The Benahoaritas were the original inhabitants of La Palma. Unfortunately, they did not survive the Castilian invasion and very little was preserved of their culture. This museum in Los Llanos tries to remedy this as much as possible by spreading knowledge about these lost people.
What is known is that the Benahoaritas lived mostly in caves and often made petroglyphs in rocks around their homes and watering places. They herded animals, did pottery, and baked an early form of bread called gofio. Their dead were buried in caves and were not allowed to touch the ground, so the bodies were put on a beds of leaves and wood.
All of these things are covered in the museum, mostly in the form of large placards with information in English, German, and Spanish, but also with lots of props and examples from places around the island. There is a lot of pottery, a replica of a traditional house, and a cave.
The star attraction of the museum is two real mummies that are on display. One is in a glass box while the other is one in a mock cave, showing the state in which it was found. There is also a set of skulls, one with a hole in its head that indicates the use of advanced medicine.
Know Before You Go
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.- 20 and Saturday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Entrance is 2 euros.