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Tales of the Basajaun

Tales of the Basajaun are rooted deep in Basque tradition, but reported sightings are rare.
The stories of this being comes from the religion  of the early Basque dwellers. [The Basque Country is the name given to the home of the Basque people, located in the western Pyrenees, encompassing the border between Spain and France along the coast of the Bay of Biscay. Euskal Herria is the oldest documented Basque name for the area they live in, dating from the 16th century.] It is considered by some to be merely a personification of a wood spirit. There is also a theory that suggests the legend of Basajaun originates from the Basque interaction with the Neanderthals.

Around 40,000 years ago, the Neanderthals were more developed than the existing homo-sapiens of the time. The Neanderthals are credited with erecting the first monoliths and were said to construct wooden huts inside the caves where they lived. They were proficient hunters and tool makers and mastered the art of making glue from birch tee resin. This glue was used to bind stone to wood in making certain tools.
The Basque language is the oldest in Europe and its origins date back to the Neolithic period, and perhaps even further back. So the legends of Basajaun appear to go back many, many years.

There is a parallel between the Basajaun and the Neanderthals.

Rooted in Basque tradition, Basajaunak [plural] are said to be large, human-like creatures with human-like characteristics. They use extraordinary physical force and have great agility. Their body is covered in hair, nearly covering up the face, chest and belly. The feet are similar to humans.

Basajaunak live in the densest forest and in the labyrinthine caves of the Pyrenees. They are considered friends, not dangerous. They watch over the forests and protect the livestock of the farmers. They will give warning roars or cries to warn shepherds when any predator comes near their flocks. Just their presence near a flock of sheep is considered enough to keep packs of wolves away. They will also give warning of any storm approaching, so that the shepherds can take their flocks to places of safety.

Known also as teachers, they shared their knowledge in milling, forging, and crop cultivation with the peoples living there. They passed on knowledge of making tools. Basajaunak are also said to build monoliths. Any reports made of encounters with them seem to stay true to the legend in both appearance and behavior.

Despite the legend of a friendly being, Freaktown Comics used the legend of Basajaun and made him a violent being in "The Dark of the Forest". It tells a horror tale of a group of bird watchers who come up against  "something particularly protective of the forest and [is] willing to kill anyone that gets in its way."

One of the few reports of an encounter with a Basajaun comes from a group of cave explorers in 1993. When entering some church ruins in the Catalan Pyrenees to make camp, they were startled by a "hulking, five-foot-tall, shaggy-haired being" which wailed like "an enraged cat". It fled the ruins after seeing them.

The only recent photo that appears to be on the internet is a photo that is said to have been taken by a young girl in 2011. While out hiking with her family in Artikutza, she captured the image on her phone. The photo she took is at the start of this post.

[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]

Nancy

"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."
 

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.


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