The Slaying of the Basque Whalers in Iceland (1615) - IV Centenary event

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2015-03-31

In September 1615, after that a violent storm damaged their boats, a group of Basque whalers had to stay in Iceland for months; after a series of clashes with the authorities, the local sheriff ordered the murder of the 32 fishermen, all of them born in Gipuzkoa. That same year, Jón Gudmundsson (aka Jon Laerdi or "wise") wrote an essay about those events entitled "The true story of shipwreck and killing of the Spanish (Basque)," denouncing that the sheriff ordered the assassination innocent people.

These sad events marked the beginning of relations between Basques and Icelanders, but historical research, archaeological excavations and language documents (such as the four dictionaries or pidgin pidgin Basque-Icelandic) show that during the seventeenth century the presence of Basques on the island was very important, and that the exchange between Basques and Icelanders was very successful both commercially and culturally.
 
On this IV. centennial, the Etxepare Basque Institute, the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada (Reno, USA), Barandiaran Chair Chair for Basque Studies at the University of Santa Barbara and AIB Friendship Association Basque Country Iceland have organized an academic conference,  a cultural event and a symbolic event of reconciliation. This program has been funded by the Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia - local government of Gipuzkoa (Basque Country)-  and the Government of Iceland.

In September 1615, after that a violent storm damaged their boats, a group of Basque whalers had to stay in Iceland for months; after a series of clashes with the authorities, the local sheriff ordered the murder of the 32 fishermen, all of them born in Gipuzkoa. That same year, Jón Gudmundsson (aka Jon Laerdi or "wise") wrote an essay about those events entitled "The true story of shipwreck and killing of the Spanish (Basque)," denouncing that the sheriff ordered the assassination innocent people.

These sad events marked the beginning of relations between Basques and Icelanders, but historical research, archaeological excavations and language documents (such as the four dictionaries or pidgin pidgin Basque-Icelandic) show that during the seventeenth century the presence of Basques on the island was very important, and that the exchange between Basques and Icelanders was very successful both commercially and culturally.
 
On this IV. centennial, the Etxepare Basque Institute, the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada (Reno, USA), Barandiaran Chair Chair for Basque Studies at the University of Santa Barbara and AIB Friendship Association Basque Country Iceland have organized an academic conference,  a cultural event and a symbolic event of reconciliation. This program has been funded by the Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia - local government of Gipuzkoa (Basque Country)-  and the Government of Iceland.

 

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