Tag Archives: gipuzkoa

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… […]

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 […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Mutiloa

Blas Antonio Telleria Goya, my great-grandfather and my namesake, was from Mutiloa, Gipuzkoa. His story is a bit shrouded in mystery – family lore says he was a merchant marine that jumped ship in Argentina and made his way north, but he also appears in the manifests on Ellis Island. In any case, we really […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Hilarriak, the Dead-Stones of the Basque Country

During my first visit to the Basque Country, my cousin took me to Elorrio, not far from his hometown of Durango in Bizkaia. He took me and a friend to Argiñeta, which was simply amazing. They’ve collected a number of hilarriak, or funeral steles, there. These are large stone grave markers that are carved with […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Quality of the Basque Government is High

For about a decade now, the Quality of Government Institute, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, has been evaluating the quality of government of the various regions in Europe. By measuring impartiality, corruption, and quality, they generate a so-called European Quality of Government Index (EQI), a number that describes the overall quality of government […]

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: Mikel Jokin Eleizegi Arteaga, the Basque Giant

Men and women who are exceptionally tall, who stand out in a crowd, who literally tower over the rest of us, certainly draw our attention. They fascinate us. Often, they become entertainers — André the Giant parlayed his size first in professional wrestling and then acting. Today, people of unusual height, particularly in basketball, use […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque Peppers

I hate peppers. They smell nasty when they are cooking and they taste vile. My dad had literally hundreds of pepper plants in his garden. He would always give me a hard time when I ate his homemade chorizo, which I loved, saying how could I like those when they had peppers in them? When […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Unique Basque Drinks

Whenever I visit the Basque Country, my entire time ends up being centered around dinner tables abounding with food and drink. I swear I always find 10 pounds that I never manage to lose after each visit. Food and drink are such central parts of Basque life that it is hard to imagine a Basque […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Paulino Uzcudun, the “Basque Woodchopper”

My dad’s favorite sport to watch was boxing. I never asked him why (so many questions were never asked…) but I always assumed that it was because, of the sports on our American TV, boxing was the most straightforward, something he didn’t have to grow up with to understand, unlike American football. However, I recently […]