This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We’ve blogged about Sun Valley in southern Idaho many times on the blog.  It’s a place that is intimately linked with the history of the Basques.  Or, if you prefer, the history of this place is intimately linked with the Basques.  There was where a great friend to the Basques, author Ernest Hemingway (whom we’ve spoken about many times on the blog), spent a lot of time in the 1950s, having long conversations with Pilar and Paulita Arriaga, two Basques who had emigrated there.

Today, the area is more well known for its winter sports facilities.  But before all that, that part of the world, for a long time, was the land of Basque shepherds.  It got to the point that, in the annual The Trailing of the Sheep festival remembering the time when the sheep were moved from their summer grazing grounds to their winter ones, the Basque presence was huge.  By the way, this festival reminds us of one held in Navarre in September, to remember moving the sheep from the Pyrenean Salazar and Roncal Valleys to Las Badernas.

This year, the Idaho Press has published an article penned by Hayden Seder about this festival centered around the lives and stories of the last Basque shepherd in Sun Valley, Alberto Uranga.  Born in Mutriku to a housewife and fisherman, he traveled to the US when he was very young in search of adventure.  He settled down in that part of the US as a shepherd, a job he’d never done before.

The article is worth reading, to get to know the stories of one of our many compatriots living over there better.

As on other occasions, the complex legislation in the EU regarding data privacy means that people in Europe cannot access some websites; this is one of them.  But since the article seemed so interesting to us, we thought it deserved a space in our blog, so we asked them for permission to reproduce the article here in its entirety as well as providing a link to the original so that those of you who are outside the EU GDPR can read it on their website.  They were kind enough to not only give us permission, but also provide us with a .pdf copy of the print edition.  So we thank them for that.  We’re also including a Google automatic translation of the article.

Idaho Press – 6/10/2019 – USA

Basque sheepherder brings annual Trailing of the Sheep to life

Ovejas en Ketchum (Fotografía: Carol Waller)
Sheep in Ketchum (Photo: Carol Waller)

The award-winning annual Trailing of the Sheep event is coming to Ketchum for its 23rd year October 9 to 13. It is a five-day festival including activities such as classes and workshops, dancing, story telling and the big sheep parade of 1,500 sheep going down Main Street, and honors the 150-year-plus tradition of moving sheep — “trailing” them — from high mountain summer pastures down through the valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas in the south.

(Follow) (Automatic translation)

Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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