9 episodes

"Come with me on a journey down Ibiza’s forgotten pathways… take my hand and let me lead you to the secret heart of the island, to the Wells of Tanit..."

The Wells of Tanit is a podcast celebrating the traditional culture, folklore, history, mythology and ecology of the island of Ibiza, in Spain. Each episode is recorded beside a different ancient well of the island, each of which brims with fascinating local history and stands as a monument to Ibiza's rich and largely forgotten ancient pagan heritage. 

Beside these mysterious wells hidden deep within the Ibizan countryside, we explore the side of the island that you don't hear about in the international press and media, which have for several decades chosen to describe Ibiza as an island of hedonism and mass tourism, a decadent playground for the rich and famous. These remote, centuries-old wells have a very different story to tell - one of ancient myths, Phoenician gods and goddesses, and a brimming, multi-layered folklore.

Just for a little while, step away from the beaches, and travel inwards. We are going to get beneath the many superficial masks of Ibiza, and head to the island's ancient source of life and wisdom - to The Wells of Tanit, where unknown stories wait to be told.

Instagram: @thewellsoftanit
Facebook:  The Wells of Tanit

This podcast is created and hosted by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer, performer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients, Ibiza. You can access bonus podcast material and support her artistic work and research into the ancient culture of Ibiza by joining her Patreon community: https://patreon.com/theatreoftheancients 

Our theme music is the beautiful 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by the Ibizan folk group 'Uc', released by Produccions Blau in Palma, Mallorca. 

The Wells of Tanit Joanna Hruby

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

"Come with me on a journey down Ibiza’s forgotten pathways… take my hand and let me lead you to the secret heart of the island, to the Wells of Tanit..."

The Wells of Tanit is a podcast celebrating the traditional culture, folklore, history, mythology and ecology of the island of Ibiza, in Spain. Each episode is recorded beside a different ancient well of the island, each of which brims with fascinating local history and stands as a monument to Ibiza's rich and largely forgotten ancient pagan heritage. 

Beside these mysterious wells hidden deep within the Ibizan countryside, we explore the side of the island that you don't hear about in the international press and media, which have for several decades chosen to describe Ibiza as an island of hedonism and mass tourism, a decadent playground for the rich and famous. These remote, centuries-old wells have a very different story to tell - one of ancient myths, Phoenician gods and goddesses, and a brimming, multi-layered folklore.

Just for a little while, step away from the beaches, and travel inwards. We are going to get beneath the many superficial masks of Ibiza, and head to the island's ancient source of life and wisdom - to The Wells of Tanit, where unknown stories wait to be told.

Instagram: @thewellsoftanit
Facebook:  The Wells of Tanit

This podcast is created and hosted by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer, performer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients, Ibiza. You can access bonus podcast material and support her artistic work and research into the ancient culture of Ibiza by joining her Patreon community: https://patreon.com/theatreoftheancients 

Our theme music is the beautiful 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by the Ibizan folk group 'Uc', released by Produccions Blau in Palma, Mallorca. 

    Episode Eight: BREAD

    Episode Eight: BREAD

    If we go in search of the original bread of Ibiza, what will we find along the way? No doubt, following the trail of flour, water and masa madre will lead us back to the authentic, ancient culture of the island and tell us about the profound relationship the Ibicenco people had with their land and their soil until the arrival of mass tourism about fifty years ago.

    Join me today at the Font d'Atzaró spring, a hidden gem deep in the countryside of San Carles, North East Ibiza, where we explore that humble, universally-recognised food staple of bread as a symbol of sustenance, community, fertility... and man's timeless relationship with the cycles of nature, of life and death.

    Travelling backwards we voyage from the loaf to the wheat-sheaf to the seed, visiting the traditional Ibicencan restaurant Es Pins, in San Lorenzo, which has been serving its local community with bread baked in a wood-fired oven since the 1970's. From there we explore the mysteries and sacred nature of Ibiza's circular threshing floors, where the island's farmers would separate their wheat grains from the husks at harvest time. Finally, we head south to the Finca Ecologica Can Puvil, where I talk to Ibicencan farmer Marina Cardona about her passion for conserving, and reviving, Ibiza's most ancient wheat, the 'xeixa' grain. This conversation continues a theme first raised in Jo Youle's wonderful podcast about Ibizan female farmers and seed sovereignty, 'The Rise of the Rural Women' (link below).
     
    With a humble loaf in our hands, we are searching for clues to the origin and roots of Ibiza's rich, complex and many-layered culture and, as always, it reveals itself to us in unexpected ways. Come with me again to the ancient life source of Eivissa... to the Wells of Tanit... I hope you enjoy the adventure.

    You can now support this podcast and journey with me deeper into the culture, history, folklore and myths of Ibiza by joining my Patreon community! Sign up from 1€/month to access exclusive additional material to accompany every podcast episode, as well as my creative writings, essays, translations and artistic offerings in relation to the culture of Ibiza:  www.patreon.com/joannahruby

    Written, presented and edited by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients(www.theatreoftheancients.com)
    Theme music: 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by Uc (released by Produccions Blau, Mallorca)

    Featured/referenced in this episode:
    - 'When I was Furthest from Water' poetry-photography book by Joanna Hruby and Michaela Meadow, published by Hedgespoken Press (https://hedgespokenpress.com/)
    - 'De Cuando el Pan era Sagrado en Ibiza' (When Bread was Sacred on Ibiza…” Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Dec 2020, Diario de Ibiza
    - Es Pins restaurant, San Lorenzo, Ibiza (https://www.ibiza5sentidos.es/restaurantes/es-pins/)
    - Voice over for the Es Pins interview with Kati is provided by Karen Killeen, actress, activist and founder of Exctinction Rebellion Ibiza
    - 'De la Siega y la Trilla', Miguel Angel González, July 2016, Diario de Ibiza
     - Bread and Puppet Theater, Vermont, USA (breadandpuppet.org)
    - Finca Ecologica Can Puvil, San Jose, Ibiza (https://ibizaproduce.org/can-puvil/)
    - Jo Youle of Reset Rebel Productions's original interview with Marina Cardona of Can Puvil in 'The Rise of the Rural Women' for the Gang of Witches podcast: https://podcast.ausha.co/gang-of-witches-ibiza-podcast/2-the-rise-of-the-rural-women
    - Voice over for Marina Cardona provided by actress Ali Gray (find her new podcast project on Instagram at @offmytitspodcast)
    - Featured in this episode are audio clips of the 'xacoters' of Sa Torre des Puig d'en Valls performing the 'Caramelles de Pascua', an ancient ibizan chanting tradition performed in the island's churches every Easter.

    Instagram: @wellsoftanit
    Facebook: The Wells of Tanit

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    • 59 min
    Episode Seven: INSULAR

    Episode Seven: INSULAR

    As the island of Ibiza undergoes huge changes and transformations as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, we explore what it means to close oneself off to the outside world, as Ibiza is currently doing:  What is it to truly be, and 'feel' like an island?

    We embark on this journey into Ibiza's closed, Insular nature at a very suitable location - the hermit's spring of Es Cubells, once home to the carmelite monk Francisco Palau i Quer, who spent prolongued periods meditating in isolation on the nearby uninhabited rock, Es Vedrà. From this enchanted spot, we contemplate the essence of Ibiza as an island that, up until the recent dawning of mass tourism and globalisation, looked inward, not outward....

    We ponder on the insular, womb-like nature of Ibiza's traditional architecture, the casas payesas, and also the mysteries surrounding Es Culleram, the cave sanctuary to the goddess Tanit, discovered in the early 1900's. We visit the writings of Francisco Palau i Quer in which he recounted his mystic and religious visions on the island of Es Vedrà in the mid 1800's, and we meet the outspoken Hermana Gracia, one of the carmelite nuns who now runs the Es Cubells monastery.

    There are some fascinating and sometimes harrowing stories of personal confinement on Ibiza, from recent history to the present day, as I try to unravel Ibiza's rapidly shifting social and cultural identity in light of the current pandemic.
    Is it really true, that 'no man is an island'?

    Written, presented and edited by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients(www.theatreoftheancients.com)
    Theme music: 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by Uc (released by Produccions Blau, Mallorca)

    Featured / Mentioned in this episode:
    - 'Baleares, confinada por mar y aire', 17th March 2020, Periodico de Ibiza
    https://www.periodicodeibiza.es/noticias/baleares/2020/03/17/1149317/prohiben-desembarco-pasajeros-por-mar-vuelos-comerciales-baleares-algunas-excepciones.html
    - 'The Psychic Environment', Rolph Blakstad, La Casa Eivissenca, 2009
    - 'La Joyeria Ibicenca', Maria Lena Mateu Prats, 1984
    - 'A Brief History of San Vicente', Emily Kaufmann, from 'The Road to San Vicente' published  by Barbary Press, 1967
    - Francisco Palau i Quer 'My Relations with the Church', 2000
    - Many thanks to Nacho Sotomayer for granting me permission to feature his track 'Mosaic' (Francisco Sotomayor) from the album 'Noches de Encuentros: Alhambra Chill Out' released in 2003 by Sombra Records. https://nachosotomayor.com/
    - Thank you to Karen Killeen, founder of Extinction Rebellion Ibiza, for providing the English language voice over for my interview with Hermana Gracia
    - 'Dope in the Age of Innocence,' Damien Enright, Liberties Press, 2010
    - 'Eric-Jan Harmsen: «Tendría que haber muerto de coronavirus, pero no me han dejado morir»', Diario de Ibiza, 15th June, 2020



    https://www.diariodeibiza.es/pitiuses-balears/2020/06/16/tendria-haber-muerto-coronavirus-han/1149543.html
    - 'Retorno a Cayo Coco', Laura Ferrer Arrambarri, Noudiari, 2020
    https://www.noudiari.es/2020/05/retorno-a-cayo-coco/

    Instagram: @wellsoftanit
    Facebook: The Wells of Tanit
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode Six: THE BIG BLUE

    Episode Six: THE BIG BLUE

    After a ridiculously long absence, we return to the ancient wells of Tanit to dive into the myths and the mysteries of The Big Blue - the waters which surround the island of Ibiza.

    Episode Six is recorded beside Es Pouet, a historical well in the most unexpected location - on a beach in the built up, highly touristic town of San Antonio on Ibiza's west coast. Here, where ancient history meets mass tourism, I gaze at the sparkling Mediterranean waters surrounding this 'summer holiday island', and undertake a journey into their darker, lesser known facets...

    We ponder on the meaning and importance of the ocean in Ibicenco history and folklore, and wonder about the gods or goddesses that might protect it. We remember the almighty Greek god Poseidon and imagine what might lie beneath the 8km long sea meadow named after him, the Posidonia, a living creature that is currently endangered by Ibiza's tourist industry.

    I journey to Groc studios in Badalona, Barcelona, to meet and chat with the artist Elizabeth Rose Langford, whose exploration of Ibiza's natural earth pigments has led her to work with posidonia. She discusses her very personal artistic process, as well as her relationship with the island of Ibiza and her passion for its natural landscapes.

    Later I weave a dirt track through the forest of San Mateu to meet Timotheus Freytag, a freediver who generously and thoughtfully tells me about how diving in Ibiza's waters without the use of oxygen tanks allows him to get to know the island, and himself, in new and deeper ways.

    We dip into local tales and folklore about some of the treasures buried in the deep blue waters around this island, before I end up completely in darkness at the little well of Es Pouet, and say farewell, until the next time.

    Written and presented by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients(www.theatreoftheancients.com)
    Thanks to Enrique Villalonga of Filmótica(filmotica.com) for the loan of recording equipment.
    Theme music: 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by Uc(released by Produccions Blau)

    Featured / Mentioned in this episode:
    - Xescu Prats: https://www.diariodeibiza.es/pitiuses-balears/2019/09/15/pouet-frontera-madereros-agua-dulce/1091674.html
    - Sea in the Greek Imagination, by Marie-Claire Beaulieu
    - Ibiza Preservation Foundation: Protection of Posidonia
    https://ibizapreservation.org/esp/project/proteccion-de-la-posidonia/
    - Elizabeth Rose Langford, abstract painter:
    https://www.elizabethroselangford.com/
    - Timotheus Freytag: True Blue Experiences, freediving on Ibiza:
    https://www.trueblueexperiences.com/
    - Tales of Mel, the Story of an Ibizan Hound, by Rafael Sainz

    Follow us on Instagram: @wellsoftanit
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Episode Five: MIGRATION ROUTES

    Episode Five: MIGRATION ROUTES

    How have the ancient, and modern Migration Routes linking Ibiza with the rest of the world shaped the island's unique, multi-layered and often misunderstood identity? 




    This is the question I ponder over in Episode Five, at an enchanted well with a jade green door, the Font de Can Pere Musson near San Lorenzo, Ibiza. With the help of an imaginary treasure map, we will journey through those layers of routes which have brought tribes of people, ideas and 'things' to and from this little Mediterranean island, giving it a cultural identity which is complex and staggeringly rich, but which often lies buried beneath the more commonly known, modern set of migration routes called mass tourism.




    Starting with the present day, we scrape back the layers of historical routes, stumbling upon the hippy trail, beatnik-filled steamships and pirates along the way. I am joined by Evelyn Naon, founder of Evelyn Naon Ibiza oil perfumes, and long time researcher and traveller of the ancient Moorish and Phoenician trading routes linking Ibiza with the North Africa, the Middle East and Arabia. She takes me on an olfactory journey into many of the sacred substances which have travelled along these routes, leaving their legacy on the island, and in her mysterious and universal scents which transcend gender, religion and culture. 




    When we reach the final layer of my treasure map of migration routes, we discover that the most ancient ones aren't quite as buried as we thought, and these layers of old and new which shape Ibiza into the island it is today are more intertwined than we could have ever imagined....





    Written and presented by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients(www.theatreoftheancients.com)
    Thanks to Enrique Villalonga of Filmótica(filmotica.com) for the loan of recording equipment.
    Theme music: 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by Uc(released by Produccions Blau)

    Featured / Mentioned in this episode:



    - 'When I was Furthest from Water' – poem by Joanna Hruby featuring photography by Michaela Meadow, published by Hedgespoken Press, 2018. (hedgespokenpress.com) 



    - 'Balafi: Fountain of Blessed Waters' by Rolph Blakstad, published in White Ibiza.



    - 'The Spiritual Economy of Nightclubs and Raves: Osho Sannyasins as Party Promoters in Ibiza and Pune/Goa', Anthony D'Andrea, Culture and Religion Journal, Routledge, 2006.



    - 'Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of our Time', Clifford Irving (1969) 



    - The White Island, Stephen Armstrong, 2004



    - Evelyn Naon Ibiza: oil perfumes inspired by the ancient trading routes linking the Mediterranean with North Africa, the Middle East and Arabia. (evelynnaonibiza.com)


    - Romanie Sanchez Smele (romanie.net)


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    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode Four: HOME

    Episode Four: HOME

    In this episode we dig deep into the theme of Home, in relation to the modern and ancient culture of Ibiza. In the stunning wilderness of the Font d'es Verger, San Jose, with fresh water trickling above and below, we try to figure out what it is about the island of Ibiza that calls to so many people, leading them to search for a home here.




    We ponder on the 'bohemian island soul' which has become a high priced, VIP commodity in recent years, and try to trace it back to its authentic roots. I chat with an old friend Sol Ortega, about her twenty-year, shifting relationship with Ibiza, which began when she lived in caves around the island, at a time when this was both possible and accepted. 




    Later we venture to the hills of San Joan and meet writer and playwright Ben Dunwell, whose play 'Her Island Name' centres around a property developer who arrives on Ibiza to attempt to renovate an ancient finca, but who ends up being 'renovated' herself... Ben chats with me at length about self-transformation, the idea of 'returning home' and that strange power the island has, drawing so many to its shores, and teaching them important, almost mythical lessons. 




    We celebrate those centuries-old houses of Ibiza, the ones ever-more in danger of falling into the hands of money-hungry developers, and step inside one full of stories, relics and strange odours, thanks to Paul Richardson's personal account of restoring an Ibizan finca, first published in 'Our Lady of the Sewers and Other Adventures in Deep Spain.' And as night falls in the deep, pine-covered gorge of the Font d'es Verger, we say a prayer to that ibicenco farmer of Santa Ines who said 'no' to the promise of a foreigner's riches, and 'yes' to the place that he had always called home.

     





    Written and presented by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients (www.theatreoftheancients.com)
    Co-editing: Enrique Villalonga of Filmótica (filmotica.com)
    Theme music: 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by Uc (released by Produccions Blau)

    Featured / Mentioned in this episode:


    'One Word is Too Often Profaned' (extract) P. B. Shelley (1822)

    'Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen: the Love Affair of a Lifetime' – article in The Observer by Andrew Anthony, Sunday 30th June 2019

    'More' (Barbet Schroeder, 1969) – cult film shot on Ibiza 

    'Ibiza..... A Dream?' (Tony Keeler, 1973) – rare, cult black and white photography book 

    'Her Island Name' – a play written by Ben Dunwell, first performed in San Lorenzo, Ibiza, in June 2019

    'Epilogue' - Paul Richardson (extract), taken from The Road to San Vicente (Barbary Press, 2007) originally from 'Our Lady of the Sewers and Other Adventures in Deep Spain (1998)

    'Walking Ibiza' – high quality island walking group (walkingibiza.com)


    Follow us on Instagram: @wellsoftanit
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode Three: SUN

    Episode Three: SUN

    On Ibiza, an island converted by mass tourism into a 'mecca' for modern day sun worship, what is the authentic cultural and mythological significance of the sun? Join me this month on a quest to the Font d'en Miquelet, a well near to Santa Gertrudis in Northern Ibiza which is painted with mysterious ancient symbols which some associate with the sun. Here, we contemplate the almighty sun as ruler, life-giver and destroyer, and reflect on the moment that people first began to shed their clothes on Ibiza and embrace, rather than shelter from, the sun.



    Exploring ancient egyptian sun gods and pagan fire rituals, we delve into the meaning of the sun in Ibiza's history and folklore, before stumbling on the Font d'en Miquelet's lost symbol of the moon goddess, Tanit... Join us as we venture to the headquarters of Blakstad Design Consultancy in San Carles, to ponder on the ancient symbols and motifs found at the island's wells and also on its traditional architecture, as explored by the company's founder, Rolph Blakstad, almost sixty years ago at the advent of tourism. 



    In this episode we reflect on the harmful, destroying power of the sun, turning to the poetry of Robert Hale, of Ibiza poetry collective Yabisah's Gashouse. We also discuss the introspective journey of witnessing the sun set each day, a process that is soundtracked as an art form by 'The Prince of Balearic Chill', DJ and producer Mark Barrott, who shares his personal insights with us. 



    Join me in the shade of a forgotten inland well, where we ponder on the firey celestial globe in the sky which keeps us alive, but also eternally threatens to destroy us... as humans, as landscapes, as communities and as mass tourism destinations such as Ibiza.



    Written and presented by Joanna Hruby, artist, puppeteer and founder of Theatre of the Ancients (www.theatreoftheancients.com)
    Series sponsor/editing: Enrique Villalonga of Filmótica (filmotica.com)
    Theme music: 'De Jo Et Vas Despediguent' by Uc (released by Produccions Blau)

    Featured in this episode:


    'Solar' – poem by Philip Larkin


    'Song to the Archetypal Forest' – poem by Robert Hale, from 'A Crack Between the Worlds', by Ibiza poetry collective Yabisah's Gashouse, 2019.
    'Deep Water' – Mark Barrott (a track from the album Sketches from an Island, released by International Feel Recordings, 2014)


    Excerpt from 'Becoming Animal' – book by David Abram (Vintage Books, 2010)

    Follow us on Instagram: @wellsoftanit
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    • 1 hr

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