The makila is the typical stick of the Basques, and is so old as mankind.
It was an important element in the paleolithic communities. The narrow ribbon of makila with the qualities of respect and power comes from very old. Prehistory has left us batons witn unknown functions(for some interpreters were pins to tie skins to the body, hunting trophies, instruments of sorcery or symbol of authority). They are made of reindeer or deer horns, and have from one to four holes. The heads of the various tribes and communities were often distinguished by the size and elegance of his stick.
Walking sticks in the Old Egipt.
With regard to the walking sticks, already the noble Egyptians used as a sign of distinction long wooden sticks between 120 and 200 cm, and were richly decorated with lotus flowers, eyes, etc. In the Museum of Louvre of Paris you can see some walking sticks egyptian and hebrews, also they are very longs, and topped with fists hook or ball. Besides many rituals have arisen in relation to the basque makila in all over the Basque Country. Especially we must to the Basques of Xiberoa East and Lower Navarre, the development of makila because is in the foothills of the Pyrenees where we can find the variety of wood for their making: The medlar. The Makila is the traditional Basque walking stick. It was until very recently the very essence of the traditional dress of the people of Basque Country.
The symbols behind the makila.
The Makila is a wooden stick of medlar tree, flexible, gnarled and hardy, stylish and crafted with great care, of course, made by hand. As a symbol, the Makila means nobility, justice, respect and authority. As a utility, the Makila was inseparable companion on all paths and also a security element. The Makila has had a great evolution through history. They took the shepherds of our mountains, but then were longer than those used in villages and urban areas. Although some people have regarded the Makila as a defensive weapon, you can not say that had this function but as a complement. Until the beginning of the century, none in the Basque Country was able to imagine going on a trip or attend a jai alai without his red sash and Makila in hand.
Makila as a present is a very ancient symbol of friendship among basques.
The tradition of give a makila as a present is a very ancient symbol of friendship among basques. After World War I, the marshals Foch and Pétain and the president Clemenceau received one makila each. Through these gifts, the Basques of the Northern of the Pyrenees showed them their gratitude. The makila of Marshal Foch had engraved a map of Verdun with the sentence: Hemendik ezin da pasa (From here nobody pass). Most orders received by Iñaki Alberdi are to be offered as a gift, suitable for corporate gifts, retirement of a person, for a bachelor or weddings... Theirs hands have made makilas for personages as illustrious as Pope John Paul II, who was endowed with a beautiful leather makila during his visit to the Basilica of Loiola being Lehendakari (basque president) Carlos Garaikoetxea. The same Pope again received another one makila from the hands of legislador of Araba (basque province) during his visit to the Vatican for the beatification of three nuns. The makila that the Pope received as a gift on that occasion was an Honour´s makila with silver handles. Also the king of Spain received a makila with his name engraved in it, when he visited Bilbao in 1986 to celebrate the centenary of the University of Deusto. Exists a long list of personalities from the political, social and sport,…