Ibiza History Culture

Established 1982
Ibiza Artists Anthropology Bibliomania Ecology History Features

Typical Ibicenco Couple

Ball Pagés
Pagesés d'Eivissa


The idea of starting this website came to me as a way of giving a special form of a thanks back to an exceptional island that has treated me well, also as a way to try and provide proper, in-depth, information about Ibiza, its history and culture as a comprehensive guide for the benefit of people who are wanting to know more of the island's real background with the ancient customs and traditions of Ibiza.

By the late 1990s it was obvious to me that very little information of this nature was easily available in the English language. Most of what was accessible at that time was the usual mixture of tourism and other, sometimes rather exotic, material. Much of the latter was not necessarily too reliable at best.

Here now finally is something about the culture and the distinctive way of life on the real island of Ibiza in an index of in-depth cultural articles with pictures of the island featuring its artists, anthropology, books, ecology, history, inhabitants, legends and myths, which were put together by several talented writers' who live on Ibiza.

'THE ELECTRONIC IBIZA HISTORY CULTURE' A weekly newsletter that was launched on Saturday 3rd March 2001 and with several diverse columnists and a rare collection of photographs we set about chronicling the fun-loving island's more serious and fascinating past of Ibiza.

'IBIZA HISTORY CULTURE ARCHIVE' A complete index of the original versions of the weekly newsletters as they were sent out each weekend to our subscribers worldwide over a consecutive ninety-five week period from Saturday 3rd March 2001 to Saturday 21st December 2002.

'Commentary' by Gary Hardy Edited the whole weekly news letter and single-handedly sponsors this website as well as regularly providing commentary, photographs and also help to put together many of the articles about the island's artists. Gary contributed ninety-five consecutive articles from Saturday 3rd March 2001 to Saturday 21st December 2002.

'History of Ibiza' by Emily Kaufman This section constitutes a history buff's guide to the island of Ibiza as seen through the eyes of long-time resident, Emily Kaufman. This American historical author chronicles going-on in her articles that provide random glimpses of the historical process from jurassic times to the early twentieth century. Among other topics, Ms. Kaufman discusses the history and human-interest anecdotes behind each of the islands' fiesta days, and also reports on some of the outstanding people who either visited or were born on Ibiza. Another series consists of an in-depth exploration into the cause behind the Spanish Civil War as well as the chain of events which ensured as that conflict played itself out in the sister islands of Ibiza and Formentera. She is currently working on a new book which incorporates and expands on this last mentioned series, titled Ibiza Meets the 20th Century. It is scheduled to be released in the autumn of 2007. Emily contributed eighty-five remarkable articles on the fascinating history of the island of Ibiza from Saturday 3rd March 2001 to Saturday 21st December 2002.

'Sober Life' by Sinclair Newton Strangely for such a hedonistic island, English journalist Sinclair Newton, who was a self-confessed reformed alcoholic, reported on the sober side of the sex, drugs and rock"n"roll culture, which normally dominates the tabloid headlines. Unfortunately, Sinclair died three days short of his 57th birthday on the morning of Monday 10th March 2003 at Tameside Hospital, Denton, Manchester, England of many complications around diabetes and a general breakdown of his health. Sinclair was cremated. However, Sinclair's witty 'Sober Life' columns' will always continue to live on as 'Sinclair's Virtual Memory'. Sinclair contributed eighty-eight amusing articles from Saturday 21st April 2001 through to Saturday 21st December 2002.

'Island Ecology' by José P Ribas Our Ibicenco Eco-warrior José describes little known flora and fauna and keeps a watchful eye on threats to the island's environment from too much development and pollution. José also help to put together the majority of articles for our series on 'Artists of Ibiza'. José contributed forty-one intriguing articles on the ecology of the island of Ibiza from Saturday 23rd June 2001 to Saturday 27th July 2002.

'Local News' by Louise Wright Focused on local news, written by 17-year-old local reporter Louise Wright, including the disappearance of a young man who vanished on the day he arrived for a family holiday and a plane carrying seven American businessmen that mysteriously disappeared over the island. Louise contributed twenty-one news articles on the island of Ibiza from Saturday 14th July to 22nd December 2001.

'An Anthropological View' by Kirk W Huffman An anthropological series for the general reader that looks at aspects of traditional Eivissenc (Ibicencan) peasant life (attitudes to water, pigs, money, etc) and from there goes global, delving into cultures worldwide as well as looking into topics as varied as environment and climate change, pollution, GM crops and fast-food, etc. Huffman pursued studies in anthropology, prehistoric archaeology and ethnology at the universities of Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge from 1966 to 1977. From 1977 until the end of 1989 he was the curator of the (National Museum) Vanuatu Cultural Centre in Vanuatu in the south-western Pacific and currently Honorary Curator of that institution (since 1991) so one might say that he tends to look at Eivissa (Ibiza) and the world through Pacific eyes. He is also currently Research Associate of the Australian Museum, Sydney; Honorary Associate, Macleay Museum, University of Sydney; and Member, Scientific Committee, Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, Tahiti, French Polynesia. Features have included a detailed study of the traditional rituals surrounding the annual pig-killing, called a matança, where entire families gather in turn to hold a special party turning the family's pig into spicy sausages which last the entire winter. Kirk contributed forty-seven informative articles from Saturday 18th August 2001 to Saturday 21st September 2002.

'Bibliomaniacs' Corner' by Martin Davies A fresh look at some little-known books about Ibiza and Formentera which deserve a wider audience. Six colourful children's books are followed by a three-part series on Gaston Vuillier (author of The Forgotten Isles, 1896), six novels and three Edwardian travel accounts. The final four articles delve into Ibiza's remote past via Bes (an Egyptian dwarf god with strong links to the island), a bizarre archaeological fantasy, and a book about underwater treasure-hunting. Davies has since become a book publisher, putting together several books that feature on this website under the name "Barbary Press". To date these include two photo anthologies, Eivissa-Ibiza: A Hundred Years of Light and Shade (2000) and Eivissa-Ibiza: Island Out of Time (2005 and Birds of Ibiza (2006), the latter featuring Sarah Nechamkin's tempera paintings of twenty-six local species. Next off the production line will be an unusual travel book about a legendary part of Ibiza in the 1930s - The Road to San Vicente - translated from Norwegian into English, Spanish and German, and illustrated throughout with numerous wood engravings (watch this space for further developments). With an island as crammed full of talent as Ibiza, there is never any shortage of possible projects; the problem is finding the time to get them into production, plus the wherewithal to keep the Barbary xebec (its logo - a boat favoured by Ibizen corsairs) on true course. Martin contributed twenty-one articles from Saturday 16th March to Saturday 23rd November 2002.

'I Remember Ibiza' by Harold Liebow "The persons, places and events described in the pages of 'I Remember Ibiza' are sometimes real and sometimes imagined. But the atmosphere of the island in the 1960s is always as accurately conveyed as it was possible for me to create it. Writing about the spirit of Ibiza in those days causes it to live on inside of me and I hope that reading about it will bring it alive for you, too." Harold passed away on Wednesday 7th July 2010 at the Clinica Vilas in Ibiza Town aged 90, and was laid to rest two days later in the (Cementeri Nou de Sant Jordi - Sant Francesç) new San Jorge cemetery just north of San Francisco church in Salinas (southern corner facing the south-east wall). His wide and varied circle of friends remember him with enormous affection and admiration, a model host at numerous gatherings in Can Felix, the casa payesa he reformed with such originality and style. Standing on sloping ground to the west of Ibiza town and enjoying marvellous views across to Formentera, it was a place where good company, fine conversation and marvellous hospitality were practically guaranteed. Harold is survived by his third wife, Anja, whom he met shortly after settling permanently on Ibiza in 1965. Harold contributed twenty-three articles from Saturday 8th June to Saturday 9th November 2002.

'Artists on Ibiza' by José P Ribas, Emily Kaufman, Louise Wright, Harold Liebow, Sinclair Newton and Gary Hardy A series that features the work and way of life on many of the talented artists on Ibiza, which include painters, jewellers, sculptors of wood, stone, iron and bronze. There were twenty-five fortnightly articles put together on the island's gifted artists from Saturday 27th October 2001 to Saturday 28th September 2002.