What we recognize today as typical Gomeran pottery does not in fact have direct origins in pre-Hispanic times. However, it does conserve some features of ancient Gomeran pottery, which was still being used at the time of colonization. Colonization brought certain changes, particularly from Tenerife. Although the wheel has never been used, new techniques were adapted to the agricultural lifestyle and gave rise to the style that we now recognize as traditional Gomeran ceramics.
Making pots was a women’s activity, passed down through the generations from mother to daughter. Potters had to travel long distances to sell their wares or to exchange them for food or other products. Gomeran pottery is recognizable by its reddish colour, which comes from the use of red ochre, and its globe-shaped forms. El Cercado (Chipude) is currently the only centre on the island that produces ceramics.
Leather from cured animal skins, particularly goat skins, was worked by shepherds for their personal use. They received orders for pouches, recipients for carrying mosto (grape juice), rucksacks, tobacco boxes and cases for money or smoking implements. Pig’s skin was used for small objects such as tobacco boxes and, because of its durability, even for shoes.
After carefully removing the animal skin, it was thoroughly dried in the sun on a frame of wood or cane. The remains of fat and usually the hair were removed with a knife. The skin was then smoothed according to the use for which it was intended.