Arizona 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.
That 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.
Molybdomancy 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?
A film about the bombing of Gernika, appropriately entitled Gernika, is currently being shot in Bilbao. As opposed to other films about the Spanish Civil War, this one focuses entirely on the city of Gernika and that fateful day in April.
Likely you’ve heard about the Basque presence on the eastern Canadian coast. Red Bay is the heart of that historical activity. Red Bay is both a Canadian National Historic Site as well as a World Heritage Site, as designated by UNESCO due to the various archeological finds related to the Basque whaling operations in that area that have been discovered since the 1970s.
I’m admittedly biased in my “coverage” of the Basque Country, tending to focus on hegoalde where my dad and my mom’s grandparents are from. Of all of the time I’ve spent in the Basque Country, the vast majority of it has been in hegoalde. I’ve spent, at most, maybe 3 or so days in iparralde, most notably a couple of nights in Baiona with my wife a number of years ago. That said, the French side has much charm of its own and is certainly not to be forgotten. This article from the New York Times reminds us of that.
I’m not quite sure what Be Basque Talent Network is exactly. It seems to be a LinkedIn for people with a connection to the Basque Country or any interest in Basque. The reason to join it is, as stated on the website: To be part of the largest network of top professionals from over 75 countries around the world who are or wish to be linked to the Basque Country, regardless of origin. If you are a professional wishing to have stronger ties to the Basque Country, this might be useful.
So, 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?
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 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.
While the ultimate fate of the Basque Soccer Friendly, to be held on July 30 in Boise, rests on the performance of Athletic Bilbao this weekend against Barcelona, one thing that is not in doubt is that you’ll still be able to get your Basque Soccer Friendly gear! A retail space is opening up on 8th Street in Boise. In addition to being a place where you can get your team gear, it is a place for volunteers to meet and for people interested in the match to gather. It is open Wednesday-Sunday each week. Check it out!
Here are a couple of links to online Basque artists, both of which specialize in traditional art. If you are looking for something special for that old friend you’re going to see at Jaialdi, these might be the places to start.
Irrintzi specializes in wood, clay and steel, with items that highlight the Guggenheim Museum and the Basque history of boating. They also have some panoramic photos of various scenic views from the Basque Country, including in Bilbao and Donostia, where they also have stores for those that prefer a more tactile experience.
Ixiart has even more traditional items, such as the wound candles (Argizaiola) that are common especially in Gipuzkoa and are used especially on All Saints Day. They also carry some interesting novelty items, such as stylized wood carvings of scenes from Picasso’s Guernica and a series of wooden spoons.