Since 2009, Ricardo González, originally from Icod de los Vinos, has endeavoured to recover the tradition of conch sounding on St John’s Eve, formerly called “St John’s Eve sonatas”. The northern municipality of Villa de San Juan de la Rambla is Ricardo’s place of choice due to its natural auditorium (Risco del Mazapé) being an ideal spot for conch sounding. His aim is for new generations to enjoy their ancestor’s customs.
In the Canarias, conches, known as “bucios”, were used as a means of communication, they would serve as a clock to time the working day in the banana plantations. Similarly, fishermen would use them to remind each other that they were supposed to meet at the harbour and go fishing. Pine needle pickers would use them as an alarm clock too, telling them to all go to the mountain to collect pine needles together. They would sounded in the evenings if an unmarried woman had gotten pregnant or a wife had been unfaithful to her husband. Another use was to alert of mountain fires, or jokingly as an alarm clock for the feeding times for animals. There certainly were many and varied uses for this instrument of communication.