Tag: Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Governor signs Basque Heritage and Culture Day Proclamation

5332b2937123fc47730b98c462c8bc33Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has officially declared June 29 as the day to celebrate “Basque Heritage and Culture in Nevada.”  As a part of this celebration, local performers and artists will perform Basque traditional dance and songs, representing Nevada at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to be held in Washington, D.C. from June 29 to July 4. See a report on this by the Elko Daily Free Press here.

To mark the event, an Elko native, Vince Juaristi, has written a series of wonderful articles, titled “Intertwined,” which explore the connections between Basque and American culture. If you haven’t already done so, you can read these articles here.

Anyone interested in Basque culture should check out Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives, by William A. Douglass and Joseba Zulaika. As well as serving as a great general introduction to Basque culture, this work also includes the personal experiences and reflections of the two renowned authors.  The book is available free to download here.


Elkokoak, an online exhibit about the Basques of Elko

“Elkokoak: The Basques of Elko” is the title of an online exhibit by the Virtual Humanities Center at Great Basin College showcasing archive materials about Basques in northeastern Nevada. The exhibit is timed to coincide with both  the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival “Innovation by Culture” tribute to Basque-Americans and the 2016 Elko National Basque Festival. Check out the exhibit here.


It includes Elko Basque Stories, the oral histories of the Basque residents of Elko; Elko Basque Articles, a sampling of Basque-themed articles from the Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, published by the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko; a link to the Great Basin Basque Dancers; Intertwined, a wonderful series of articles by Vince J. Juaristi (highly recommended if you haven’t already read them); a link to the 2016 National Basque Festival; and other Basque resources.

This is yet another inspired initiative to preserve Basque heritage in the United States and we at the Center encourage you all to take some time out and visit this great new online resource.


Basque Program at 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

As we mentioned last Fall, a part of this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival will be dedicated to Basque culture. For an introduction to the Basque Program at the festival, “Innovation by Culture,” click here.


Basque rowing team competing in Zarautz, Gipuzkoa. Photo by Imanol Lasa, at the Gipuzkoa Provincial Archive, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Part of this general introduction includes an interesting outside perspective on Basque culture by one of the festival curators, Anne Sandager Pedersen, who, together with co-curator Mary Linn, carried out a fieldwork trip to the Basque Country last Fall. In her blog post, which you can read in full here, she underscores three important ideas about Basque culture that they took back to the US and that will form part of the Basque Program at this year’s festival: resiliency, innovation, and community-building.

If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives by William A. Douglass and Joseba Zulaika, a great introduction to the culture of this rich land that also incorporates many of the personal fieldwork experiences of these two eminent anthropologists. Click here for your free download.

2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will showcase Basque culture

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Culture Heritage announced recently that its 2016 Folklife Festival will showcase Basque culture. The 2016 Festival will take place Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4, and Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10. It will be located on the National Mall, between Fourth and Seventh streets, adjacent to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Admission to the Festival is free, and hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with special evening events beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Festival is co-sponsored by the Regional Government of Biscay and presented in partnership with the National Park Service.


Basque-American lauburu. by Joebengo, via Wikimedia Commons

The program will be curated by cultural and linguistic revitalization specialist Mary Linn and folklorist and ethnomusicologist Cristina Díaz-Carrera. More information about the 2016 Festival will be released shortly.

To read the original announcement in full, click here.

For a good introduction to the Basques, check out Basque Culture: Anthropological Perspectives, by William A. Douglass and Joseba Zulaika.