Bailetambor blanco y negro The island of La Gomera has a rich ethnographic heritage, which is a result of the adaptation of its inhabitants to the unique island environment of spectacular beauty, but which has never made life easy for its inhabitants. To all of this, we must add historical circumstances, such as its condition of an island of Lordship until well into the 19th century. This fact made that many of the changes, which took place in some of its neighbouring islands, barely occurred in La Gomera. Therefore, there is a strong fragmentation of land ownership, situation that creates internal structures of power less favourable to development and worsens the difficulties in communications, both internal and by sea and its status of "smaller island". The society of the island has been marked by a forced isolation, interrupted only two decades ago with the arrival of tourism and the improvement of communications. For this reason, the adaptation to the environment has been first and foremost a necessity. It is needless to mention the vital role that the mountain has had as a supplier of resources and as social space. The results of this adaptation are reflected both in culture and in the landscape: crop terraces to make the most of its arable surface, hamlets located in the safest places in case of floods and landslides and with less vocation for the crop, a great oral tradition which is reflected in stories, legends, narrative poems, prayers, décimas (style of poetry with ten lines and octosyllabic rhyme), songs, etc. As an escape route to conditions of life that have always been difficult, emigration has always been a necessity in every age. At the beginning of the seventies started the arrival of tourism. This resulted in a progressive but unstoppable change in the social and economic structures of the island and, at the same time, it changed the way of interacting with the environment. However, many of the cultural traditions are still maintained in all their vitality.
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