All posts by buber

Basque Fact of the Week: Who was Larry Trask?

I often quote linguist Larry Trask in many of my posts about Euskara. I had the great fortune to “meet” Larry virtually through a number of Basque-related Internet forums that were popular in the day (mailing lists and the like that seem to have all but disappeared). Larry was noted for being critical of most […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Aideko, the Clouds that Bring Death

One of the most magical scenes from the Basque Country is the valleys filled with a gentle fog, hiding the deepest recesses as the mountains peak over the top. It’s something that is simply very rare here in New Mexico. But, for ancient Basques, that fog wasn’t always welcome and indeed it brought supernatural diseases […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The River of Moonmilk in Gipuzkoa

The world is full of natural wonders and every corner of the globe can boast spectacular sites. It seems, though, that the Basque Country has a disproportionate number of unique phenomena. From the flysch of Zumaia to a number of wondrous waterfalls to an amazing network of caves and caverns, the Basque Country is teeming […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Subh the Basque – Slave, Concubine, and Ruler of Córdoba

I’ve posted a few times about the intertwined history of the Basque Country and the neighboring Muslim empire during the Muslim occupation of Iberia. The more I look, the more intriguing bits of history I find. Not only was there a close relationship between the two kingdoms/empires, but at least a few Basques became important […]

Remembering Dad by Telling His Stories

Today is dad’s birthday. He would have turned 80. I decided to celebrate his birthday by lying in a hospital bed, much like he did for so many days. Well, ok, it wasn’t like I chose to do this. At the risk of sounding self indulgent or providing too much information, I got an infection […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Herensuge, the Basque Dragon

Dragons are ubiquitous across mythologies all over the world and the Basque Country is no exception. Their version – the herensuge – shares many features with other dragons but also has some seemingly distinct traits. The herensuge also features in stories in which a hero vanquishes the monster, providing the hero some bonafides. Though in […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Features of Basque Grammar

When I was trying to learn Basque, one shortcoming I had as an English speaker is that I simply didn’t know the grammatical lingo. There are a lot of terms thrown about – declenation, ergative, auxiliary verb – that are used to describe the grammar that we simply don’t learn in English class. At least, […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Irrintzi, the Basque Cry

In an atmosphere full of wonderful sites and sounds, perhaps one of the more unusual sounds heard at Basque festivals is the high-pitched wavering cry known as the Irrintzi. In the mountains and valleys of the Basque Country, the Irrintzi can echo for countless miles, so originally it was a means of communication. Today, it […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Juanita “Jay” Uberuaga Hormaechea

When going to Basque festivals or summer dinners, we often forget the effort and dedication that goes on behind the scenes. Even the most cherished traditions – such as the Oinkari Basque Dancers – had to start somewhere and sometimes those ideas are met with resistance. It’s so important to have those individuals that not […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Democratic Biltzar of Lapurdi

The Basques have a long association with democracy. John Adams noted their unique government and how they had preserved a voice of the people within it. Adams mostly saw Hegoalde. But Lapurdi, in Iparralde, also had its own unique institutions that represented the people, where every town had a vote in the decisions of the […]