The Story of Cochineal in the Canary Islands for Knit Wit Magazine

Just over 60 miles off the western coast of Morocco lie the Canary Islands: seven Spanish islands that are historically considered the bridge between Africa, Asia, and Europe. Within this deep history lies the story of cochineal, a small insect that grows on prickly pear cactus and produces a spectrum of red, from soft lilacs to deep crimson. To understand the Canaries, to understand the color red, you have to understand cochineal. 
So, that’s what we set out to do. Two photographers, we met in Montana a decade ago, and later made a pact to take a workshop together every year. This year, we decided to go on an adventure instead, to follow the story of cochineal on the Canary Islands—first, on the lush and tropical Gran Canaria and then on black, volcanic Lanzarote." -excerpt from fellow photographer and decade-long friend, Greta Rybus' and my article in the latest issue of Knit Wit Magazine.
All images ©Rebecca Stumpf for Knit Wit Magazine

Cochineal dying in Gran Canaria in The Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Chana Perrera of the association Milana in Lanzarote, Canary Islands harvests cochineal in her field of prickly pear cacti by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A detail of cochineal being transferred between cacti with the use of a mesh bag in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A detail of cochineal in a tray with a harvesting spoon in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Lorenzo Perez, Jr., harvests cochineal at his farm Canaturex in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Details of yarn dyed with cochineal in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Hands holding two cups of natural dye liquid with cochineal...various shades by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Uli Güse is a natural dyer in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Detail of dried cochineal ready to be used for natural dyes by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Chana Perrera at Association Milana in Lanzarote, Canary Islands poses with freshly harvested cochineal by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Lorenzo Perez Sr, and Jr., harvest cochineal in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Chana Perrera at Association Milana in Lanzarote, Canary Islands poses with a scarf dyed with cochineal by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A scarf dyed with cochineal blows in the wind by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
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The Canary Islands - Part Two

 

My decade-long friend and Maine-based photographer Greta Rybus and I collaborated on a handful of stories in the Canary Islands, located off the western coast of Morocco. We're still preparing some stories for publication, but I couldn't wait to share some outtakes from our trip! Part two.
All images ©Rebecca Stumpf

People enjoy La Geria winery in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, by Rebecca Stumpf RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Gran Canaria road scene in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Greta Rybus in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Detail of a crumbling wall in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A courtyard restaurant in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Old photos and a map from early Canary Islands history on a wall by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A giant succulent plant in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A street scene in Lanzarote, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
People ride camels at Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A couple of people enjoy a still moment at the former home of renowned architect, César Manrique by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A woman looks around the courtyard at Hotel Palacio Ico in Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Fresh limpets in Lanzarote, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A simple white traditional house in Lanzarote, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Portrait of Greta Rybus in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A winding road in Tenerife in the Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
Details of black volcanic beach rocks in Lanzarote, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A woman enjoys a swimming hole in La Gomera, Canary Islands by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer
A Lanzarotan breakfast in the Canary Islands at Hotel Palacio Ico by RebeccaStumpf.Food.Travel.Lifestyle.Denver.Boulder.Colorado.Photographer