Travelling allows us to discover new places, cultures and people. So that’s why I thought it would be interesting this month to talk about the inhabitants of Ibiza – the Eivisssencs. Trawling the net for relevant information, I was surprised to discover, amongst other things, a very interesting article in the National Geographic which bears the title ‘Los ibicencos, genéticamente distintos’ (The Eivissencs, genetically different) at https//

 In this brief article, which focuses on a study led by researchers from Barcelona’s Instituto de Biología Evolutiva (IBE UPF-CSIC) and published in the European Journal of Human Genetics, Eivissencs are reported to be genetically quite different and apart from any population on the Spanish mainland, and the study concludes that, despite the island’s unusual cultural legacy and its history of colonization (Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, Arab and Berber, etc.), none of the civilizations that invaded and colonized Ibiza from the 7th century BC on have left their genetic imprint on the Eivissencs themselves. On the contrary, the islanders’ unique DNA profile is due to the fact that present-day Eivissencs are the descendants of Catalan conquerors who invaded and repopulated the island in the 13th century. In addition to this, according to Francesc Calafell, Associate Professor at the IBE and principal author of the study, a high degree of consanguinity has been traced in modern Eivissencs, which corresponds to the hypothesis that originally there was a small and isolated population whose members were (and still are) all related to one another.

These findings make it very clear that Eivissencs are special, even more so if we consider their extreme isolation due to their position on a perilous frontier, which made them extremely independent. These unique circumstances resulted in a peaceable yet staunchly resistant people, tolerant of everything that’s different, faithful to their word, very stubborn but also kind –  and with a particular sense of humour. Humour that we see reflected in expressions as Eivissenc as those presented below: because for an Eivissenc –

1- To go courting is festejar.

2- To fall in love is anar verro.

3- To be surprised is ah carai!

4- To get drunk is anar gat

5- To hit someone is fotar-li una xereca.

6- Getting old and forgetful is fer cadufus.

7- To be well turned out is anar mudat.

8- To eat a lot is fer-se un fart. (literally ‘to make yourself fed up’)

9- A pretty girl is una famellassa.

10- A flirt is un palanquer.

11- An intelligent person is molt puta. (literally ‘very whore’)


And we could go on with many other Eivissenc expressions, which have helped to make the islander a unique and especially endearing character.

To conclude, I would like to add emphatically something which I think is self-evident: to be or not to be Eivissenc does not depend on genes, nor does it depend on whether or not one is familiar with Eivissenc expressions like the ones above, or whether or not you have eight great-grandparents born and bred on the island. Eivissencs, whether by birth or by adoption, are those who love and deeply respect their unique island. They are people in love with Ibiza who desire to protect it from the ‘pirates’ besieging it today. So, do you want to be an Eivissenc?

I hope you liked my article. See you at my next post.

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