Basque Cultural Day Saturday Oct. 26 at Basque Cultural Center


Frederic Fuldain

First Basque Dance Group in San Francisco

Nancy Zubiri

The Basques’ trails through California is the theme of the next Basque Cultural Day in South San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 26. Several Basque-Americans from south and central California will speak on topics such as Basque sheepherder trails, the early Basque-language newspaper of Los Angeles and the development of the San Francisco Bay Area Basque community.

“Kaliforniako Euskaldunen Artzak,” or Basque Footprints in California, is the title of this special event, which is free at the Basque Cultural Center. Basque Cultural Day, which occurs every two years, is sponsored by the non-profit group Basque Educational Organization.

The inauguration of the Basque Cultural Center in 1982

From Southern California, Marianna Etcheverria, Jeanette Bidart and Mitch Gariador will talk about the earliest Basques in the Los Angeles area who eventually led to additional communities in Chino, La Puente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Barbara and Tehachapi. They will present information about the Basque-language newspaper published in Los Angeles

Steven Gamboa, Steve Bass, and Janet Barreneche will focus in central California and the seasonal movement of livestock between winter and summer pastures. Known as transhumance, this trailing by sheepherders through the Central Valley defined the sheep industry and the Basque community in Bakersfield.

Basque-American author Nancy Zubiri will discuss key developments that occurred in the great City by the Bay that has kept the Basque community united and thriving since the Gold Rush days.

Scholar Pedro Oiarzabal will be traveling from the Basque Country to speak on the Basques in World War II. His presentation will include portraits of several Basque-American veterans from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The cultural presentations begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and will be followed by cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The Zazpiak Dance group will perform during the evening. While the presentations are free, tickets for the dinner are $50 and $15 for children. Reservations must be made by Monday, Oct. 21.

For more information, click here to visit the website of the Basque Educational Organization.