All posts by buber

Ancient “bear-dog” Fossils Named After Basque Cyclops

Gerard Ezcurra sent me this cool article about the discovery of extinct carnivore predators that inhabited the Pyrenees (as well as other parts of the world) some 7-8 million years ago. These bear-dogs are not related to neither bears nor dogs, but have characteristics of both. Fossils discovered in the Pyrenees point to maybe a […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Luis de Unzaga, the Basque Who Coined the Phrase “United States of America”

History is full of characters that, while not always highlighted in our text books, made seminal contributions that certainly impacted the course of events. In the early days of what would eventually become the United States of America, numerous Basque were behind the scenes, working in official capacities for France and Spain, aiding the American […]

Random Bits of Basqueness

Just got back from a great trip to Costa Rica, where we encountered a few Basque names (though not as many as I might have expected): Soul’s Beauty by Ana Mendieta, Lubricentro y Repuestos Chaverri, Bolívares from the República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolibar is a Basque name, and both are named after Simón Bolívar), Ferretería […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 109

Kepa walked through the door. The inside of the large room was nondescript. It was a large circle, with a row of doors that ran its circumference. Inside the circle were various tables and chairs.It reminded Kepa of a cafeteria as much as anything. Everything was white: the walls, the tables, the chairs, even the […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Julen Zabaleta, Master Drawer

Eneko Ennekõike, who is passionate about his home town of Eibar, told me about Julen Zabaleta, a long-time resident of Eibar who died at the age of 101 a few months past. Julen lived through the Spanish Civil War and World War II. He saw the world change dramatically over the last 100 years, with […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 108

The baserri was not at all what Kepa expected. He had thought it was likely a rural outpost, surrounded by trees, just like the baserri he shared with his ama back in his own time. This baserri, however, was about as far from that as one could imagine. Latxe had led Kepa through the tunnels […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Zazpiak Bat, the Basque Coat of Arms

The phrase Zazpiak Bat – the seven [are] one – signifies the unity of the seven Basque provinces – four in Spain and three in France. It is also the nickname of the Basque coat of arms – the Euskal Harmarriak. But wait, there are only six panels in the coat of arms! Hold on… […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 107

Maite stood at the edge of the patio and looked over the city. She watched as, in real time, a new building, a tall sky-scrapper, appeared in the distance. First its core structure grew literally out of the ground. Then the walls. It was another one of these organic structures, with numerous pods growing out […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Fire and Flame in Basque Culture

Perhaps one of the most defining things that separate humans from the rest of the animal world is our command of fire. Fire is essential to who we are and how we have developed as a species. Indeed, it has been suggested that our taming of fire, and our development of cooking, is what let […]

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 106

The trip to the baserri was uneventful. Marina guided Kepa through dark tunnels until they came to a fork. There she handed Kepa off to another woman, dressed in the same dark robes as the men and women he had met earlier.  “Don’t worry,” Marina said as she left down the left fork. “It is […]