This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Upgrade:  List of participants. BASQUE, BASQUE-AMERICAN and OTHER SPECIAL GUESTS

At the end of January 2018, the 34th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will be held, celebrating the culture of the cowboys in the western US.

This event got started in 1985 under the name Cowboy Poetry Gathering, organized by the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada.  This festival is part of the tradition of events about the cowboy culture in that part of the North American continent that got started in the 1920s.

Poster for the 34th Annual National Poetry Gathering by Theodore “Ted” Waddell
Poster for the 34th Annual National Poetry Gathering by Theodore “Ted” Waddell

This year, the festival will remember the contribution made by the Basques to the culture of that part of the US.  So, they’ll take a tour, giving attendees an overview of this European culture that has spread far and wide across America, oftentimes closely linked to raising livestock.

There will be bertsolarismo, the Basque troubadours; workshops on traditional Basque cuisine, dance, musical instruments, and carving; and storytelling by Basques and buckaroos who work the ranches of the Great Basin.  Visitors can also see a special exhibit at the Wiegand Gallery at the Western Folklife Center that will be a window to the art, history, and contemporary culture of the Basques in the western United States.

This event will be the third large scale event in as many years in the US, giving great visibility to the Basque presences on the western side of the Atlantic.

The first was the Jaialdi 2015, organized by the Basques themselves, which, as Mark Bieter tells us, was, for many reasons, the best ever.  The second was the 2016 Folklife Festival, which is held every year on the National Mall in Washington, the heart of that nation, which had Basque culture as the featured guest.  And now this, which is going to honor the Basque contribution to cowboy culture.

Whenever we talk about this contribution, we are reminded of what H.D. Miller, the director of the Department of History, Politics, and Philosophy at Lipscomb University in Nashville said: Basque-American: The Authentic Cuisine of the Intermountain West.  We are also reminded of the many sorrows those Basque patriots endured doing those jobs, which are well reflected in the trees in many places around the American West.

We found this information in the Fairfield Sun Times out of Montana.  We’ll leave you with the link to the article, the festival’s website, and the organizers’.

Fairfield Sun Times – 7/9/2017 – USA

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Features Basques & Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond

he 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is January 29-February 3, 2018, in Elko, Nevada. Tickets go on sale to Western Folklife Center members Tuesday, September 5, 2017. Produced by the Western Folklife Center, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is the nation’s original cowboy poetry and music festival. The 2018 Gathering will honor contemporary culture and heritage of Basques and buckaroos in the Great Basin. Many Basques came to the American West to work on sheep and cattle ranches as herders and buckaroos.

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National Cowboy Poetry Gathering –    – USA

BASQUES AND BUCKAROOS: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond

For the 2018 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, we look forward to highlighting special guests and programming honoring the contemporary heritage of Basques and Buckaroos.  Often one in the same, many Basques came to the American West to work on sheep and cattle ranches as herders and buckaroos.

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Western Folklife Center – 4/9/2017 – USA

The Brauns and Bertsolaria at the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Bertsolariak at the National Basque Festival in Elko. Photo by Meg Glaser.
Bertsolariak at the National Basque Festival in Elko. Photo by Meg Glaser.

The 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is chock-full of phenomenal performances, captivating stories, and enlightening learning opportunities. With so much going on and so many wonderful shows it is difficult to choose just a few to highlight. We will continue to share the best of the Gathering in this blog so tune in often. We are very excited that Muzzie Braun is returning to Elko with his sons Willy and Cody, of Reckless Kelly. And of course we can’t wait to present the wonderful traditions of the Basque culture, including the improvised poetry sparring called bertsolaria.

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Elko Daily – 7/9/2017 – USA

34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering to feature ‘Basques & Buckaroos’

Tickets to the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering are on sale now to members of the Western Folklife Center. The nation’s original cowboy poetry and music festival runs from Jan. 29-Feb. 3. The 2018 Gathering will honor contemporary culture and heritage of Basques and buckaroos in the Great Basin

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