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Basque sheepherders who have worked in America will get together in Pamplona on September 15


Event poster organized by Euskal Artzainak Ameriketan
Event poster organized by Euskal Artzainak Ameriketan


The Euskal Artzainak Ameriketan (Basque Sheepherders in America) Association will celebrate the seventh edition of the American Sheepherder festival, that takes place in Pamplona this year. The event will gather herders from both Hegoalde and Iparralde in hopes of honoring those men and their families who immigrated to the US during the mid-twentieth century and their families. This year the festival will include, for the first time, institutional recognition from the Government of Navarre. A photographic exhibit on the theme is being shown at the Palacio del Condestable in Pamplona as an appetizer to the event.

Iruña-Pamplona.  Everything is ready for the Basque Sheepherders in America celebration on September 15.  This year’s event marks the seventh organized by the Euskal Artzinak Ameriketan, an active association that is comprised by a Board of a dozen of returned herders and their descendants. They are the nucleus of a much larger group of people that in prior editions have succeeded in gathering around one thousand people between herders and their families. 

According to event organizers, this year’s celebration will include a special remembrance of Kepa Mallea, friend of the association that was killed last year in Santutxu. Mallea created an important database of immigrant shepherds. 

The program will begin at 10:30 with mass at the San Nicolas church, with the collaboration of the Otxote Orbela and Bankako Menditarrak choir.  Following, there will a visit to the Weapons Room at the Citadel, an institutional act organized by the Government of Navarre and Iruña-Pamplona’s City Hall.  At noon there will be music at the public college Iturrama, where lunch will also be served closing out the day’s celebration. 

The celebration is being preceded by an exhibit on the life of Basque herders in the US, that can be seen until September 14 at the Palacio del Condestable in Pamplona.  This is the 7th edition of the event.  The first took place in 2006 in Lesaka, and afterwards there was a double celebration in Aldude and Gernika, in Elizondo, in Auritz-Burguete, in Sunbilla and last year in Eugi-Zubiri, where 700 people gathered for lunch.

-For more information go to the Euskal Artzinak Ameriketan Facebook page:



  • Closer to home

    We´ll do. Basque gatherings happen very often in the States, not such as this one. If you mean related to sheepherders, Sheepherder's Ball is a well known annual traditional gathering originally linked to sheepherders organized by Basques in places like Boise, Idaho (in December) or Mountain Home, Idaho (around february) and similar gatherins happen in other places like Ontario, Oregon etc., 09/14/2012 08:34

  • get - togethers

    I would be interested in these, only closer to home!! please inform me of any gatherings in Oregon or Idaho (USA) Thank you very much!!

    Jim Peery, 09/14/2012 02:26

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