Category Archives: Diaspora

Talk at Jaialdi: In the Footsteps of Basque Whalers in Newfoundland and Labrador

Here is news about another talk taking place at Jaialdi, also on July 30th, at 10am. This was sent to me by Aimar Arizmendi, one of the organizers of the talk and the expedition.

In The Footsteps of Basque Whalers In Newfoundland and Labrador is an expedition by boat, slated for 2017 and open to the public that will visit the sites and celebrate the legacy of the first Basques in the new world: The venerable Basque whalers who arrived in Newfoundland following codfish and whale at least as early as the beginning of the 16th century. This expedition will mark the opening of a new cultural route, the first one ever built around the vestiges of historical Basque whaling in eastern Canada.

There will be a special Jaialdi presentation about this expedition featuring local author of historical fiction Christine Echeverria Bender at The Grove Hotel on Thursday, July 30th at 10:00 a.m. More information at www.basquewhalers.info

Inviacion Boise July 30th  (3)

Behind the Cultures of the Basque Soccer Friendly

teams-300x151In his article at The Blue ReviewBeyond the Friendly, Two Idaho Immigration Stories — Mark Bieter takes the opportunity of the Basque Soccer Friendly, to be played this evening between Athletic Bilbao and Club Tijuana, to delve into the history of the two cultures these teams represent, the Basques and the Mexicans. Both have played an important role in the history of the American West and the economy of states like Idaho. A nice read that reminds us that, more often than not, people have more in common than we tend to realize.

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Today is the Day! Basque Soccer Friendly is Today! And you can Live Stream it!

basque-soccer-friendly2-2Today is the day that many have been anxiously awaiting, the day that Athletic Bilbao takes on Club Tijuana in Boise’s Albertson Stadium, the home of the Boise State Broncos, in the Basque Soccer Friendly! As I write this, the match will take place in less than 11 hours. An amazing achievement, a testament to the hard work of many, in particular Argia Beristain and Keenan Dougherty. Despite a conflict first with MLS’s all star game and then with Blibao’s own entry into the Europa League championships, they made this happen. Zorionak!

If, like me, you can’t be there to soak up the action and watch this historic match — only the second time that Athletic Bilbao has played on US soil — you can still take part in the fun. The match will be live streamed and will be available on demand next week. For details about streaming the match, go here!

Did you know…?

3cPlanchas-de-PlataArizona is a Basque word. It seems that it wasn’t that long ago that this seemed a fringe hypothesis, but now it appears on the National Park Service’s page. The state of Arizona gets its name from a ranch from the 1700s where silver was discovered. The name of that ranch, which still exists, is Arizona. It seems to have been named by Bernardo de Urrea and means “haritz ona” or “the good oak”.  The original theory that Arizona might be a Basque word was proposed by William A Douglass, of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Center for Basque Studies, in 1979. It now seems to be a well accepted idea.

MerrywidowThat piece of lingerie, the basque, is named after traditional Basque costume. You have to be careful what you search for. If you enter the word “basque” into Google, you might not quite get what you expected. Your browser window might be filled with pictures of lingerie. What is now known as a basque was inspired by the traditional costume of Basque women (at least according to Wikipedia). The French were early adopters/adapters of the piece of clothing, but it spread from there to the rest of Western world.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 10.27.31 PMMolybdomancy is telling the future using molten lead. And it used to be practiced in the Basque Country. I stumbled on this curious word (and even more curious practice) on the Tumblr beautiful-basque-country. It seems that many cultures have the practice of dropping bits of molten lead into water and then divining the future from the shapes that are formed. In Bermeo, this was used to protect ships from bad luck (all I could find about this is this photo on a Facebook page…). Anyone know anything more about this?

Basque Soccer Friendly Rescheduled

basque-soccer-friendly2-2So, Athletic Bilbao did not win the Copa del Rey, Barcelona did. That means that Bilbao has to play a qualifying match for the Europe League championships on July 30th and cannot make the original July 29th date (in my last post, I got the date wrong — thanks to Teresa Franzoia for pointing that out) for the Basque Soccer Friendly against Tijuana. The good news: they are still coming, just a little earlier, now on July 18. You can still get tickets at the same places. The bad news: I can’t go now. And I know you are all disappointed. But, hopefully this is a huge success and maybe there will be other matches like this in the future. Can’t have too much of a good thing, can you?

Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean by William A. Douglass

BEPO Cover MapBetter2.inddWilliam 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 the Philippines) to later explorers.  Basque Explorers in the Pacific Ocean recounts the stories of these Basques and their role in Spanish and ultimately European activities in the Pacific. From the website:

The Pacific Ocean was for several centuries, from the discovery of the Strait of Magellan in 1520 until Cook’s voyages in the 1700s, considered to be the “Spanish Lake.” However, Spain was never a monolithic entity and this book then considers “Spanish” exploration in the Pacific from the perspective of the Basques, who have an important maritime tradition and were key figures in Pacific exploration. From Juan Sebastián Elkano’s taking over command of the Victoria after Ferdinand Magellan’s death and completing the first circumnavigation of the planet to Andrés de Urdaneta’s discovery of the north Pacific route from the Philippines to modern-day Acapulco, Mexico, Basque mariners and ships were pivotal in European incursion into this vast area.