July 24, 2021

Francisco Tarajano dies, poet and defender of the popular heritage of the Islands – La Provincia

Francisco Tarajano dies, poet and defender of the popular heritage of the Islands - La Provincia

The poet, writer, teacher and historian Francisco Tarajano Pérez, a well-known researcher and popularizer of Canarian popular culture, as well as an official chronicler of Agüimes, died yesterday at the age of 94, in the municipality of Agüime, where his residence was set. The spheres of Canarian culture, education and nationalism mourn the loss of one of the references in the dissemination of tradition, literature, identity and Canarian feeling, which embodied an extensive and solid poetic work rooted in the orography and the landscapes of the Archipelago hand in hand with its political commitment in defense of freedom and the canarity. "An uncultivated people is not free, kisses the boots of tyrants, fears caciques and manages to kneel before the masters," Tarajano wrote.

Born in Ingenio in 1924, Tarajano, son of farmers, grew up in the neighboring municipality of Agüimes and served as a teacher for 20 years in various schools in Gran Canaria and, later, in Tenerife, where he also worked as a professor of Language and Literature in the University of La Laguna (ULL). Lover of popular Canarian literature and rescuer of couplets, fortune tellers, tenths, romances or sayings, Tarajano collaborated with the popular ballads The Flower of the Marañuela, directed by Dr. Diego Catalá Menéndez, professor of the ULL, in the 50s. In this same decade, in 1956, the poet emigrated to Venezuela, where he spent 16 years devoted to teaching and also published seven teaching books.

In 1972, the poet returned to the Canary Islands, where he continued with his work as a teacher at the María Auxiliadora school and at the IES Isabel de España and Pérez Galdós until his retirement. In 1983, Tarajano was named official chronicler of the Villa de Agüimes, a municipality that distinguished him as a Favorite Son in 1986 and where he began his career as a historian, since, in 1990, he was appointed Honorary President of the cultural and political independence association Solidaridad Canaria.

Distinguished with multiple awards and recognitions driven by various institutions and cultural associations or neighborhoods of the islands, as well as eternal candidate for the Canary Islands Literature Prize, his return to the Canary Islands inaugurated the most prolific and recognized stage of Tarajano, in which he made compatible teaching with its poetic and chronicler aspects, exercised from its firm commitment to the defense of the popular and cultural heritage of the Archipelago. Among his more than 50 publications, titles such as Canary popular fortune tellers (1984), Anthology of Canary fortune tellers (1986), More than two hundred fortune-tellers (1989), Canary fortune tellers for children (1990), Canarias sings I (1992) and Canary Islands sings II (1994).

Last May, Tarajano celebrated his 94th birthday in an emotional act at the Club THE PROVINCE, which paid tribute to his work in teaching, research and poetry, with the musical accompaniment of the Agrupación Musical Sombra del Aguayro. "This is an extraordinary, cultured and universal act," said Tarajano, who gave a nod to his father, "who was illiterate" and whose affection, in the words of the poet, "marked the path I followed in life".


Numerous authorities of the cultural and political scene of the islands expressed their condolences throughout yesterday. The president of Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, stated in his account of Twitter"Poet, researcher of our traditions, teacher, compiler of our history, defender of our identity … He leaves us an extraordinary work and his commitment to this land and its people Rest in peace, dear Paco". Also the president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, said: "Today [por ayer] not only his natal Ingenio lost a referent of the letters. Today the Canarian culture is also a little more orphan. My condolences to family and friends. D.E.P".

For his part, Óscar Hernández, mayor of Agüimes, regretted that: "Francisco Tarajano left us … Professor, poet, professor, defender of the canariety … We were a great man, a reference, favorite son of our Villa. His extraordinary work will endure and the affection of those of us who had the honor of crossing his path, rest in peace. " And the Minister of Culture of the regional government, Isaac CastellanoHe wrote: "The Canarian culture is in mourning, the poet and writer from the Canary Islands Francisco Tarajano has left us, defender and collector of the wisdom of our people and the feelings of our land."


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