Basque Cultural Day

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

San Francisco Basque Cultural Center

 The Day of Navarre

Symbols of Navarre


This year's Basque Cultural Day will follow the theme of the popular annual event in Baigorri - Nafarroaren Eguna - The Day of Navarre, which endeavors to strengthen the ties between both Navarrese territories and to affirm their common Basque identity. The program will feature distinguished speakers from the Center for Basque Studies and a short film presentation, a dance performance by the Zazpiak Bat Dancers and a concert by the popular avant-garde techno accordion band GOSE.

Admission to the program is free of charge with the exception of the evening dinner.


Promotional Video:




Photos from Presentations:




Tania Arriaga Azkarrate


"Navarre: History of Battles, Wine and Roses"

Ms. Arriaga, a Ph.D. student at the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, will give a presentation of the history of the Kingdom of Navarre.



The event kicked off with a presentation on the history of the Kingdome of Navarre by Ph.D. Center for Basque Studies student, Tania Arriaga Azkarate, who is a native of Irunea, the capital of Navarre. Ms. Arriaga’s presentation was very unconventional and the audience was very receptive. Ms. Arriaga began her presentation by handing out the lyrics of a song, “Altabizkarko Kantua,” which is a song about the legend of Roland, who was killed by the Basques in Navarre while defending the rear of Charlemagne’s army. Ms. Arriaga traced the history of the kingdom of Navarre using web pages on the internet to illustrate her timeline, paying special attention to the period of 1512-1522, when an independent Basque Kingdom of Navarre was conquered violently by Ferdinand of Aragon.

Dynasties of the kings and queens of Nafarroa

Maps with the evolution of the borders of the kingdom

Last conference about the conquest, organized by the UEU



Lisa Corcostegui


"How Cultivating Your Family Tree Can Help You See the Forest:

Connecting through Community Genealogy"


Dr. Lisa Corcostegui will discuss tracing family history with an emphasis on  genealogy in the Basque Country.




Dr. Lisa Corcostegui, of Reno, Nevada, gave a presentation on genealogy from a Basque immigration point of view. She began by explaining the relationship between surnames and the names of the houses that a family immigrated from and common sources for family histories such has death records, which could also shed light on the relationships between households. Lisa also explained that tombs were tied to households and not necessarily a family and that the female head of the household was responsible for taking care of the tomb. Although most tombs today are located outside of the church, Lisa showed a short video of tombs that are still located inside the church in the village of Amezketa, Gipuzkoa and have Argizaiola (funerary candles) placed on the wooden sepulture. Lisa showed and demonstrated several websites that can be used to research family records in the Basque country. Unfortunately for descendants of Basque immigrants from Navarre, most records have not been digitized as they have been in the other Basque Provinces, but records from Navarre are available in the form of micro film at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Family History

E-Archives of Pyrenees Atlantiques

Généalogie et Histoire des Familles - Pays Basque/ Adour Maritime

Southern Basque Country :
Ecclesiastical archives of Bizkaia
Ecclesiastical archives of Gipuzkoa
Ecclesiastical archives of Araba

Navarre:  Antzinako


Daniel Montero - Publications Coordinator - CBS


Short Film

"Maurizio eta Felix ezin atzendu"


This short film by Jaime Viguria Huarte of Elizondo, Navarre, is a tribute to the legendary txistulari (Basque flute player) Maurizio Elizalde and his faithful drummer Felix Iriarte, who were natives of Arizkun, Navarre, and who played all over the Basque Country.

15 min in Basque with English subtitles.




A short film presentation followed, which was a tribute to the late Maurizio Elizalde and Felix Iriarte, who were musicians in the Baztan valley of Navarre. Maurizio Elizalde played an important role in the preservation and promotion of Basque folk music and dancing traditions in Navarre. In 1943, this famous txistulari and dance teacher documented over 100 songs from Baztan that he learned from his father, a task that took over 6 months to complete. This collection includes multildantzas, zortzikos, sagar dantzas, porrusaldas and much more. These have been officially archived and as a result, many songs and dances have survived thanks to his tenacity.


Zoe Bray


"Painting Navarre Today"


Dr. Zoe Bray, Assistant Professor at the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada at Reno, will introduce some painters who are today working in Navarre (including Ms. Bray). By Navarre, Ms. Bray will include the province of Baxe Nafarroa, located on the French side of the Franco-Spanish frontier. She will focus specifically on the area close to the Franco Spanish frontier, notably the valley of Baztan, on the Spanish side, and the valleys of Baigorri and Garazi, on the French side.
In the final part of her presentation Ms. Bray shall introduce the activities of Itzal Aktiboa, an association based in Donibane Garazi, which promotes Basque contemporary art across the Franco-Spanish frontier, and which in October of this year will have revealed the results of its first prize competition for Young Basque Art.

read more




Dr. Zoe Bray, the Center for Basque Studies' newest faculty member, gave a presentation on contemporary painters in Navarre today. In the Baztan valley of Navarre, Ms. Bray reviewed the work of artists Joxe-Mari Apezetxea, Ana Mari Marin, Tomás Sobrino, Xabier Soubelet & Begoña Durruty. In Lower Navarre, Ms. Bray reviewed the work of her mother, Josette Dacosta, Itzal Aktiboa, Zaloa Ipina, Anne-Laure Garicoix, along with her own work, which was most recently featured in showings in Garazi and Biarritz.

Portions of the following videos were shown during Zoe's presentation:



Zazpiak Bat Dancers &

Lisa Corcostegui

"Basque Dances of Navarre"


The Zazpiak Bat Dancers, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, will perform dances from the province of Navarre and Dr. Lisa Corcostegui will give a explanation of each one.



First row (left to right) Montserrat San Mames, Rebecca Childree, Nicole Ourtiague, Chloe Duhalde, Mikaela Ribi, Joelle Ourtiague, Christina Etcheverry, Elise Etcheverry.

Back row (left to right): Cedric Duhalde, Jesse Kvarna, Andrew Goyhenetche, Matt Fosse, J.J. Indaburu, Daniel Camou.

To complete the presentations, the San Francisco Zazpiak Bat Dancers performed several dances from Navarre and each one was preceded by a detailed historical explanation by Lisa Corcostegui.







Before GOSE started their show, Johnny Curutchet offered his sentiments on Navarre in the form of bertsoak (improvisational verses):



Nafarroari Maitasunez


Nabarra zutaz ez dakit nola, erran senditzen dutana

Iparra eta hego aldian, artean zira emana

Muga bat erdian baduzu eta, horrek emaiten daut pena

Hargatik zira, nafarroa zu, guretzat bigarren ama


Hainbertze urtez ikusi duzu, nabarra zuk ainitz neke

Partekatua, izan zinela, orai badu, zonbait mende

Bainan zure, seme alabak, gu elgarrekin baigaude

Iparra ala, hego aldian, berdin zaitugu bai maite


Nahiz ez naizen, nabarra zutan, etorria ni mundura

Bainan zuk eman dautazu sua, nunbait ene zainetara

Xoria ere itzultzen baita, koxkortu zen kafiara

Ni ere berdin, itzuliko naiz, nabarra zure aldera


Ainitz napartar, juan dirare, aspaldi mundu huntarik

Nafarroa zu, zatikatia, zauritua ikusirik

Galde hau badoa, gaurkoan hemen, gu guzien bihotzetik

Nafarroa eta, euskadi biak, bat izan diten bakarrik



To Navarre with love

Navarra, I don’t know how to say what I feel about you
You are situated between North and South
You have a border in the middle and that saddens me
That’s why Navarre, you are for us our second mother.

For so many years, Navarre, you have seen a lot of uneasiness,
You had been divided for some centuries now
But your sons and daughters are staying together
In the North and the South, we do love you the same

Even though I did not come to this world in you, Navarre
You gave me fire somewhere in my nerves
Like the bird that returns to the nest where it grew
I too, will return to your side , Navarre.

A lot of Navareese have left this world a long time ago
Seeing you, Navarre, separated and hurt
Now, here, at this time, we are asking with all our hearts,
That Navarre and The Basque Country only be ONE


Translated by Mayte Ocafrain




The BEO is proud to present an

Evening Concert with



Click here to see photos & videos of GOSE's US Concerts 


The day was capped off by a concert by the avant-garde techno-accordion band GOSE, who are from Arrasate, Gipuzkoa and lead singer Ines Osinaga made their home clear to the audience after their opening number, Larala, “We are GOSE and we are not from Spain, we are from the Basque Country!” GOSE then went into the rest of their set, which was an immediate hit with the many in the audience as many got up from their tables and danced the night away to the energetic rhythms of GOSE’s music. Along with some their classic songs such as Amets Gorria, Rimmel, Surik Bai, Error 404, Hey Boy, GOSE also debuted their latest song for the first time live, Naizena Izateko, which was released this past December (2011). Their cover of Mikel Laboa’s Baga Biga Higa was a crowd favorite as was their classic song GOSE, in which Ines Osinaga performed the song on the moving from table to table.


This tour was sponsored by the Basque Government