Local Basque Exhibit Heading to Ellis Island


Local Basque history enthusiasts have one night to glimpse the Basque Museum and Cultural Center’s newest exhibit before it’s crated and shipped off to New York City next week. “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Basques” is a six-part exhibition focusing on the journey that hundreds of thousands of Basque immigrants made to the United States in the early 20th century.

The show, which will be on display at the Ellis Island National Monument from Feb. 6 through May 9, begins with a portrait of 104-year-old Boise resident Luciana Aboitiz Garatea (full disclosure, she’s my great step-grandmother.) Garatea narrates her journey embarking from the small coastal town of Lekeitio in Northern Spain through Ellis Island and finally to Boise. The exhibit goes on to chronicle the Basque's unique history and culture of one of the world's smallest isolated ethnic groups.

This First Thursday, Jan. 7, from 6-8 p.m., the Basque Museum is hosting a preview of the exhibit for $30, which includes ample wine and pintxos at Leku Ona and a special guest presentation by Garatea at the Museum at 7 p.m. Tomorrow’s preview event will also include a performance by the sprightly Oinkari Basque Dancers, who will also take their fancy footwork to Ellis Island next month.

Cutting a Rug Basque Style from Boise Weekly on Vimeo.