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Basque Mythology

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Author Topic: Basque Mythology  (Read 3713 times)
Europa
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« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2007, 01:33:42 pm »

Christianity

After Christianization, the Basques kept producing and importing myths.
   The battle of Roncesvalles was mythified in the cycle of the Matter of France.
   In Aralar, Saint Michael was said to appear to assist a local noble turned hermit.
   The coat of arms of Navarre was said to come from a feat in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.
   The battle of Amaiur was the battle where Navarre lost the independence against Castilla.

Modern myths

Besides the religious beliefs of ancient Basques, we can understand mythology to include other stories of emotional, cultural, moral or ethical value to a nation. Taken broadly, then, Basque mythology can include any narrative which has contributed to the shaping of Basque values and belief systems.
Some modern myths were created in the 19th century, as Basque national consciousness arose. Spanish historians and apologists placed the Iberians and Basques in the Babel narrative as descendants of Tubal. Biscayne apologists argued that unlike the rest of Spain, Basque blood had not been polluted by miscegenation with Moors or Jews and, under the system of limpieza de sangre, they were natural born nobles, free of the Castilian taxes and authorities. In the 19th century, Souletin writer Augustin Chaho created Tubal's descendant Aitor to be the forefather of all Basques. Chaho also twisted the name of herensuge (dragon) to create Leherensuge a semi-divine creature that was present at the origins (lehen) and will be present also in the future or end (heren) of the Basque people. In this sense Leherensuge can somehow be associated with Sugaar.
The Guernica Tree also became a symbol of the Basque freedoms. Another tree, the Malato Tree marked the limit of the Basque armies and was used as an argument to refuse Basque involvement in the Spanish military.
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