the house in Iparralde
“ the Basque traditional house is an institution of economic, social and religious nature, integrated in a family, which represents the current inhabitants in communion with the heart of the ancestors. It is carrying a tradition, in charge of religious functions which it cannot give up. All this modelled the etxe so that it could enjoy the Right of asylum; it was inviolable and was to be transmitted intact, undivided, within the family. (…) The family is the company of those which have same blood and are plain at the same house. She is consisted the parents, the children and the ancestors. They have the same house for refuge, work place and of meeting, vault and fall. This house, as well as the grounds and the goods which are attached to him, maintain strongly plain, until our days, at the house, those of the house. ” It is this feeling of Co-dependence family/house which the term Gure Etxea translates (cf P1 photograph, and first stanza of the poem Sortetxeari below).
The social life and policy of the Basques are organized around the etxe or etche . Only the owners household heads of a house attended the assemblies of the village. It is the initial element of integration in the community. The elder one of the family inherited the house. Until the 17th century, it is frequent that the name of the house becomes the patronym of the child who is born to with it. Witness of the importance that the Basques granted to their houses, today still whole families bear names of houses, like Etcheverry - > new house, Harguindeguy - > workshop of the mason, etc That it is of noble statute, frank or fivatière (dependant on another house), the terms of " maison" and d'" homme" were interchangeable and like synonyms.
According to Caro Baroja, the word etxe appears as of the 12th century in the “Guide of the pilgrim of Compostelle”. In old documents Navarrese, one finds the forms: Echeverri , Echerry , Echarry and with the the Middle Ages: Echagüe , Echano , Echarri like Esceverrianensis for “ Etcheverria ”. The word bait is in toponyms alavais 11th century (a document of 1025, coming from San Millá N, quotes two Essavarri in the district of Gamboa) Let us recall finally that the first name “Xavier” (Xabier) drift of the word Basque exaberri (new house, are equivalent Basque of Cazenave or Casanova ).
In the Basque Country, the houses vary according to the valley S, according to the geographical surfaces… The traditional houses in the Basque countryside take again enough a plan running, those being used to accommodate the men and their animals under the same roof.
Because of its initial construction, by additions of posts and firm S, and of the nature of the grounds, the Basque house does not have a cellar and it is posed, without Fondation, on the ground.
The Basque house was designed initially by the Charpentier S ( mahisturu ), on the basis of infrastructure conceived around Ferme S out of wood. Outside is recognizable by its wood sides. Inside, the spaced vertical supports several meters start from only one wood of the ground to the frame (" wood longs" houses;). Thereafter, the stone was employed like basic support, wood being relegated to the first level (or Grenier) * or only for the Charpente. The Maçon S ( hargin ) thus took the place of the carpenters in the design of the dwellings. This evolution was supported by a more favorable economic situation, making it possible the population to finance a more expensive material, and by the fire hazard which the old masonries ran.
Rare are the houses which one can currently see which goes back to before the end from the 16th century. The country ruined by the wars of religion rectifies under Henri IV and seems struck of a frenzy of construction: according to a report drawn up by the care of the Sénéchaussée of Bayonne and recorded to the General Treasury of Bordeaux the May 25th 1608, it has been known as that in Labourd, the large, average and different houses, built for thirty years are 3.500.
The house innate Labourd
It consists of a rectangular block, Parallélépipède long, narrow and high, which evolves/moves according to the reconversions (agriculture towards the intensive breeding for example) or of the enlarging of the family (thus giving the so characteristic aspect dissymmetrical final (cf P2 photograph), often noted in Labourd, which is thus a resultant of transformations of the house and not an initial plan standard), surmounted by a Toiture with two soft inclined slopes although the climate is rainy (the tiles channel have neither hole, nor edge making it possible to hang them. Moreover the weak slope less catch offers to the wind), of Faîtage parallel at the large side, overflowing much in the east and little or not in the west.
Each of the four frontages is treated differently of the three others because of their adaptation to the climatic conditions:
- the frontage is , largely bored with its characteristic porch (lorio), is surrounded by three masonry walls. It is particularly neat. The main door in general is very worked, the Linteau ( atalarri ) giving information on the owners (cf photo P3). It also often has a religious function, the Sun being compared to the eye of God ( Iguzki : the rising sun or the eye of God, one of the two girls of Husband , the ground, beside Ilarguia , the moon or the face of God - cf photo P4 - this detail finds in all the Basque Country). On the entry of the house various plants are thus fixed representing the sun (flowers of carding brush) and preserving the lightning ( tximista will kontra - one also has the tiles in the shape of cross, on the roof of the house). The cock, engraved on a lintel, heralding the rising sun ( eguzkiari will begira ), translates the same belief.
- the western pinion is blind and can go up above the roof, near the Océan.
- the northern side wall is bored openings small and very few illuminant or serving the zones of secondary interest.
- the southern frontage is more largely open to benefit from the sun all while being protected some via before roof.
The lorio , characteristic of the house labourdine, comes from the enlarging of the overhang of the Encorbellement which provided a shelter to strip the Maïs. It provided a shelter in front of the entry (surface of deposit for the goods or rest and waiting for the Mulet S with the stop) and could be used for the assemblies of village. It is often surmounted by a lintel of wood, in general of only one part, its range being then limited to 7 or 8 Mr.
The frame ( zuralde ) in Chêne is very robust, is conceived to resist the rain and the strong winds. Side air intakes, arising on the Eastern frontage ensure him, like with the roofs, a very good ventilation (useful to keep the hayloft - seilharu - healthy and for the drying of hams, the tiny openings in the shape of triangle of anything are not thus intended for the pigeons). It is built to support the heavy cover in tiles red channel clearly. The massive and simple chimneys are generally laid out in north, thus avoiding having to exceed the Faîtage for reasons of pulling.
The most exposed windows are often surmounted by a water rejection surface made up in the beginning of a simple sandstone flagstone driven horizontally in the wall, exceeding from 15 to 20 cm. (see photo P5).
The full shutters out of wood with bar are painted same color as the other pieces of wood of the frontages or frame. They are in general of a rather dark red said red Basque (in the beginning, the blood of Bœuf was used to coat the pieces of wood, mixing a ritual aspect with the practical aspect - the ox blood was famous to have protective virtues against the insects and rotting). One also finds, as from the 19th century a very dark blue, kind of Prussian blue, or a “major” green also dark, and sometimes a very clear gray. With Arcangues, the Marquis d' Arcangues introduced a clearer blue. Contrasts of the color with the limed white (once per annum, often in June before the Corpus Christi) of the walls confer on the frontage this lightness distinctive and surprising for a relatively massive and imposing house, that one does not find in Low-Navarre.
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