By John Bieter, Mark Bieter
In an everlasting Legacy, brothers John and Mark Bieter chronicle 3 generations of Basque presence in that kingdom from 1890 to the current, an enticing tale that starts off with a couple of solitary sheepherders and follows their evolution into the fashionable ethnic neighborhood of at the present time. the 1st Basques to reach in Idaho have been mostly younger, unmarried, bad, and illiterate, and such a lot have been heavily pointed out with sheepherding. Their cultural, non secular, and linguistic transformations remoted them from their non-Basque associates, and so they tended to shape connections nearly solely with different Basques. through the second one iteration, Idaho's Basques had assimilated of their public lives whereas retaining their Basque traditions via dances, picnic fairs, and physical games. Third-generation Basques, commonly absolutely assimilated, have paralleled the nationwide development of cultivating the ethnicity in their grandparents, discovering in it either a feeling of neighborhood and a different own identification. As this well-documented heritage demonstrates, Idaho's Basques have develop into one of many West's so much profitable ethnic minorities. yet they also are one of the such a lot lively teams in retaining and cultivating the traditions and tradition in their immigrant grandparents in which Idaho's Basques are keeping their ties with either the traditions of the prior and the fashionable eu Basque place of origin. they've got created a way of life that's neither simply Basque nor simply American. Their event deals wealthy perception into the advanced technique through which immigrants develop into American whereas maintaining their certain cultural id and roots.
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Extra resources for An Enduring Legacy : The Story of Basques in Idaho
It was the dumpiest thing that you’d ever want to be in. It had fifteen bedrooms, one toilet upstairs, no bath, just a shower, and one toilet downstairs, and that was the size of the thing-and we bought it. We paid twelve thousand dollars for it. It was hard to buy lumber and other supplies during the war years. I was buying stuff black market. But we did it. We also built the bar, and it was nothing but hard work from then on. “I had always said to myself, when I was a girl growing up in a A N E N D U R I N G LEGACY boardinghouse, that I would never, never end up in a boardinghouse again,” she said.
After thirty-five years of herding, one Basque was beginning to wear down, and his eyesight was failing him. He suggested to his employer that he should pay him off and he would leave. His employer, fond of the herder and grateful 39 AN E N D U R I N G LEGACY for his decades of loyalty, teased him sarcastically: “I always knew that you Basques couldn’t be depended upon,” he said. ” The herder stood silent in front of his boss, twisting his hat in his thick, weathered, calloused hands, and with a determined look said, “I’m no quitter.
Carrying all their possessions with them and hoping that they would not be lost or stolen, the immigrants queued up, waiting for officials to spit out questions about their health, their financial situation, their politics. Many in these lines lost their family name or had it radically altered as officials struggled to record the unfamiliar names and spellings. Doctors poked and probed them in search of fleas, lice, and the contagious eye disease trachoma. Immigrants hoped they would not receive a chalked letter on their clothing ( L for lung problem, H for heart disease, X for mental sickness); if they did, it meant they would be subject to further tests and possible deportation.