In memory of Xabier Sáenz de Gorbea, transmitter of Basque art

Xabier Sáenz de Gorbea (Las Arenas 1951 – Bilbao 2015), Gure Artea Prize laureate in 2012, soon became a major presence on the Basque art scene, due perhaps to his work capacity, which allowed him to develop his influence and expand his knowledge on multiple levels. Over his years of teaching at university he guided … More In memory of Xabier Sáenz de Gorbea, transmitter of Basque art

The 1960s

During our years of experience writing the Ethnographic Atlas of the Basque Country, we have learned about the many changes that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s which meant a clean break with the past. Those, let us recall, were decades of enormous tension and rising social movements in the international arena. This past spring we … More The 1960s

The Feast of St John in Laguardia (Álava)

Laguardia is an ancient fortress city erected on a hill facing Toloño Mountains. An extremely rich cultural and winemaking tradition turns it into the major attractive tourist destination in Álava after Vitoria-Gasteiz. Churches, mighty walls, narrow streets, heraldic mansions, dolmens, the nearby Celtiberian settlement of La Hoya, wineries and the lively St John’s festival are … More The Feast of St John in Laguardia (Álava)

Common pastures

In the Valley of Carranza (Bizkaia) the best common wood-pastures located in the lowlands within close proximity to populations were formerly known as boheriza. The terms boriza and voeriza were also registered on 18th and 19th-century public record. These were communal lands managed by the local authorities according to ancient laws and customs. Exclusively villagers … More Common pastures


Placed in open cultivated fields, vineyards and fruit groves, homemade humanoid scarecrows have been a common way to protect freshly broadcast seed, growing crops and fruit harvests from birds, though in recent times are being partly substituted by more effective methods. They have been mostly used in fields of wheat and maize, and still guard … More Scarecrows

Assembly and council trees in the Valley of Carranza (Bizkaia)

The population of the Valley of Carranza consolidated in the Middle Ages with the formation of primitive councils, so-called concejos, and the government of the republic of Carranza was decided through council meetings. Until 1740, year in which the Valley Assembly House was built in the neighbourhood of Concha, weather permitting, general assemblies were held … More Assembly and council trees in the Valley of Carranza (Bizkaia)

Digital signatures

As a child, I have known elderly folks who could not read or write, though not many, to be honest. When asked to sign a document, they would affix their index fingerprint. Some had attended school for at least enough time to learn the four basic arithmetic operations and write their name, others not as … More Digital signatures