Etniker Groups

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The early work on the Ethnographic Atlas of the Basque Country required research teams, known as Etniker, to be set up and distributed throughout Euskal Herria. Barandiaran himself took charge of organising them in the different provinces in the early 1970s.

  • Etniker-Navarra: It was set up in 1969, as a complement to the Basque Ethnology Chair held by José Miguel de Barandiaran at the University of Navarra. The initial research was published as ethnographic monographs of the surveyed locations began to be published in Cuadernos de Etnología y Etnografía de Navarra from that very year onwards.
  • Etniker-Gipuzkoa: From 1954 onwards, Barandiaran ran an Ethnology Seminary in San Sebastián under the Aranzadi Natural Science Society. In 1972, the first attempts began to form a working group for the Etniker project. That group was formalised as Etniker Gipuzkoa in Ataun in 1974.
  • Etniker-Álava: The early attempts to form this group were at the Sociedad Excursionista Iradier de Vitoria in 1971. In 1973, a research group was established in the Ethnology Section of the Culture Department at Álava Provincial Council. The members of the Etniker Álava Group formed the Alavés Ethnography Seminary and set up the Ohitura journal where the results of their research referring to Álava were published.
  • Etniker-Bizkaia: After an initial attempt at Euskal Kultur Mintegia at Deusto University, Etniker Bizkaia was started at the Basque Library of the Derio Diocesan Seminary, where José Miguel de Bizkaia presented the research project in May 1972. On 10 July of that year, the group was officially formed with the signing by Barandiaran in Axlor-Dima. In 1975, they began to publish an internal newsletter called Etniker Bizkaia.

Therefore, the Etniker research plan was already underway in all the provinces of the Basque Country falling within Spain by the mid 1970s.

Much later, in 1986, members of the Lauburu Association of Baiona formed the Etniker-Iparralde Group. Several members of the Association had been working on ethnographic issues and joined the Ethnographic Atlas project.

In 1976, the first joint meeting of the Etniker Groups was held at the Aralar Sanctuary. The groups have meet annually since then, taking turns to organise it in their territory.