Category Archives: Folklore

Invoking the Akelarre by Emma Wilby

The Basque Witch Trials epitomized a time of hysteria and violence. Inspired to some degree by the neighboring trials in France, almost 7,000 people were investigated by the Spanish Inquisition on suspicions of being witches or dealing in witchcraft. While not so many were executed, by European standards, the wealth and breadth of records associated […]

Basque Fact of the Week: In Basque Mythology, Before Humans, There Was a Race of Giants

Basques are known for the strong Catholic devotion. However, the Basques are also known to have converted to Christianity relatively late. Before, they had a mythology that was based on various supernatural beings. One of those was the Jentilak, or race of giants. These beings, immense in size, existed before humans, though maybe co-existed with […]

The Basque Dragon

There aren’t too many references to the Basques in popular culture, particularly for kids. So, when I saw The Basque Dragon, part of The Unicorn Rescue Society series of books by Adam Gidwitz, Jesse Casey, and Hatem Aly, I jumped on the chance and got it for my daughter. The premise of the series, as […]

Legends and Popular Tales of the Basque People by Mariana Monteiro

Relatively, as compared to the other peoples of Europe, the Basques converted to Christianity rather late. While Christianity seems to arrived in the region in the 4th or 5th centuries, it didn’t really take hold amongst the population until roughly the 12th or 13th centuries (Wikipedia has a summary of what is known and debated […]

This Strange and Powerful Language by Iban Zaldua

Basque literature is a relative newcomer to the world literature scene and every Basque writer is faced with a number of critical decisions as he or she embarks on their journey. Iban Zaldua explores the history and modern context of Basque literature through these decisions in his book This Strange and Powerful Language. By examining the […]

Basque News Roundup

Alan King continues to share some great stories. He has two new Basque stories on his website. Kidnapped by the Basajaun tells the story of a shepherd frees a young woman who had been kidnapped by a basajaun and forced to live with him. The Dog with Charcoal Eyes is about a man, about to be […]

Check out Alan King’s Website!

Alan King has been busy, posting some great Basque content on his website. He has added new stories to his Basque Story collection. The first, The Begging Siren, collects three different stories from Iparraldea, the Northern Basque Country, about the lamiak, mythological creatures that lured humans with their beauty. The second story, Kidnapped by the […]

Basque Folktales, Lauburus in the Yucatan, Cultural Capital of Europe

In Basque circles, Alan King is perhaps best known for his The Basque Language: A Practical Introduction. Beyond his interests in Euskara, he also studies languages such as Nawat and Lenca, two indigenous languages in the Americas. On his personal website, he has begun posting translations of Basque folktales. As part of the Basque Story […]

Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Basque: Innovation by Culture

Easily the biggest Basque news in the United States in 2016 is that the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will be featuring the Basque culture this summer. From June 29 to July 4 and from July 7-10, Washington DC will celebrate the Basque culture and the contributions the Basques have made to the world. You can learn […]

The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo (review by David Cox)

This book has been on my to-read pile for a while, but I haven’t gotten the English translation yet. Long-time contributor David Cox is ahead of me and has not only read the novel, but kindly provided this review. Eskerrik asko David! The Invisible Guardian Dolores Redondo 2013 Translation by Harper Collins 2015 (UK, Canada) […]