Basque folk costumes
All white for the guys and red skirts for the girls were for a long time
the norm for most groups. Some groups looking for variety, opted to go
in different directions and that is what explains some
invented costumes. Whereas this is great for indulging a creative urge,
an alternative is to take into consideration the wide assortment of
costumes depending upon the region and dance.
Related links for online costume
Related links for costume ideas:
How the Costumes in Traditional
Basque Dances Have Evolved
By Ane Albisu, author of ATONDU
dance, and in the dances that are traditional in our case, the costumes
play a tremendously important role. Movement, insofar as it constitutes
corporal expression, unites with what the dancer wears and an overall
evaluation of its result can be made. Moreover, it is the first thing
that draws one’s attention, in other words, it is what establishes the
We could say that when costumes and dancers achieve a kind of symbiosis,
what we have before our eyes turns into genuine artistic expression. On
the one hand, because the dancer adds movement to what he or she is
wearing, and on the other, because the costume makes the dancer him- or
herself feel special.
Moreover, the costume and garments generally worn in traditional dances
can have symbolic meaning: the color red, men appearing in skirts,
conical hats, masks, etc.
"I am of the opinion that little attention has
been given to the field of dances on our cultural scene, at
least not to the extent that one can find in other parts of the
However, in our dances the wearing of costume regarded as traditional
has not been compulsory. Yet today we have tended to link the concepts
of traditional costume with traditional dance, because our
perspective of dance tends to be mainly directed towards the stage. What
is more, throughout the 20th century dance served to make
known a number of types of costumes and clothing that were on the point
of disappearing, even though in many cases this clothing was not
specifically used for dance. On other occasions, by contrast, they have
been presented as having undergone a transformation.
Over the last one hundred years the fields of culture linked to our
traditions, and in particular those relating to costume have not
received the attention they deserved. The information about them that
has been handed down to us has taken different routes which have
frequently not been the most appropriate ones. This is why all the types
of costumes we have seen, and go on seeing cannot simply be stuffed all
together into one bag, because a considerable muddle exists. For
example, it was not so long ago that I saw a linen shirt in a wardrobe
department classified as garment for traditional dance. It is
true that nowadays this is generally the use made of it, but we know
very well that at one time shirts of this kind were not used exclusively
for dance. They were a part of our everyday
clothing, and what is more, similar garments can be found all
over Europe. So, we need to distinguish between what, as far as we know,
traditional garments were used for at one time, and what they are used
What this example sets out to show is that our knowledge about
traditional clothing is in general very limited. Firstly, because
this branch of culture has not been given the importance it deserved.
Secondly, the continuation of tradition was broken long ago in the
Basque Country. And finally, and linked to the first reason, because the
interpretation and use of the scarce data available has not always been
conducted appropriately. Some of the criteria used have not always had a
solid foundation, because they were established by people who knew
little about popular culture. The result has not been the one we would
have liked for the following reasons: on some occasions, as a result of
negligence –because of the failure to attach importance to the subject-
on other occasions, as a result of evil intentions (during the Franco
dictatorship [1936-76], for example), and on most occasions, due to
Another factor is that the use of traditional costumes and garments
has changed a lot over the years. The origins of many of the elements
used for dance over the last one hundred years can be found in the
clothing that made up everyday garments. The latter, as well as
those used solely for this purpose, have evolved, and we will be
attempting to summarize all this here.
"And linked to dance, as far as the costumes are concerned, they
have not only been particularly neglected and forgotten, they
have not been given the importance they deserved.
To focus on the subject I will be dividing it into two parts: the dances
that are performed in the places where they originated and the ones
performed on stage.
In fact, traditional dances tend to be performed by specific peoples and
groups on certain days, in other words, for special celebrations. But
these very dances, and often, their adaptations, tend to be done in
certain other situations as well, outside the place where they
originated and in a totally different environment, in other words, as a
display or show. In this case, the basis of the dance itself changes,
and consequently, the costumes may also undergo changes or adaptations.
However, it is often difficult to draw the line, because it has tended
to be the dance company of the place where the dance is performed that
goes elsewhere to put on their dance as a display or show.
So one can suspect that the evolution in costume has taken different
directions. But the most profound changes that we will be highlighting
are without doubt in the cases in which traditional dances are performed
as a display or show in theatres and on stage.
Costumes worn when the dance is performed in the place where it
"Many regard [Basque costumes] as something
trivial, but it is this precise attitude that I regard as very
trivial. Our clothing is an important part of our personality
and is on a par with language and all other forms of expression.
So let us give it the place it deserves in our culture."
If we take as the basis the Classification of Dances made by
Juan Antonio Urbeltz,
we will be able to get a general view of what the costumes and garments
used in our dances are like.
Dances performed by Men and Women in an Open Environment and solo
performances done in the same way. (Branlia [dance in three parts from
Soka Dantzak [rope
dances], Jauziak [high jumps], etc.)
In order to perform these dances, clothing made in the imitation of the
everyday clothing that we Basques wore during the 19th century and
mostly belonging to the agricultural environment is used. But even if
this kind of clothing also has distinguishing features of ours (the way
in which the scarf is worn, the beret, or laced leather sandals -“abarkak”–
etc.), it was very similar to what was used all over Europe at that
time. As they have been linked to time, they have also become
traditional. So, the most outstanding features of that time have been
preserved, and as they are for performing dances in a festive
atmosphere, special adornments (ribbons, colored scarves) were added to
The women in long skirts, blouses or bodices, aprons, and headscarves
decorate their hair by braiding it and adorning it with ribbons. Whereas
the men wear long trousers, a shirt, a waistcoat (US=vest) and often a
beret decorated with ribbons. Their footwear, on the other hand, usually
consists of laced leather sandals or espadrilles (“abarketak”) or, on
occasions, leather shoes.
What we have described here is very general. As some of these dances on
occasions belong to Carnival or “Inauteriak”, they are also performed in
the special Carnival costumes. On other occasions, as in the dances of
the Pyrenean valleys, the local costume has been preserved right up to
the present day, and this is what they wear.
However, we could say that they were performed in Sunday best as a
general rule, and from the 20th century onwards it just so happened that
19th century clothing was preserved for these dances.
Ezpata dantzak [Sword Dances] (Zumarraga, Durango, Lesaka…)
these dances are performed exclusively by men, what is used for this
purpose is basically what we can call
White Costume: white shirt, trousers, and espadrilles. The dancers
then add a beret, a red belt and sash, and they often wear bells (sewn
to a piece of cloth or leather), scapularies, and bands or sashes of
different colors across their chests.
<![if !vml]><![endif]> Lesaka
group dances (Zinta Dantzak [ribbon dances], Brokel Dantzak [shield
dances], Dances from Araba and the banks of the River Ebro in Navarre,
Dances from Otsagi in Navarre, from Lanestosa in Bizkaia, etc.)
are dances that have mostly been performed by men. The costumes they
wear are principally white trousers and shirts, but they also wear
colored ribbons and scarves, bells, skirts, special hats, etc. on top.
Inauteriak [Carnival] (Betelu, Lizartza, Luzaide, Lapurdi, Zuberoa…)
Carnival, apart from dances, other performances are put on. During
Carnival, and if we go around our region, we will see different kinds of
costumes. On the one hand, we will have the ones called fancy dress. But
there are others that only dancers wear. These will be the ones that we
will have to include in the overview we are giving. Describing Carnival
dancers’ costumes will not be as easy for us as in the previous
sections. In these cases the dancers, too, somehow wear the Carnival
features in their costumes; variations exist between one place and
another and this is determined by what the dancers have to do.
Godalet (Goblet) Dance of Zuberoa (Soule).
dances are performed during some of the Carnival activities, just as in
any other festivity. In order to perform them, we will see costumes that
have a lot in common with the ones described earlier. In the town of
Lizartza in Gipuzkoa, for example, they wear white garments underneath,
and a cape on top.
other cases dancers are participants in Carnival performances and each
one wears the costume corresponding to his or her character, as in the
Maskarada or Masquerades
of Zuberoa (Soule): Txerreroa, Zamaltzaina, Kantiniersa…
are also those that go out in processions, in a succession made up of
dancers and other characters. We can find the clearest examples in
Lapurdi (Labourd) and Baxenafarroa (Lower Navarre).
costumes of the dancers during Carnival we can see ribbons, bells,
colored scarves, crossed sashes and in particular, highly decorated
hats. Most of them wear white garments as a base.
characters, on the other hand, wear military-type costumes if we
consider the upper part of the body: jackets or dress coats. On their
feet, however, they wear espadrilles decorated with ribbons and
embroidery. The use of jewelry is also very widespread: on the shirt
fronts of the Luzaide dancers, on the gaiters of the dancers of Zuberoa
in the Pyrenean Valleys
in other parts of the Basque Country, traditional costumes have been
preserved right up until today in the Aezkoa, Zaraitzu (Salazar) and
Erronkari (Roncal) valleys. These are not specifically dance costumes,
even though they have also been used for the purpose. They have special
features and there are clear links between them and the costumes we can
find around the Mediterranean.
It is a
well-known fact that women have not played leading roles in the panorama
of our traditional dances. But we have been left with some examples in
Eaurta or in Lekeitio for instance. But as a general rule the woman has
always appeared alongside the man in our dances.
costumes they use are mainly based on everyday clothing.
Nevertheless, special elements are emphasized: capes, ribbons...
Skirts became shorter as a result of fashion.
dance groups –in other words, of the type we are familiar with today–
began to emerge, women also started to perform men’s dances and the
costume known as the poxpolin began to be worn for the purpose.
The features of this costume are similar to those that can be found in
the areas on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea or Bay of Biscay: red
skirt, black petticoat, white blouse, white headscarf, black apron and
on their feet laced leather sandals with woolen socks, or white
espadrilles decorated with red ribbons.
Group of Dancers in Arrasate-Mondragon
Nevertheless, numerous changes took place throughout the 20th century.
For example, in the length of the skirt and apron as well as in the
quality and colors of the fabrics. Furthermore, the red skirts were
interspersed with green ones. There was also a widespread trend to make
the knickerbockers visible with their red ribbons underneath the skirt
and petticoat. But if one looks at the trend in certain dance groups,
this development has been less pronounced over the last few years and
attempts to return to the basics have been seen. Once could say that as
far as design is concerned, there is a growing trend to revert to the
other hand, women participated in dance, as pointed out already, in
costumes based on 19th century clothing, and, in the
Farming and Fishing costumes, too, even if they were not used
exclusively for dance.
worn on stage
prove more difficult to transfer the above classification to the stage,
because we will be coming across different determining factors.
the nature of the display or show has to be borne in mind. Even though
on occasions the dance can be seen as it is with the usual costumes,
there are other practices, too. They include displays or shows in which
a combination of dances from different places are performed, ones that
have a special atmosphere and specific staging, ones that include
creative works, etc.
traditional dances have been presented and are being presented in many
ways, the costumes worn by the dancers, too, are consistent with this.
That is why we cannot regard all the costumes that appear in a display
or show as traditional. Although some take their inspiration from these
traditional costumes, creative works exist, too.
why ever since displays or shows based on traditional dances during the
first quarter of the 20th century began to become popular, the costumes
used during them were characterized by the look that the costumes used
by many dance groups had. This has led to a profound change in the
sphere of our traditional costumes.
even if the dances and costumes shown on stage were based on traditional
dance and costumes, their appearance began to change, not only with
respect to the color and quality of the fabrics, but also in their
design. That is why traditional costumes developed along two different
routes. One is the costumes of the dancers who performed local dances
undoubtedly being influenced by the economy, social situation, fashion,
religion etc. We could say that we would regard this development as
natural. The other route is that of dance companies drawing up lists
of dances to be performed in theatres and on stage; by the first half of
the 20th century the costumes presented under the name of
traditional Basque costumes had little in common with the basic
costumes, initially because of the adaptations made, later on because of
the economic situation, and in the end because of the lack of
information and references –in which we have to include politics (the
violent influence of the Franco era, as pointed out already).
The costumes of local dancers have changed more slowly over
models emerged, and so up until today the evolution has been different
depending on the Groups. Many have copied from each other without
knowing which clothes formed the basis. And there is no denying that the
copying of what has been copied has, in the end, brought about a
1960s under the influence of the research conducted by J. A. Urbeltz, it
was possible to revive costumes and clothing that were on the point of
being lost, and present them to the public. After that, a movement arose
linked to this trend, and it continues solidly even today.
Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that little attention has been given
to the field of dances on our cultural scene, at least not to the extent
that one can find in other parts of the world. And linked to dance, as
far as the costumes are concerned, they have not only been particularly
neglected and forgotten, they have not been given the importance they
deserved. This is why the research conducted into them has received
little help and encouragement. Many regard them as something trivial,
but it is this precise attitude that I regard as very trivial. Our
clothing is an important part of our personality and is on a par with
language and all other forms of expression. So let us give it the place
it deserves in our culture.
After the Spanish Civil War [1936-39], as our culture endured violent
prohibition in many fields, it sought a way out to the best of its
ability. One of them was through dance costumes. Even if the “Ikurrina”
[the Basque red, white and green flag] was banned, its colors were used
in the costumes, as well as other symbols.
ATONDU: A Proposal for the 21st Century
By Ane Albisu
In order to approach the contribution of this book, I would ask some
fundamental questions: Why do we dress? What do we tend
to put on and when? Every time we dress, we make a choice,
depending on whether we are going to work, play sports, going on
vacation, stay at home, or other necessities. On that basis, the
garments and dress vary. There are also other conditions that
affect our clothes: personality, body, money.
In the dress of our society involved, therefore, factors such as
place, time, personality ... and fashions. In recent years,
throughout the twentieth century, what has most influenced the time
of dressing is fashion. Today is no longer an option, but we are
practically forced to dress as the market commands. There are
exceptions, but generally speaking, true. For us, the word fashion,
among other things, is associated with clothing, so that, when
referring to a suit, we can say that is outdated or it is classic.
Although we also have the traditional term.
Family Aramaio (Álava). 1865.
With regard to the costumes, we must say that in the case of the
West of XX-XXI centuries, the use of these suits is limited
particularly folk and festive activities, because it is a different
from the usual dress.
In some cultures, however, traditional costumes, unrelated to
fashion, have survived for years without major changes. Sometimes
wear the whole suit, sometimes, only a portion, or arranged in a
particular way. In these places, identity as a people is reflected
in the suit itself, which not only looks at activities of a folk or
In this part of Europe, however, traditional costumes are used on
special occasions: parties, dances and celebrations, usually of a
folk. For us, the traditional dress comes to be that: a dress
preserved for years, which takes into valleys and villages on the
occasion of a dance or special event.
There are countries that are rich in this sense, have kept many of
these suits. In our country, however, have not kept this heritage.
We dance costumes and parties, but do not have a wide range covering
all ages and different social situations.
Like when a person is about to do something special, choose a
particular dress, even when it comes to showing the identity of a
people feel such a need. The suit will get a look expressive and
What I am saying is produced on multiple occasions (weddings,
inaugurations, sporting events ...), not only at parties. In my
opinion, is an aspect which should reflect. In the international
ceremonies There is often a representative dressed after the fashion
of his country as a sign of local identity. Many others, however,
either do not have that kind of costumes, or store it for parties or
dances, not to be the most appropriate to attend a ceremony. That is
Here is an important gap, but up to us to recover the items and
modes of adornment, and regenerate the customs.
In certain places or circumstances, for example, local identity can
be expressed through the suit. In cultures that have preserved the
traditional dress, most of the time it is an element that covers the
head. There are many who, as a sign of local identity, dress hat,
turban or traditional headscarf, despite taking the rest of the body
as globalized Western clothing. Finally, after all, is in the head,
in ideas, where our identity and personality, and that is the reason
that is usually the last to miss the traditional mode of dress, or
one of the few elements maintained. Also in our country txapela and
to a lesser extent, the knotted handkerchief on his head, are the
best preserved elements of our traditional dress.
The Basques we use the verb Jantzi (clothing) to refer also to the
people "learned." A person Jantzi is a wise person. Therefore, on
certain occasions when we want to show our being, our character,
through our attire, we will choose the most appropriate garments
seem to us. Pospolina The suit, for example, or the white suit of
the men, although appropriate for a dance, not so for a wedding or
to receive a prize. They are traditional, but not for those
We must also make another comment. If important is the dress, the
dress and prepare is too. The materials and techniques that were
used for the manufacture of these garments are also aspects that
require special attention.
These last two ideas are fundamental to understanding the role of
ATONDU. What we are talking about clothing?
The origin of the suit baserritarras
In Western cultures, in the early twentieth century there is a large
gap. Fashion has become so hard that we can say that meant the
conceptual innovation of the century. Euskal Herria In particular,
the emergence of fashion and the dominance of the cities, along with
the renaissance of Basque culture, led to the creation of what we
know today as baserritarras clothes, clothing that symbolizes the
character of every a country.
Farmers and fishermen in the early twentieth century retained much
of our culture and traditional dress, even though they could be out
there very similar costumes, came to be regarded as a symbol of the
essence of a people. For this reason, in the holidays and
pilgrimages Basque people began to dress in the manner of
baserritarras, as proof of the identity of a people. Initially such
suits gathered in the villages, but then entered into the twentieth
century, the whirlwind of fashion also affected these garments,
which were the subject of great change. He said what at first was
the dress of a group, it became the traditional costume.
The clothing of the baserritarras of the late nineteenth and early
twentieth disappeared by the mid of the latter, although at present
we are more remains. Baserritarras The suit, however, continued to
evolve throughout the century.
As I indicated above, was feeling the need for a dress that, under
certain circumstances, represent our identity. For many years, this
role was played by the baserritarras suit. But in his evolution was
losing many of its original distinctive, and in many cases, were
inappropriate (suits made industrially, lack of knowledge about
their clothing, dark colors ...). In the 90s, and in order to
facilitate a response to this loss, he turned to take the model of
the peasant dress of the century, for use in various celebrations.
Since the last traditional dress came to today, and be the source of
baserritarras Costume, prevailed the tendency to return to origins.
This was how Atondu activity.
However, the trend soon spread, and since the models had practically
disappeared, many were based solely on black and white photographs,
choosing the colors at random, using any kind of fabric and seams,
and using industrial manufacturing . That's how we developed the
"fashion" of this type of suit, now so popular. But there is a risk
that, in many cases can be considered disguise. And that, as argued,
our identity has to reflect what is observed at first sight. It is
an area which, in our opinion, one should pay close attention.
The proposed ATONDU
Given the above, when proposing the suit, suits or clothes that
reflect our cultural identity, we always have recourse to the
sources. Always part of an information base that we serve, we
recreate the clothing items that were rural, precisely because we
believe that by recovering the lost property and give an
application, we contribute to keeping the tradition.
On the other hand, it is necessary to recover some of the habits
developed in the twentieth century and are close to extinction. It
is true that the social political and cultural situation is very
close, and that several items considered traditional may even have a
pejorative sense or marking. Today, already entered the twenty-first
century depends on us as we adapt our power to local circumstances
and use it wisely.
The project ATONDU want to respond. We therefore believe that it is
not make highly original costumes, but to adapt to every moment, and
prepare and dress with dignity.
As can be seen in the book, we started designing these costumes from
a solid foundation, based in the nineteenth century, and thinking,
basically, to dress smartly. Therefore, try not to repeat our
patterns and fabrics and makes use of quality.
Traducción: Koro GARMENDIA IARTZA
Jatorrizko bertsioa euskaraz
C on el fin de acercarnos a la aportación de este libro,
quisiera plantear algunas preguntas fundamentales: ¿Para qué nos
vestimos? ¿Qué nos solemos poner y cuándo?
Cada vez que nos vestimos, hacemos una elección, dependiendo de
si vamos a trabajar, a hacer deporte, a salir de vacaciones, a estar
en casa, u otros menesteres. En función de ello, las prendas y la
forma de vestir varían. Hay, además, otros condicionantes que
afectan a nuestra vestimenta: la personalidad, el cuerpo, el dinero…
En la forma de vestir de nuestra sociedad intervienen, por tanto,
factores como el lugar, el tiempo, la personalidad… y las modas.
Durante estos últimos años, y a lo largo de todo el siglo XX, lo que
más ha influido a la hora de vestir es la moda. Hoy en día ya no se
trata de una opción, sino que estamos prácticamente obligados a
vestirnos según manda el mercado. Hay excepciones, pero, en términos
generales, es así. Para nosotros, la palabra moda, entre otras cosas,
está asociada a la ropa, por lo que, al referirnos a un traje,
podemos decir que está pasado de moda o que es clásico.
Aunque tenemos también el término tradicional.
Familia de Aramaio (Álava). Año 1865.
Con respecto a los
trajes tradicionales, debemos decir que en el caso de los
occidentales de los siglos XX-XXI, el uso de estos trajes se
circunscribe particularmente a las actividades folclóricas y
festivas, por tratarse de una vestimenta distinta a la habitual.
En determinadas culturas, sin embargo, los trajes
tradicionales, ajenos a toda moda, han sobrevivido durante años,
sin grandes cambios. En ocasiones visten el traje entero; otras
veces, sólo una parte, o se arreglan de una manera concreta. En
estos lugares, la identidad como pueblo queda reflejada en el propio
traje, que no sólo se luce en actividades de tipo folclórico o
En esta zona de Europa, empero, los trajes tradicionales se
emplean en ocasiones especiales: fiestas, bailes y celebraciones,
generalmente de tipo folclórico. Para nosotros, el traje tradicional
viene a ser eso: una vestimenta preservada durante años, que se
lleva en valles o pueblos con ocasión de un baile o acto especial.
Hay países que poseen una gran riqueza en este sentido, por haber
conservado muchos de estos trajes. En nuestro territorio, sin
embargo, no hemos guardado este tipo de patrimonio. Tenemos trajes
de baile y fiestas, pero no tienen un abanico amplio que recoja
todas las edades y las distintas situaciones de la vida social.
Al igual que cuando una persona se dispone a hacer algo especial
elige una vestimenta determinada, también cuando se trata de mostrar
la identidad propia de un pueblo se siente ese tipo de necesidad. El
traje a lucir va a adquirir un valor expresivo y
Esto que estoy diciendo se produce en múltiples ocasiones (bodas,
inauguraciones, eventos deportivos…), no sólo en las fiestas. En mi
opinión, es un aspecto sobre el que se debería reflexionar. En las
ceremonias internacionales a menudo suele haber algún representante
ataviado según la costumbre de su país, en señal de su identidad
local. Otros muchos, sin embargo, o no disponen de ese tipo de
trajes, o los guardan para fiestas o bailes, por no resultar los más
apropiados para asistir a una ceremonia. Ahí está la cuestión.
Aquí tenemos un vacío importante, pero de nosotros depende
recuperar las prendas y los modos de acicalarse, y regenerar las
En determinados lugares o circunstancias, por ejemplo, la
identidad local puede expresarse a través del traje. En las culturas
que han conservado la vestimenta tradicional, la mayoría de las
veces se trata de un elemento que cubre la cabeza. Son muchos
quienes, en señal de su identidad local, visten el sombrero,
turbante o pañuelo tradicional, pese a llevar el resto del cuerpo
según la vestimenta globalizada occidental. Al fin y al cabo, es en
la cabeza, en las ideas, donde reside nuestra identidad y
personalidad, y ésa es la razón por la que suele ser lo último en
perderse del modo de vestir tradicional, o uno de los pocos
elementos que se mantienen. También en nuestro país la txapela y, en
menor medida, el pañuelo que se anuda en la cabeza, son los
elementos que mejor se conservan de nuestra vestimenta tradicional.
Los vascos empleamos el verbo jantzi (vestir) para
aludir, también, a las personas “doctas”. Una persona jantzia
es una persona sabia. Por eso, en determinadas ocasiones cuando
queramos mostrar nuestro ser, nuestro carácter, a través de nuestro
atuendo, habremos de escoger las prendas que más adecuadas nos
resulten. El traje de pospolina, por ejemplo, o el traje
blanco de los hombres, aun siendo apropiados para un baile, no lo
son para una boda o para recoger un premio. Son tradicionales, pero
no para esos fines.
Debemos, igualmente, hacer otra reflexión. Si importante es el
traje, el vestirse y prepararse también lo es. Los materiales y
técnicas que se empleaban para la confección de estas prendas son
aspectos que requieren asimismo una especial atención.
Estas dos últimas ideas son fundamentales para entender el papel
de ATONDU. ¿A qué vestimenta nos estamos refiriendo?
El origen del
traje de baserritarra
En las culturas occidentales, a principios del siglo XX se
produce una gran brecha. La moda adquiere tal fuerza, que se puede
afirmar que supuso la innovación conceptual de aquel siglo. En
Euskal Herria en concreto, la irrupción de la moda y el predominio
de las ciudades, junto con el renacimiento de la Cultura Vasca,
llevaron a la creación de lo que hoy en día conocemos como Traje
de baserritarra, vestimenta que simboliza el carácter de todo
Los campesinos y pescadores de comienzos del siglo XX conservaban
buena parte de nuestra cultura, y su vestimenta tradicional -pese a
que fuera de aquí podían encontrarse trajes de gran similitud- pasó
a considerarse símbolo de la esencia de un pueblo. Por tal
motivo, en las Fiestas Vascas y romerías la gente empezó a vestirse
al modo de los baserritarras, como muestra de la identidad de un
pueblo. En un principio recogían tales trajes en los caseríos,
pero luego, entrados en el siglo XX, el torbellino de la moda afectó
también a estas prendas, que fueron objeto de grandes cambios. Lo
dicho: lo que al principio constituía la vestimenta de un colectivo,
pasó a convertirse en traje tradicional.
La vestimenta de los baserritarras de finales del siglo XIX y
principios del XX desapareció a mediados de este último, pese a que
en la actualidad nos quedan varios vestigios. El traje de
baserritarra, sin embargo, siguió evolucionando a lo largo de
todo el siglo.
Tal como más arriba he indicado, se palpaba la necesidad de una
vestimenta que, en determinadas circunstancias, representara nuestra
identidad. Durante muchos años, este papel fue desempeñado por el
Traje de baserritarra. Pero en su evolución fue perdiendo
varios de sus distintivos originales, y, en muchas ocasiones,
resultaban inadecuados (trajes confeccionados de manera industrial,
falta de conocimiento con respecto a su vestir, colores oscuros…).
En la década de los 90, y con el fin de facilitar una respuesta a
esta pérdida, se volvió a adoptar como modelo el traje de los
campesinos de principios de siglo, para usarlo en diversas
celebraciones. Al tratarse de la última vestimenta tradicional que
llegó hasta nuestros días, y ser el origen del Traje de
baserritarra, imperó la tendencia de volver a los orígenes. Así
fue como surgió la actividad de Atondu.
No obstante, la tendencia no tardó en extenderse, y dado que los
modelos prácticamente habían desaparecido, muchos se basaron
exclusivamente en fotografías en blanco y negro, escogiendo los
colores al azar, empleando cualquier tipo de telas y costuras, y
recurriendo a la confección industrial. Así es como surgió la "moda"
de este tipo de traje, actualmente tan popularizado. Pero existe el
riesgo de que, en muchos casos, pueda ser considerado disfraz. Y es
que, tal como sostenía, nuestra identidad se ha de reflejar en lo
que se observa a primera vista. Es un aspecto al que, en nuestra
opinión, se debiera prestar mucha atención.
La propuesta de ATONDU
Teniendo en cuenta todo lo anterior, a la hora de proponer el
traje, trajes o vestimentas que reflejan nuestra identidad cultural,
tenemos por costumbre recurrir a las fuentes. Partiendo en todo
momento de una información que nos sirva de base, recreamos las
prendas que formaban la vestimenta rural, precisamente porque
consideramos que, al recuperar el patrimonio perdido y darle un uso,
contribuimos a mantener la tradición.
Por otra parte, es necesario recuperar algunas de las costumbres
creadas en el siglo XX y que están a punto de extinguirse. Es cierto
que la coyuntura social política y cultural es muy cercana, y que
varias prendas consideradas tradicionales pueden incluso llegar a
tener un sentido peyorativo o marcado. Hoy en día, entrados ya en el
siglo XXI, de nosotros depende adaptar cuanto tenemos a nuestro
alcance a las diversas circunstancias y usarlo sensatamente.
El proyecto ATONDU quiere dar una respuesta. Por ello, pensamos
que no se trata de confeccionar vistosos trajes de gran originalidad,
sino de adaptarlos a cada momento, y prepararlos y vestirlos con
Tal como se puede apreciar en el
libro, empezamos a diseñar estos trajes a partir de una sólida
base, basándonos en los del siglo XIX, y pensando, fundamentalmente,
en vestir con elegancia. Por ello, procuramos no repetir nuestros
modelos y utilizar telas y hechuras de calidad.