Articles on the Basque culture and traditions of the Basque Country and in the mountain villages of the Spanish Pyrenees.
Sad to leave our Basque Village School! Above Carlos’s bar in Ituren plaza is our Basque village school. This small primary school has currently some 63 children ranging from 3 – 11 years old and all subjects are taught in Basque. The children come from the villages of Ituren, (and its three satellite hamlets of
Olentzero – an inseparable part of Basque Christmas Traditions As you would expect even Basque Christmas traditions dig deep into their pagan past. Here, during the winter months, the flint-grey skies linger over the Baztan Valley while the ember-red autumn leaves burn out slowly and silently on the forest floor. Even the mighty autumn winds,
Who were the Witches of Zugarramurdi? Zugarramurdi is a tiny bucolic Basque village nestling in the foothills of the western Pyrenees. Innocuously the name Zugarramurdi means ‘hill of elm trees’, although today it is far better known for its caves and witches than for its hills and elms. However, this is the site of the most brutal witch
The Stone-age Roots of the Basque Language. Many linguists agree that the Basque language is the oldest in Europe and that its origins clearly date back to the Neolithic period. However, certain sources seem to indicate that their roots go even further back in time. An example that seems to support this hypothesis is the interesting
I know, I know, I have written about the Ituren carnivals many times before (see links below) but the reaction is so raw, so overwhelming each single time we participate that I feel compelled to put it down. They are not my people, I am from a ‘middle-class’ Birmingham suburb with Accessorise and John Lewis down
The origins of the Basque people has been a subject of great debate, and of great political interest. Here is a study on the people of the Baztan Valley, a traditional Basque valley in the northern Pyrenean valleys of Navarre which throws some light on the subject. The People of the Baztan Valley In 2010 a team