Honorary MAKILA By Ainciart Bergara - Larressore, Basque Country, France - 1996

Frédéric Coridon


MAKILA of honor

By Ainciart Bergara

Larressore, Basque Country, France


Medlar wood, first grade silver and steel

Long. : 85; Diam. : 3.5cm

The makila is a traditional Basque staff consisting of a blade of sculpted medlar wood with engraved and hallmarked silver mounts. It has the particularity of concealing a four-sided steel spike when the pommel is unscrewed.

The ferrule is cut in sawtooth, incised with floral motifs and hammered with the motto "Behar dena egin zak jin bedi ahal dena", which can be translated as "Do what is necessary and do what you can". . The name of its owner is also inscribed: Jean-Claude Pissard. His initials are also emblazoned on the pommel. A braided natural leather strap is slipped into a ring.

The distal part presents the same work and is signed by the craftsman Ainciart Bergara, located in Larressore and dated 1996. It ends with a so-called clover-shaped steel tip.

Traditionally the makila was offered to a young man to symbolize his entry into the adult world. He also offered himself honorarily.

Ainciart Bergara craftsmen have been practicing for seven generations and are still active today. They are listed in the inventory of intangible cultural heritage.

Text and photos © FCP CORIDON


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