Category Archives: Basque Fact of the Week

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 […]

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 […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Lehendakari José Antonio Ardanza

When I lived in the Basque Country, during the years 1991-1992, Jose Antonio Ardanza was the face of the nation. Being a young kid who knew little about the politics of Euskadi, I didn’t really appreciate all of the intricacies and nuances of regional politics, but Ardanza somehow was this presence that sort of served […]

Basque Fact of the Week: La Gabarra, A Victory Parade Like No Other

On Saturday, April 6, 2024, after 40 years which saw the team make it to the finals 6 times – 3 in the last 10 years – only to lose, Athletic Club of Bilbao was once again on top of the Spanish soccer world, winning the Copa del Rey final against Mallorca. With a slogan […]