Linguistic Decipherment of the Lettering on the (Original) Carving of the Virgin of Candelaria from Tenerife (Canary Islands)


The wooden carving of Our Lady of Candelaria, discovered in the municipality of the same name on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands) during the first half of the fifteenth century, had nearly two hundred letters of the Latin alphabet inscribed on her garments. Unfortunately the original carving disappeared after the storm that took place in 1826. Once the original letters on the first image were discovered by means of analysing both textual and artistic documentation and sources, we conclude that the text is archaic-Berber language used by the islanders, Insular-Amazigh, which no longer exists in the present day. Having discussed lexical, morphological, syntactic and phonetic aspects of this archaic language, as well as conducted a semantic analysis of the carving both from the native aboriginal perspective and the Christian one, we expound here our proposal of the meaning of the letters engraved on the Marian carving of Candelaria from its lexical voices and roots of their Berber and Insular-Amazigh languages, with the previous proposed solutions.

Publication type: 
Other Indexed Magazine (RIND)
Published in: 
Religions, MDPI (Switzerland).Vol 8, 8; no. 135, pp.: 1-26
ISSN 2077-1444 
Publication date: 
July 2017
CeDInt Authors: