Basque Folklore and Traditions
The Basques converted to Christianity relatively late, but when they did, they did so with fervor. However, their pre-Christian folklore and mythology is as rich as any other culture's. The Basque culture also features a number of traditions that are both familiar to other European cultures and unique to the Basques.
Folklore and Traditions
These articles were taken from "Folklore and Traditions", one of the series of "The Basque Country, Come and then pass the word" promotional items published by the Basque Government in the early 1990s (2nd edition, January 1993 Author: Angel Murua, Published by: Gobierno Vasco, Departamento de Comercio, Consuma, y Turismo. Viceconsejeria de Turismo). They offer a very nice introduction to the Folk customs of the Basque people.
Myths and Legends
While the Basques have a rich tradition of myths and legends, relatively little is published in English. Here are a few stories and articles about Basque mythology in English
- Legends of the Basque Country
This is a small collection of legends that were translated by forum member chris.
- Articles from the Encyclopedia Auñamendi
Jaiak: Holidays and Fiestas
Fiestas are a big part of the Basque experience. Every town has at least one fiesta on its saint's day. Probably the most famous Basque fiesta is the fiesta of San Fermin, also known as the running of the bulls, in Pamplona.
At any Basque gathering, there are a number of ubiquitous symbols, including the ikurrina (Basque flag) and the lauburu (Basque cross).
- Eusko Harmarriak
Contributed by John Ysursa
The Eusko Harmarriak are the Basque Coat of Arms, representing the seven historical Basque provinces.
- The Makila
The Makila is a Basque walking stick. It often conceals a blade at one end. Today, it is a very cermonial object, often given to dignitaries that visit the Basque Country.
- The Makila
- Makhila, Ainciart-Bergara
A site and business which makes Makhilak by hand.
- The Lauburu
The lauburu is probably the most recognized Basque symbol. Literally meaning "four-heads", it is an ancient four armed symbol found on many pre-historic grave stones.
- The Lauburu
These are some excerpts from the Basque-L discussion list about the origins of the Lauburu.
- Javier Aldekozea's Lauburu Discussion
- Durango Tatu
Durango Tatu does some amazing things incorporating traditional Basque symbols into very stylish tattoos.
Basque architecture ranges from the traditional baserriak or farm houses to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. I don't have any links for this section yet, but hope to fill it in soon.
The Basques had their own way of looking at the night sky. It seems they were also at one time a matriarchal society.
- Celestial Names
These are the names of some common celestial objects in Euskara.
- English Translation of De Astronomastica Vasca
I found this book in the library at the Unversity of Washington and did my best to translate it. Has some interesting information on the Sun and Moon in Euskara.
These are some excerpts from a discussion on Basque-L about the matriarchal society of the ancient Basques.
Kultur eta Dantza Taldeak * Dance and Culture Groups * Grupos de Danzas y Culturales * Groupes Danse et Culturels
Dance is an important part of Basque culture and is one of the principal ways that Basque-Americans express their Basque identity.
This page is part of Buber's Basque Page and is maintained by Blas Uberuaga.
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