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Basque Mythology

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Europa
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2007, 01:14:53 am »

From Jennie McGrath:

3 April 2001
Genes link Celts to Basques
—from BBC
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The Welsh and Irish Celts have been found to be the genetic blood-brothers of Basques, scientists have revealed.

The gene patterns of the three races passed down through the male line are all "strikingly similar", researchers concluded.

Basques can trace their roots back to the Stone Age and are one of Europe's most distinct people, fiercely proud of their ancestry and traditions.

The research adds to previous studies which have suggested a possible link between the Celts and Basques, dating back tens of thousands of years.

"The project started with our trying to assess whether the Vikings made an important genetic contribution to the population of Orkney," Professor David Goldstein of University College London (UCL) told BBC News.


Statistically indistinguishable'

He and his colleagues looked at Y-chromosomes, passed from father to son, of Celtic and Norwegian populations. They found them to be quite different.

"But we also noticed that there's something quite striking about the Celtic populations, and that is that there's not a lot of genetic variation on the Y-chromosome," he said.

To try to work out where the Celtic population originally came from, the team from UCL, the University of Oxford and the University of California at Davis also looked at Basques.

"On the Y-chromosome the Celtic populations turn out to be statistically indistinguishable from the Basques," Professor Goldstein said.

Pre-farming Europe


The comparison was made because Basques are thought by most experts to be very similar to the people who lived in Europe before the advent of farming. "We conclude that both of these populations are reflecting pre-farming Europe," he said.

Professor Goldstein's team looked at the genetic profiles of 88 individuals from Anglesey, North Wales, 146 from Ireland with Irish Gaelic surnames, and 50 Basques.

"We know of no other study that provides direct evidence of a close relationship in the paternal heritage of the Basque- and the Celtic-speaking populations of Britain," the team write in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Viking TV

But it is still unclear whether the link is specific to the Celts and the Basques, or whether they are both simply the closest surviving relatives of the early population of Europe. What is clear is that the Neolithic Celts took women from outside their community. When the scientists looked at female genetic patterns as well, they found evidence of genetic material from northern Europe.

This influence helped even out some of the genetic differences between the Celts and their Northern European neighbours.

The work was carried out in connection with a BBC television programme on the Vikings.

Eirlys Gruffydd, who has also written books on witches, said: "They were poor people who were scapegoats for all the misfortunes in society.

"I think people probably needed the wise woman and herbalists because there were no doctors."

In many cases, wizards were even religious ministers with a druidic past.

Descendents of Carmarthenshire wizard John Harries, who practised in the 19th century, are still rumoured to possess mystical powers, according to the author.

And acceptance for magick remains — outside of fashionable forms of Wicca and paganism, acts prohibiting practice of witchcraft were repealed only in the 1950s.

Meanwhile, the "wizard" Harry Potter phenomenon is keeping the paranormal popular, with the first of a series of movies slated for UK release on 16 November.

As Halloween falls, we are all still spellbound by the spooks.
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http://irelandsown.net/celtgenes.html
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2007, 01:16:00 am »

From Unknown:
Legends and Popular Tales of the Basque People by Mariana Monteiro [1887]

 Basque Legends by Wentworth Webster [1879]


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Basque Language at WordGumbo.com [External Site]

http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,194.15.html

http://sacred-texts.com/neu/basque/index.htm



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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2007, 01:16:33 am »

The Basques

The Basques are a group of people settled in northern Spain and southern France, nestled amongst the Pyrenees Mountains. They occupy seven provinces, four in Spain and three in France. They are Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, and Nafarroa in Spain, and Lapurdi, Behe Nafarroa, and Zuberoa in France. These provinces made up of mostly Basque people are collectively known as Euskadi in their native tongue. This land was fomerly the Basque Kingdom until the provinces were split up in the 1600’s.

The Basques are a unique group of people whose origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery. They are believed to be prehistoric inhabitants of Europe and possibly the direct descendents of Cro-Magnon man, who appeared in Eurpoe and the Middle East some 35,000 years ago. They are mostly mountain people and fishermen. They’re language is entirely different from any other European language and is called Euskara. Until they adopted writing from the Romans, they had no official alphabet. It is thought that the Basques are the originators of the RH negative blood factor, because it is found in a very small percentage of caucasians and blacks and almost non-existent in orientals, while 33% of Basque people have it. They are also different in that the bone joints in their skulls are of a different shape and they tend to have thicker breast bones.

Basques are well known for their physical strength. Some of the competitions they regularly perform are tug-of-war, rock climbing, rock pulling and wood chopping, but their favorite competitions are the ball games, and Jai Alai is the most popular. It was a Basque who captained one of the ships on Colombus’ maiden voyage to the new world, the Santa Maria. On Magellan’s voyage around the world, a Basque took over and guided the ship the rest of the way when Magellan was killed in the Phillipines. When the Moors conquered the majority of Spain and ruled it for hundreds of years, they never tracked the Basques back into their mountain villages, for fear that they could not be defeated.

References:
Kurlansky, Mark. The Basque History of the World. New York, Walker. 1999.

“The Majority of Jai Alai Players are Basque.” Dania-Jai-Alai. www.dania-jai-alai.com/page14.htm. 2/8/00.

John Tietz

http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/oldworld/europe/basque.html
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2007, 01:17:07 am »

Myths and Legends

Taken from "Folklore and Traditions", one of the series of "The Basque Country, Come and then pass the word" 2nd edition, January 1993 Author: Angel Murua, Published by: Gobierno Vasco, Departamento de Comercio, Consuma, y Turismo. Viceconsejeria de Turismo.


Even most primitive Man felt the need to give meaning to the phenomena and natural cycles which conditioned his existence. He interpreted them, named them, found an explanation for them, and with these answers built up his own myths, legends, and religions. These formed the framework for his relation with nature and with anything else in his environment which was incomprehensible or supposedly magic.

Primitive Basque man was converted to Christianity very late. He was also all but cut off from other cultures by an inhospitable and very inaccessible geography. Thus he came to invent a vast collection of myths and legends which still exist today thanks to the great Basque oral tradition. For him the mountains and valleys developed an almost human significance, and in the bowels of the earth ran rivers of milk, out of the reach of mortals. Two powers ruled nature and their designs conditioned human life: the god of the firmament, "Ost" or "Ortzi" - equivalent to the Roman god Jupiter, the Greek Zeus or the Germanic Thor, and "Ilargia", the moon, a feminine force which emerged from the world of hidden things. "Ost" and "Eguzki", the light of the sun, belonged to the day, to the earth, since it was from the earth that the sun rose and to the earth that it returned every day. "Ilargia" though, belonged to the world of the deceased, of souls, to the hidden side of existence and nature. The Basques are very closely in touch with the moon and its cycles, and this figure appears in numerous myths, rites and legends. The female divinity of the ancient Basques was "Mari", the lady or gentlewoman who lived in the caves which reach deep down to the center of the earth. Although she could take on different forms, she showed herself as a breathtakingly beautiful woman, and moved from one mountain to the next crossing the sky like a fireball. Any area which holds itself in esteem will have a model of the dwelling of Mari placed on its highest peak, for example the mountains of Gorbea, Anboto, Aketegi or the Aralar range...

Important characters somewhere between gods and men are the lords of the wood, the "basajaunak", uncommonly strong shaggy beings, who worked the land before man. Man gained the right to cultivate the land when San Martin, having won a bet, seized the seeds from the lords of the wood. Beside brooks and on shores, the "lamiak", or "lamintildeak" comb their long hair with golden combs. These seductive creatures resembling mermaids - or who have bird's legs - can tempt mortals to their downfall.

The house, "etxea" is the refuge and temple of the Basque people - the element which gives them their identity and their name, and which is preserved generation after generation. The home is protected against evil spirits by fire, laurel, ash leaves or dried thistle heads, "eguzki-lorea", literally, flower of the sun. The home, every home, was perpetuated - after the arrival of Christianity - in the church, where every family had its place reserved, the "yarleku", just as in a graveyard there is a family tomb. The arrival of Christianity diminished the public circulation for these beliefs, but they continued to be shared in private. When Jesus Christ, "Kixmie" arrived, the super-natural beings to whom the Basques, before Christianization, attributed almost miraculous abilities and deeds, disappeared. And the beliefs began to become myths and legends.

Places Where Spirits are Seen in Basque Imagination

In the mountains which surround Oiartzun there are some mysterious circles of stones set into the earth. These are the work of Intxitxu, the invisible spirit who builds cromlechs.

In Ataun, if you go towards the openings of the grottos of Armontaitz and Malkorburu, you can see the strange prints of Irelu, the underground spirit who seizes anyone who bothers him. On the summit of Ubedi you can catch the strains of his song, mingled with the whistling wind.

Between the Pentildeas de Orduntildea and the caves of Balzola (Dima) and Montecristo (Mondragon), lives a dreadful snake, Erensuge, who attracts human beings with his breath, only to devour them.

Sometimes in Albistur and Zegama you may be surprised by a sudden jolt of the flock of sheep and at the same time the disturbing echo of distant cries. This is how the Basajaun, the lords of the woods, announce their presence, thus warning the shepherds of the area that there is a storm on the way.

Kortezubi. Round about the caves of Santimamiñe, Sagastigorri and Covairada, you might come across a completely red-haired bull, cow, or calf with a fierce expression in its eyes. This is Beigorri, guardian of the houses of Mari, the principal spirit or goddess of Basque mythology. The animal is depicted in the prehistoric paintings on the walls of the Santimamiñe caves.


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http://dametzdesign.com/euzkadi.html#Myths%20and%20Legends
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2007, 01:18:00 am »

Writes Charles Berlitz in his book Atlantis: The Eighth Continent --



"The Berber tribes of North Africa retain their own legends of Atalla, a warlike

kingdom off the African coast with rich mines of gold, silver, and tin, which sent

not only these metals but conquering armies to Africa. . . .



"The ancient Gauls, as well as the Irish, Welsh, and British Celts, believed that

their ancestors came from a continent that sank into the Western Sea, the latter

two naming this lost paradise Avalon.



"The Basques, a racial and linguistic island in south-western France and northern

Spain, believe that they are the descendants of Atlantis, which they call Atlaintika.

It is current belief among the Portuguese that Atlantis (Atlantida) once existed near

Portugal and that parts of it, the Azores Islands, are still pushing up their peaks from

under the sea. The Iberian peoples of southern Spain trace a direct kinship to Atlantis and are increasingly aware that Spain still owns what may have been a part of the Atlantean empire -- the Canary Islands. Here, curiously, the name Atalaya is still current as a place name, and the original inhabitants, when discovered, claimed to be the only survivors of a worldwide disaster.



"The Vikings believed that Atli was a wondrous land in the west . . . Phoenician

and Carthaginian seafarers were reportedly familiar with a thriving western island

that they called Antilla, but tended to keep secret their knowledge for reasons of

commerce and colonization" (Atlantis, the Eighth Continent, Charles Berlitz, p.9).

http://www.triumphpro.com/atlantis2.htm
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