This article was translated by John R. Bopp
The website of “Western Horseman” has a long, detailed, and very interesting article dedicated to the Basque presence in the Far West in its “Classic Articles” section.
It tells us about the presence and the participation of the members of this “people without a state” in the history of this part of the US from the middle of the 19th century. That is, it focuses on the history where Basques in that part of the world at that time take part, because the role of these Basques in the colonial history of what is today the US Pacific Coast was also very relevant.
In the article, we can find references to their works as shepherds; to their hard-working spirit that led them to become business owners and move up the social ladder; to the extraordinary information they left etched in trees (and about which we’ve spoken on many occasions); about their lonely work in isolated places far from human contact; the cultural heritage their heirs keep (very) alive; etc. It’s a broad review of the history of the Basques and their role in the history of the United States.
It is definitely required reading for those who want to get to know the history of their compatriots in that part of the world a little better.
Western Horseman – – USA
Basque Ranching Culture Thrives
In the annals of western history, there is perhaps an overfictionalization of the conflicts between sheep and cattle on western ranges. There were some range wars, but in reality, both sheep and cattle were often run on the same ranch, especially in the Great Basin. A good example is northeastern Nevada’s Spanish Ranch, where at one time reportedly 18,000 head of cattle and 12,000 sheep ran on the same ranch. This ranch today still runs both sheep and cattle, though not in those numbers.
Basque Sheep Herder – Oregon Historical Society Research Library bb003838