Legend of Aittitta Makurra (Lekeitio)

Legend of Aittitta Makurra (Lekeitio)

One evening, one of the most famous fishermen of Lekeitio, known for the fact that he was the owner of a fishing boat and a greatly experienced harpoon thrower and whale-hunter, fainted on the wharf, wherehe remained unconscious. He was taken to a “txalupa etxe” and the doctor was sent for, who came as quickly as he was able, examined the patient and did all he could to revive him.

Just at that moment, a humble fisherman was passing by, who lived in Lekeitio. He went up to the place where the sick man lay and watched what was going on.He then left and encountered a well-dressed man standing near the doorway, who said: “The doctor can do nothing to save this man, but you can save him if you do what I say”. He told him to enter the“txalupa etxe” again and tell the woman who was in charge of the kitchen to put a frying pan containing olive oil, some honey and butter over a flame, and when it was cooked, and the product had cooled, to place it on the patient’s forehead.

After all this had been done, the fisherman came to, and the seaman left the place, feeling peaceful and contented. However, in the street he was again approached by the man who had told him what to do, who then said: “You have seen what happened to the boat owner and from now on you will have thepower to cure all kinds of diseases, and you will live for one hundred years, but on every evening, you will have to look at the roof of your house. Once you have reached the age of ninety, if you should see a herb called ‘orma belarra’ growing there, you should prepare to die. I am death, but in disguise, and I will tell you that your memory will live for ever in Lekeitio.”

After reaching the age of ninety, one summer’s day, when he was looking out of the window, he saw the famous ‘orma belarra’. He then bade farewell to his wife and went down to the beach.However, when he was halfway there, he saw his old friend, who now looked like his true self; death.After death had touched him the poor fishermen turned to stone, and there he remains to this day, in the middle of the beach of Isuntza. People then started to call him Aittitta Makurra (old grandfather bent double).

Udalarrantz - Red de municipios pesqueros del País Vasco