Interesting facts about Basque Whalers/Sailors that I learned from Christine Echeverria Bender during a presentation she gave at Jaialdi: The first recorded transaction involving Basque sailors selling whale oil was in the year 670. The customer was a French abbey. The contracts of Basque sailors stipulated that they would receive a specific amount, 2-3 liters, […]
That Old Bilbao Moon is a complex and multifaceted book. Part memoir, part the history of a generation of Basques growing up in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and part the story of the city of Bilbao and her people, Joseba Zulaika’s book takes a page from Dante and […]
The element tungsten was discovered by two Basque brothers, Juan José and Fausto Elhuyar Lubize, in 1783? Tungsten is an incredibly important element. Having the highest melting point of any element, it is extremely hard and durable, used in light bulbs, x-ray tubes, as piercing armament, and catalysts. Tungsten is also proposed as an important […]
Bilbao, the capital of Bizkaia, was known for its steel. So well known that a type of sword popular in England and America was called a bilbo, after the Basque city. (In Basque, the name of Bilbao is Bilbo…) In Basque, they were called Labana Bizkaitarrak. These swords were made in Bilbao and exported widely. […]
Jon Camio, one of the speakers at the Together or Nothing at All conference during Jaialdi, sent me some more information about the event. The Agirre Center, where ex-Lehendakari Juan Jose Ibarretxe is now based, has posted more details about the conference. You can find that information here.
William A. Douglass, one-time Coordinator of what is now the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and prolific author on Basque history, is out with a new book on the Basque explorers who navigated the Pacific Ocean, from Elkano (the Basque sailor who took over Magellan’s expedition when Magellan was killed in […]