict the people of La Gomera . Men dance and play the chacaras at the same time, but not women. The dance lasts just until the romance finishes, but while this does not come to an end; the dancers can quit or carry on whenever they want. The only limit is only limit is their endurance and that of their partner. All these elements create a very unique island in the folklore that still arises spontaneously in pilgrimages and festivals celebrated in heights and valleys. Include the festivals in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, in Chipude, St. Rose of Lima in the Roses, and Our Lady of Lourdes in El Cedro.
Another feature of this holiday is the traditional clothing industry, as an offering to the saint. As for the costume of La Gomera, the woman is made up of: a white skirt with red ribbon stitching in viro, a red skirt and a blue skirt on this wool embroidered with yellow daisies. At the top, a white blouse with a black bustier and other complementary items such as yellow handkerchief edged hats with blue stitching. Black shoe boots. The order of placement of the clothes from the bottom of the costume of women can vary, depending on the area of the island in question. As for the man wears black trousers above the ankle, white blouse, black vest, red sash, and some canvas shoes with socks.