Las Hormigas Negras produces “La memoria de las plantas” (The memory of plants), a documentary for the Cabildo

Gran Canaria has an enormous diversity of plants, used by the inhabitants of the island countryside throughout history as medicinal remedies, in their food, or for feeding their livestock. This documentary, “La memoria de las plantas” is aimed at recovering this legacy, left to us by connoisseurs of the different plants and their uses, representing a true ethnographic and cultural heritage.

Las Hormigas Negras took the lead in this production for the Cabildo of Gran Canaria (island government). Our job started with writing a script for the documentary, then, the pre-production, contacting people to interview, until the actual filming of the interviews and the resources of the interviewees. In this task, we had the best camera operators and script-writers, plus excellent technical equipment, headed by our drone. Finally, the documentary was carefully edited and the graphics polished by the Las Hormigas Negras team.

The documentary includes interviews with experts in the field and inhabitants of Gran Canaria with close ties to plants. Archaeo-botanist Jacob Morales explains how plants like laurel were used in the past as insect repellents at home. Andrés Bolaños is a pilgrim in the San Pedro Branch chapter, and he goes up into the Tamadaba pine forest in search of peppermint, while Lucía García is a herbalist. She tells us how different plants can be used.

Ever since his early childhood, Juan Cazorla has been involved with livestock in the Guayadeque Canyon, so he has always had to find them food, so he knows a lot about forage plants. Cactus surge is traditionally one of the most widely-used plants in Gran Canaria. It is used to feed livestock and also, as Juan Mendoza tells us, to make the famous “flor” and “semi-flor” cheeses, like those made by Josefa González.

Águedo Marrero, curator of the herbarium of the Viera y Clavijo Botanical Gardens, insists on the importance of preserving all this know-how and these plants, which are part of the history of our island. Mycologist Vicente Escobio, in turn, talks to us about the different kinds of mushrooms to be found in Gran Canaria. Shepherd, Esteban González talked about the different kinds that there are, adding that “we all depend on the countryside”.

To round off, anthropologist José González highlighted the importance of these people, as they are the last testimonies to the ancestral knowledge of the plants of our area. This is something that Las Hormigas Negras wanted to leave evidence of by producing this documentary, in which our team of professionals has done everything possible to create a documentary that is worthy of the legacy that our forefathers have left us