Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Basque: Innovation by Culture
Visitors to the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival can explore the Basque Country’s unique language and distinct cultural heritage.
This year the Folklife Festival celebrates resilient communities around the world. Discover how the Basque Country sustains culture, drawing on traditions to innovate in a rapidly changing world. Learn renowned cooking techniques and phrases in the Euskara language. Experience bertsolaritza poetry competitions and stone-lifting matches. Drink a refreshing glass of cider or rioja wine and meet master artisans.
The Basque Country is a region that spans borders. Located in northern Spain and southwestern France, straddling the Pyrenees Mountains, its spirit can be felt on the sheep-grazed mountains of Idaho, in fishing communities from Scotland to Newfoundland, and in towns across Mexico and Argentina. From an early period, Basques looked beyond their borders for resources and inspiration, a trait that keeps them on the cutting edge of global economic and sustainability movements. However, their commitment to language and cultural preservation may be the key to their success. To present this intricate tension, musicians, dancers, boat makers, cooks, and other experts from the Basque Country and diaspora communities will share their unique traditions and perspectives as part of the Basque: Innovation by Culture program.