Sport and Identity in the Canary Islands
Lucha Canaria, traditional wrestling, plays a significant role, both as a modern sport and as a factor strenghtening cultural identity, in contemporary life on the -- Spanish -Canary Islands off Africa's northwestern coast, mainly known as tourist attractions like Tenerife or Gran Canaria. While already the aboriginal Guanches population knew forms of wrestling, it was only in the 20th century that Lucha Canaria developed into a modern sport. A wrestling league system and regular competitions between club teams are as much part of the contemporary sport as are forms of professionalization and big crowds of spectators. At the same time, Lucha Canaria serves as a distinct factor in the preservation of a Canarian identity on a club and village level as well as on a provincial and an encompassing Canary Islands' level.
Introduced by poetic verses and information on the history and importance of this sport by the local expert Borito (Salvador Sánchez García), the film portrays three main characters: a young wrestler from the club "Adargoma" on Gran Canaria, the woman who re-introduced female wrestling to Tenerife, and another young champion wrestler from La Palma who succeeds to be selected for the competition of two province teams on 30 May, the "Dia de Canarias".
A project of Dr. Rolf Husmann and Markus Hüsgen
Spanish version of "Lucha Canaria"