Look Back: 2012 "Elko Jaietan" & NABO Convention

It was a good time in Elko getting our Basque up!  This year's NABO Convention was hosted by the Elko "Euzkaldunak" Basque club, and there was plenty of Basque fun across those three days including Running from the Bulls!  Below are some of those moments.

Many thanks to the members of the Elko "Euzkaldunak" Basque Club for putting on a great festival!  Their work allowed us to play.

Patty Miller of Boise's Basque Museum & Cultural Center addresses the delegates at the NABO meeting on the campus of Great Basin College.  Delegates assemble three times a year to discuss joint initiatives.

The weekend also brought us a delegation from the Basque Government, headed by Lourdes Auzmendi (orange shirt) Minister of Culture and Julian Celaya (pink shirt).  The delegation was gifted cowboy hats (don't read too much into the black hats!).

The NABO delegates were compelled to pose for this photograph or else they were threatened with no lunch!  This next year NABO will be celebrating its 40th anniversary of bringing Basques together in shared ventures.

Announcer Aitor "Klak" Amuchastegui (Boise, ID-right) with Elko musicians Jean Iribarren (clarinet) and Mercedes Mendive (accordion) playing for the Elko "Arinak" dancers at the Friday "kick-off" event.

The NABO Convention is a chance to assemble most of our dance groups on an annual basis; here the Reno "Zazpiak-Bat" cruise by during the Saturday morning parade that winds through the city's main street.

The group "Hartza" during the Saturay morning parade consists of various California city dancers that periodically join together for these NABO Conventions; the name derives the California flag with its prominent bear.

Here the winners of the NABO Junior Mus Tournament, Riley Anema (L) and Kaiet Ysursa (back right) of Chino, CA take on the grown-up challengers as they cruise along the parade route.  The boys insist they defeated the men.

ikurrina The opening ceremonies on Saturay began with the U.S. national anthem, and the defacto Basque national anthem of "Gernikako Arbola" as the Elko Arinak dancers created the Basque flag.

This year's winners of the "Txerri-Besta" NABO Pork Fest Contest were (L to R):
Tripota: Mendiko Euskaldun Kluba (Jean Pierre and Anita Izoco)
Chorizo: Gloria Lejardi (Homedale)
Lukainka: Pete Sarratea (Gardnerville)

Animating the festivities were the American Bertsolari (song improvisers) Jesus Goni (Reno, NV--left) and Martin Goicoechea (Rock Springs, WY).

The Winnemucca "Irrintzi" dancers performing during the Saturday program.  The Winnemucca dancers are regular performers at the Elko festival.

For the youngsters things became animated with the running with the sheep feature.

Boise's Txantxangorriak ("Red Robins") performed both days, featuring diatonic accordion and tambourine music.  Founded in 2000, this groups continues to promote the learning of Basque instruments including the Txalaparta (center).

The Utahko Triskalariak performed on both days.  This group is now into its second generation of dancers, and they are regulars at the Elko festival that add a fine dimension.  (Photo

The Elko festival has always made it a point to feature Basque woodchopping and weightlifting Basque style.  Photo

This year's NABO Pilota champions were Boise's Edu Sarria and Jeremy Malone (in red).  The game requires players to strike a ball about the size and consistency of a baseball so handshakes after a game are always tender.

Saint Valentin
In conjunction with the Basque mass was the dedication of a new Basque patron saint for Basques of Elko, NV and Mountain Home, ID: Balentin Berriotxoa

Boise's Biotzetik choir provided the singing during the Sunday morning Basque mass at the Elko city park.

Three members of the Boise Oinkari dancers perform the "Ezpata dantza" during the consecration of the Basque Mass.

The NABO Convention is about bringing Basques from all corners together; here the young dancers from Bakersfield, Boise and Chino perform together Sunday afternoon.

The human microphone-stand Aitor Amuchastegui is at it again capturing the Boise Oinkari musicians Dan Ansotegui (L) and Anna Mari Mansisidor.

Bizi Emankorra
This year's recipients of NABO's Bizi Emankorra ("Lifetime Contribution") award were Mary Gaztambide (Salt Lake City-left) and Anita Anacabe Franzoia (Elko) with NABO President Valerie Arrachea (San Francisco-center).  On a personal note:  many thanks to Elko's Anita and Bob Echeverria (right) for their assistance in organizing the NABO Convention.

On the way out of Elko, one last stop had to be the Anacabe store on Idaho Street (founded in in 1936) that supplied many a Basque sheepherder and today outfits the worker and outdoorsman.


Bengoetxea Farewell Tour


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