This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Basque mythology" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) .mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Basque. (June 2022) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the Basque article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Basque Wikipedia article at [[:eu:Euskal mitologia]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|eu|Euskal mitologia)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A reproduction of a Hilarri, a Basque gravestone, from 1736 with commonly found symbols. Translated from Latin, it reads, "Maria Arros Sagaray died on the 19th day of April, 1736".

The mythology of the ancient Basques largely did not survive the arrival of Christianity in the Basque Country between the 4th and 12th century AD. Most of what is known about elements of this original belief system is based on the analysis of legends, the study of place names and scant historical references to pagan rituals practised by the Basques.[1]

One main figure of this belief system was the female deity Mari. According to legends collected in the area of Ataun, the other main figure was her consort Sugaar. However, due to the scarcity of the material, it is difficult to say if this would have been the "central pair" of the Basque pantheon. Based on the attributes ascribed to these mythological creatures, this would be considered a chthonic religion as all its characters dwell on earth or below it, with the sky seen mostly as an empty corridor through which the divinities pass.[citation needed]

Historical sources

The main sources for information about non-Christian Basque beliefs are:[2]

Mythological creatures and characters

Main article: List of Basque mythological figures

The Urtzi controversy

Main article: Urtzi

Urtzi may have been a Basque mythological figure—a sky god—but may have been merely a word for the sky. There is evidence that can be read as either supporting or contradicting the existence of such a deity. To date, neither theory has been entirely accepted.[3]

Influence on Iberian pantheons

The Iberian Peninsula's Indo-European speaking cultures like the Lusitanians and Celtiberians seem to have a significant Basque substrate in their mythologies. This includes the concept of the Enchanted Mouras, which may be based on the Mairu,[4] and the god Endovelicus, whose name may come from proto-Basque words.[5]

Myths of the historical period

After Christianization, the Basques kept producing and importing myths.

See also


  1. ^ "The Basque Mythology at the present time" (PDF). KOBIE (Serie Antropología Cultural). Bilbao: Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia-Diputación Foral de Bizkaia (XII): 135 & 148. 2006–2007. ISSN 0214-7971. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  2. ^ Kasper, M. (1997). Baskische Geschichte [Basque history] (in German). Primus. ISBN 3-89678-039-5.
  3. ^ Trask, Larry (1997). The History of Basque. Routledge.
  4. ^ Anuntxi Arana: Mari, mairu eta beste - 1996 - Bulletin du musée basque n°146.
  5. ^ Encarnação, José d’ (2015). Divindades indígenas sob o domínio romano em Portugal [Indigenous deities under Roman rule in Portugal] (in Portuguese) (Second ed.). Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra.[page needed]


Folktale collections