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Basque Folklore and Mythology

The homeland of the Basque people straddles the border between France and Spain alongside the western Pyearenees. These fascinating people might have lived on this historical homeland for the reason that Neolithic Period.

The Basque people are distinctive. They are genetically completely different from the people within the surrounding lands and have a language that isn't associated to some other. Present-day Basques are predominantly Christian, however echoes of older beliefs nonetheless could be discovered of their nationwide traditions and folktales.


Lurbira is the goddess of the earth and the mom of the dual sisters Ekhi and Ilazki. Ekhi is the goddess of the Sun and of daylight, and Ilazki is the goddess of the Moon. Ilazki makes use of her mild to information the ghosts of the lifeless to the hereafter.
Aide is the goddess of the wind. Mari, whose title was most likely derived from the Virgin Mary, is a figure of folklore and mythology. She normally is conceived as a tall, stunning, and kindly lady with some sort of magical or semidivine powers. Mari could also be a survivor of older pagan beliefs.

Supernatural Beings

An aatxe is a spirit within the type of a pink bull that protects caves and assaults evil people. An aatxe is alleged to have set Bermeo, a village of purportedly evil people, on fire.

Basajaun is the Old Man of the Woods, orLord of the Woods. He is usually depicted as a semidivine figure with some animal traits and is commonly, however not at all times, considered malevolent. In some tales, Basajaun has a feminine companion referred to as Basandere. There are late medieval carvings of these creatures within the Cathedral of SaintMaria in Burgos, Spain.

Gaueko is a nocturnal spirit or demon within the form of an excellent black wolfhound that walks upright. Herensuge and Sugaar are two monstrous serpents. Herensuge is normally portrayed as a sea serpent.
The jentilak are a race of giants who threw rocks from one mountain to one other. They arecredited with having constructed previous stone ruins and different Neolithic monuments. They are also stated to have invented metallurgy, agriculture, and the Basque ball sport referred to as pelota. The jentilak disappeared into the earth with the arrival of Christianity. Only one, Olentzero, stays. He is alleged to seem at Christmastime to go away presents for kids. Over the centuries, he has modified from a large to a Basque peasant. The mairuak, whose title means “moors,” are also stated to have been giants that constructed the dolmens and menhirs, and they have been pushed away by the approaching of Christianity.

The lamiak, whose title could also be derived from the Greek lamia, are stated to be stunning however evil ladies. They take human type, however have animal ft. They deceive, enchant, and kill younger males.
The sorgin is the Basque folkloric witch. She is frequent to many folktales and possesses attributes of sure pagan beliefs.
The torto is a monstrous being that abducts and eats youngsters. He is probably going to have been invented by dad and mom as a method to make youngsters behave.

Basque Folktales

Two samples of Basque folktales comply with. The first reveals definite influences from the outside world, incorporating the Rumpelstiltskin theme and the “never-in-my-life” theme that seems in Celtic changeling tales. The second story has ties to older mythology.

The Young Man Who Fell in Love with a Lamiak

A younger man fell in love with a good looking, mysterious lady. She agreed to marry him if he might inform her age. An area lady agreed to assist the younger man. She went to the mysterious
lady’s cave and bent over in order that she was looking from between her legs.

The stunning lady, a lamiak, introduced, “In all my 105 years, I have never seen such a sight!”
The helper rushed to the younger man with the data. He was about to inform the lamiak her age when he noticed her ft, which have been nonhuman animal ft. He fled, fell in poor health, and died.


A pair had a son and a daughter, Ibon and Mariurrika. Ibon was the eldest, and Mariurrika had a darkish facet. She didn't need her brother to declare their inheritance, so she anda servant determined to kill him. They gave Ibon an excessive amount of wine. When he was asleep, they threw him off a cliff, and he fell to his loss of life. Everyone believed it had been an accident.

That evening, Mariurrika noticed demons sliding down the chimney to declare her for her evil deed. She died on the spot. Since then, Mariurrika has been a fireball that flies from mountain to mountain. She rests solely when she takes refuge within the cave of the goddess Mari.