Saturday, September 10, 2011

Traditional Costumes : Postage Stamps Spain

After the costume stamps of Aragon, we move now furher to the west to Navarre and Basque Country. Both Navarre and the Basque Country are autonomous communities in northern Spain. Basque is spoken in large parts of Navarre and in all three provinces of Basque Country: Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa. The traditional costume for the men is made up of a red sash and scarf (a pañuelico or pañuelo), worn with a pair of white pants and white shirt. Red was adopted as the official color because it is a festive color, but blue, green, black or checkered also exist. The white pants and shirt are adaptations of the simple, traditional clothing worn by farm workers and other laborers and is also adopted by pelota players in Navarra and the Basque country. The sash was the belt; the pañuelo was worn around the neck and used to wipe away the sweat of a hard days work. The shoes are espadrilles and the cap is the traditional Basque béret (boina) in either black or red. The women wear a red skirt, black petticoat, white blouse, white headscarf, black apron and on their feet laced leather sandals with woolen socks, or white espadrilles decorated with red ribbons. Only in some valleys of Navarre, there still exist some very different traditional costumes, more like the ones of Huesca in neighboring Aragon. The first stamp above shows such a beautiful antique costume of Valle del Roncal in Navarre. It is from a very large costume series issued from 1967 to 1971. All other stamps show the more usual red and white Basque costumes. The second stamp above celebrates the "running of the bulls" at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, the capital city of Navarre.

The next two stamps show the costumes of Álava and Gipuzkoa. Both stamps are again from the large costume series of 1967-1971.

The next two stamps show the costumes of Biscay. The first one is again from the large costume series of 1967-1971. The second one is from a series of Spanish Zarzuela's issued in 1983, with a scene from "El Caserio" from Basque composer Jesús Guridi Bidaola.

You can find Navarre (grey) and the Basque Country (purples) on this map of Spain (in the north):


Erika Price said...

I don't know how you do it, P8 - your stamp collection is amazing!!!

artenini said...

This is a great post, P8! As someone from Pamplona, it was very interesting to read :)