Click here to view a streaming video of Joxe Mallea
Talking Trees: Basque Sheepherder Arborglyphs, Abstract
Joxe Mallea, Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno
Historians are used to digging in archives, but the idea of having to go into the mountains and get primary information from reading trees, is totally alien. Yet, there are hundreds of aspen groves in the American West that contain precise, localized, and unpublished ethnohistoric sources regarding the sheep industry in the last century. The arborglyphs are an autobiographical monument to the history of the common man, the Basque sheepherders, who actually did most of the sheepherding work.