Benafarroa is one of the three Basque provinces located north
of the Pyrenees. Historically it formed part of the Kingdom of Navarre. The
procession carried out there on Easter Sunday, known as Bazko Zahar or Bolant
Eguna, also takes place in Luzaide, Nafarroa. Click here to see
photos of Bolant Eguna 2001.
The protagonists of these dances are known as bolantak.
These young men wear richly adorned clothing and sometimes elaborate headdresses.
There is a profusion of flowers and multicolored ribbons called xingolak.
The procession the bolantak take part in is called the cavalcade
and has many diverse elements. To read more about the cavalcade as well as
its specific characters and dances click here.
owe much of what we know about the traditions of this region to
Faustin Bentaberry (1865-1936) from Izpura. He was a great
dance master and musician who is responsible for conserving and
handing down many dances and musical pieces.
Miguel Angel Sagaseta (1977)
is an excellent source for these dances and their music, costumes and
context. Urbeltz (1978) is another
valuable source and he is also responsible for designing the costume worn by
the feminine counterparts of the bolantak, as seen
above. It is only in recent decades that young women have
participated, so no traditional costume existed for this new role prior to
Photo courtesy of Jean Escoz.
and brother as bolantak in Luzaide, Nafarroa.