There are times when we are completely taken aback by our complete ignorance (that of those writing here) of fundamental aspects of our culture and history. Part of this ignorance is likely due to our inability to research and study our culture as much as we’d like in order to get to know everything. But it’s mostly due to, and this is what we truly believe, the fact that those responsible for sharing this knowledge do not do so. It’s not that we don’t know a good part of the arguments covered in this text; it’s just that when the Basques look into them, they call them the rants of nationalists making up their own history, rather than recognizing them as the most widely accepted theories for describing prehistoric Europe. Meanwhile, Spanish schools are still teaching the story of Viriathus, the Lusitanian caudillo who fought the Romans for the independence of Spain.
We’re bringing all this up after having read an amazing website, Europa Indígena, this weekend. It covers the origins of Europe, of the Old Europe. It dedicates a whole chapter to the traditional Basque culture, as the clearest and most evident nexus that is maintained with that early pacifist, cooperative, and egalitarian culture whose leading figure is the Mother Goddess, the goddess Mari of the Basques.
Thanks to this website, we’ve discovered (we admit) the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas and her huge contributions to knowing what Europe was like before the Indo-European invasion. But more than anything, we got to find out her thoughts on the Basque People:
The Basque language is a pre-Indo-European relic of the ancient western European
languages. It is the only indigenous language to survive the Indo-European invasions and cultural influences of the last three thousand years. The Basque people themselves have retained a remarkable ability to integrate new influences without losing their cultural identity. Indeed, they remain the great exception to all the laws of European political and cultural history. There is no doubt that the Basques are living Old Europeans whose traditions descend directly from Neolithic times. Many aspects of Old European culture-goddess religion, the lunar calendar, matrilineal inheritance laws, and agricultural work performed by women-continued in Basque country until the early twentieth century. … The system of laws governing succession in the French Basque region reflected total equality between the sexes.
Marija Gimbutas, “The Living Goddesses”.
The whole website is extremely interesting, but the third chapter in the second part is especially so, as it discusses the Basques directly.
LA CULTURA TRADICIONAL VASCA (Un nexo con la Vieja Europa)
14.- La Diosa Mari
15.- El Matriarcalismo vasco
16.- El euskera (la lengua indígena de Europa)
17.- Etimología del euskera (los sonidos de la naturaleza)
TRADITIONAL BASQUE CULTURE (a nexus with Old Europe)
14.- The Goddess Mari
15.- Basque Matriarchy
16.- The Basque Language (The Indigenous Language of Europe)
17.- Basque Etymology (the Sounds of Nature)
All this, we believe, is directly linked with all the information about the Basque origin of European colonization that we’ve blogged about before.
This work, penned by Guillermo Piquero, dedicates two chapters to the Basque language, which he defines as the “indigenous language of Europe“, a title in Spanish which it had already been given in Scientific American, which published an article by Elisabeth Hamel, Teho Vennemann, Peter Foster titled “La lengua originaria de los europeos prehistóricos (The Original Language of Prehistoric Europeans)” in January 2003, giving that role to the Basque language. We blogged about the article here, and you can read the whole article itself here.
To finish, we couldn’t help copying a quote Menendez Pidal gives to the Basque regarding their language. It’s one that works well at silencing those who wonder, in their ignorance and ethnocentrism, which the language should be supported and preserved.
Tenéis la fortuna de que vuestro pueblo sea depositario de la reliquia más venerable de la antigüedad hispana. Otras tendrán más valor artístico, serán más admiradas y codiciadas universalmente, pero no hay otra que tenga la importancia de esta lengua.
You all are fortunate that your people hold the most venerable relic of Hispanic antiquity. Others may have greater artistic value, or be more universally admired and coveted, but there is no other which has the importance of this language.
We’ll leave you with the extra reports we found on this thrilling topic: several links to Wikipedia, and a report on the work of this amazing scientist which helps us understand her extremely important work.
You can also find a list of this researcher’s works here.
La cultura tradicional vasca
“El euskera es una reliquia de las antiguas lenguas de Europa occidental, no sólo prerrománica, sino pre-indoeuropea. Es la única lengua autóctona que ha podido superar las invasiones e influjos culturales de los últimos 3000 años. Los vascos han demostrado una gran capacidad para integrar esos influjos sin perder su personalidad cultural. Constituyen, de hecho, la gran excepción de las leyes de la historia política y cultural de Europa. No hay duda alguna de que sus tradiciones descienden directamente de los tiempos neolíticos. Muchos aspectos culturales de la Vieja Europa (la religión de la Diosa, la utilización del calendario lunar, el parentesco matrilineal y la responsabilidad de la mujer en la agricultura perduraron hasta principios del siglo XX (…) En el sistema legal autóctono no se le daba preferencia al hombre sobre la mujer”. Marija Gimbutas, “The living Goddesses”.
Biografía de Marija Gimbutas (Wikipedia)
Kurgan hypothesis (Wikipedia)