Category Archives: Basque Fact of the Week

Basque Fact of the Week: Akerbeltz

Many of the figures in Basque mythology are shrouded in mystery, their true natures lost to the mists of time. Whatever role they played in the original Basque religion, their character became confused and contorted with the advent of Christianity. The black he-goat – the Akerbeltz – is a prime example. While he was originally […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Picasso’s Guernica

Tomorrow marks 84 years since the bombing of Gernika, that day during the Spanish Civil War when Hitler’s Air Force, at the behest of Franco, bombed the civilian population of the Basque village on a Monday, market day. It was one of the first aerial bombings of a civilian population, though other Basque towns, notably […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Makila, the Basque Walking Stick

Basque culture is ubiquitous with numerous unique symbols and iconography — the lauburu, the eguzkilore, the omnipresent font that decorates store fronts, and so much more. One of the most unique Basque symbols is the makila, a walking stick that is, today, ceremonially used to recognize important persons. However, did you know that it can […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Sanchos of Pamplona

If there ever was a single political entity that encompassed all of what we now think of as the Basque Country — Euskal Herria with its seven provinces — it was the Kingdom of Nafarroa, originally known as the Kingdom of Pamplona. On the border of what later became France and Spain, it enjoyed great […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Flute and Drum, the Basque One-Person Band

Song and dance are an integral part of Basque culture. It seems that, whenever you get more than a few Basques together, they spontaneously break out in song and dance. At large dinners, whole rooms can bust out into song. At fiestas, small groups dance in the street. And where there is song and dance, […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Basajaunak, the Wild Lords of the Forest

Basque mythology is full of colorful characters and beings. With the dense forests that cover the imposing mountains rising from the sea, it should come as no surprise that the mythology features beings that dwell in those forest and are closely connected to nature. However, the Basajaunak — the wild lords of the forest — […]

Basque Fact of the Week: A Basque in Lunch atop a Skyscraper

Lunch atop a Skyscraper is one of the most iconic photographs ever taken. Taken in 1932, it features 11 men casually eating their lunch while sitting upon a crossbeam dangling above New York City. The photo was a publicity stunt, taken to promote the construction of Rockefeller Center. Even so, much about the photo remains […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Saint Pierre and Miquelon

On the furthest reaches of Canada’s eastern coast lies Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a small group of islands just south of Newfoundland. A French Territorial Collectivity, the islands are the last remaining vestige of New France, at least in North America – the people are guaranteed French citizenship. However, perhaps more interestingly, if you look […]

Basque Fact of the Week: A New Poem Written in Euskara Discovered

One of the challenges with studying and understanding the origins and evolution of the Basque language is simply that it is only until relatively recently that it has been written down. Thus, whenever a new fragment of Euskara is discovered, it is a big deal. While the oldest known phrases in Euskara data back to […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Lucas Eguibar Bretón, Snowboard Cross World Champion

When you think of the Basque Country and sports, images of pelota, rowing, or stone lifting come to mind. And of course soccer, no matter who you root for. However, while the Basque Country certainly gets snow, it isn’t known for winter sports. However, that might start changing with the incredible performances of Lucas “Luki” […]