There is little to no research on the folklore of the Basques, and what little that has been done is outdated. The Basques are a people that have long intrigued anthropologists, linguists, geneticists, and folklorists. Previous research has attempted to find an origin of the Basque language, and has acknowledged the genetic uniqueness of the Basques and attempted to discover why. The folklore of the Basques was collected almost a century ago and there are no contemporary collections of current Basque folklore. I have attempted to solve this problem by contributing to the literature on the folklore of the Basques. To do this, I interviewed nine women in the Basque community in Idaho about the folklore that is still celebrated today. I found that festivals, religious beliefs, music, stories (family stories, songs, improvised poetry called bertsolaritza, and dance), and the Basque language are the instruments of contemporary folklore of the Boise Basques. This paper introduces the term folklore, provides an overview of the Basques in Spain and the Basques in Idaho, and an analysis of the folklore and how it contributes to the creation of the Basque-American identity. It is the first step to creating a new collection of folklore and understanding the Basque people as the unique people they are.


Frese, Pamela

Second Advisor

Aguilar, Joseph


English; Sociology and Anthropology


Basque Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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