This specific project called Artzainak Gogoan (“Remembering the Sheepherders”) was supported by the Basque Government to provide an online follow-up to the what was initially directed by Liz Hardesty. [Click on initial project proposal]. This is the fruition of the successful collaboration among the Basque Government, the Basque Museum, and the Basque Global Collaborative of Boise State University. It comprises a part of a larger proposal we call Ahaztu Barik which means “not forgotten” that will continue to be developed. This event will inaugurate a new webpage on the Basque Museum’s new website to provide an online database so that friends and relatives might be able to connect with their departed ancestors. Special thanks to Meggan Laxalt and her team for bringing this to a successful completion.
Remembering Our Basque Ancestors
Memorial Ceremony – July 28, 4:00pm
Morris Hill Cemetery, St. John’s Section, Boise, Idaho
Many Basques are at final rest in the St. John’s Section at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise, Idaho. While most are honored with grave markers, it was discovered that some early Basques were buried without being properly identified, and the grave sites of some Basques individuals have never been identified. Boisean Liz Hardesty led a community project in 1997 to identify and mark the missing grave sites of about 120 Basques. Liz and her team located 64 burial sites at Morris Hill. Boise Basque Dorothy Bicandi Aldecoa generously funded grave markers for those persons. Mrs. Aldecoa then honored the remaining Basques who could not be located with a communal memorial stone that stands proudly in the Basque area in St. John’s Section at the cemetery. The monument inscription bears the names of those not yet located, with the statement: “You are not forgotten.” Soon after, the Basque Government initiated an attempt to compile as many records as possible into a website. This phase was Artzainak Gogoan, an attempt to locate the birthplaces of the Basques in those in this phase.
Ahatzu Barik is Phase Three of the Hardesty-Aldecoa project. It is a newly-researched phase that focuses on verifiable information about those Basques whose burial sites are confirmed, such as Basque Country birthplaces, some parents, death dates, causes of death in America, and plot locations. A searchable website adds global accessibility to this more extensive information that will encourage exchanges among Basques aross miles and years. Ahatza Barik honors those Basques who have gone before us, ensuring that their lives and memories will never be forgotten.
Ahatzu Barik uses the eguzkilore, a dried sunflower, as its symbol. Ancient Basques placed eguzkilore on their homes to ward off evil, provide strength, and protect families. The tradition also served as the first greeting to those who entered the home. Similarly, the eguzkilore represents an initial greeting from our Basque Ancestors to all who attend the Boise Basque festival of San Inazio.
Izan zirelako gara; garelako izango dira: because of them we are, and because of us, they will be. We hope to see you there.
The Basque eguzkilore (“sunflower”) was the symbol chosen for this project. Traditionally in the Basque Country a dried sunflower would be displayed: though in sense the plant was dead, it was still alive but it was present and remembered. Ahuztu barik!
Panels developed by Meggan Laxalt.