Buchúo, Canary Islands, 2017
After 2 years living in Bristol, UK, I travelled to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands to work WOMAD music festival. Much as I’d loved this left wing, art-filled city, I’d said goodbye to Bristol and had my heart set on Cuba and South America. I ended up getting side tracked when I fell in love with these magical volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic.
The Canarian people speak a Spanish full of qualoquialisms and expressions, always with a good sense of humour. The first Canarian word I learnt was at the Finca of friends Lucas and Leila in Fuertevenura when a young man called me a ‘Buchua’ for scoffing down an enormous mango. When someone eats greedily, a Canarian well versed in Canarian slang, may refer to you as a Buchúo, which comes from the Canarian Buchon Pidgeon with a huge over-pronounced chest that nearly obscures their neck. A Buchúo could perhaps best be described when you see a male pidgeon harrassing a femail one with an outrageously fluffed up collar that leaves just the top of a randy and bad-tempered head poking out – it’s a scene I see pretty much daily in any country in the world, and a style of courting that seems to have small success rates. Whenever I’m looking on at one of these amusing scenes, ‘Buchúo’ comes to mind immediately.
This picture depicts one such pidgeon on the famous beach of Las Canteras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Included in the picture are some famous characters from this popular beach.
Black & white pen on canvas