MAKILA

The Traditional Basque Stick

Makila is the Basque people’s traditional stick
Used either as fellow traveller or sign of authority and respect.

Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila
Proceso de elaboración de la makila

The makila is an entirely hand-made and elegant stick whose manufacturing process has been maintained over various centuries.

The reliefs of the piece of wood proceed from incising the wild medlar in the forest. This operation causes the sap that rises through the tree branch to swerve round the cuts and to form the designs that characterize the “makila”. The branch is cut in winter, peeled in a furnace, stained with quicklime and heat straightened. The so prepared rod is adorned at the bottom with a brass, alpaca or silver ring carefully hand-engraved with Basque motifs. The other end of the rod is topped with a horn grip fixed by means of a threaded sleeve covered with plaited leather. For the so-called “makila”of Honour, the grip is entirely of silver or alpaca. It is a custom in the Basque country to offer a “makila” to anybody one wishes to honour. As a personal or professional recognition of respect, “La Makila” is an appropriate gift for retirements, leaving presents, weddings, birthdays or any event worthy of merit. Although it is a popular item, it has also been in the illustrious hands of kings, popes, politicians, sportsmen and women, artists and one of the most significant, our Lehendakaris (Basque Country President ) lovingly made with precision and skill in the Alberdi workshop.

Parts of the makila

Makila Pomo

The pommel

The pommel, made of horn. Formerly, ox horn was used for such.

Makila Casquillo

Top slevee

A sleeve holds the hilt of skin, while pressing the pommel. It´s in this sleeve where dedications and sentences are written to suit to each customer or recipient´s liking.

Makila empuñadura

The handle

The handle is a tube covered with kid skin. After doing several straps with the kid´s skin, the craftsman braid its to cover the tube. However, the honour´s makhila has a entirely silver or alpaca handle.

Makila estoque

The point

The point is hidden under the handle. Usually it´s made with stainless steel.

Makila madera níspero

The wood

The medlar´s wood often is decorated with special shapes. The medlar is the only tree that, healing the wounds that previously made the craftsman in it, creates original reliefs like decoration in its skin.

Makila casquillo inferior

The slevee

At the bottom of makila usually is placed another slevee. In it, the craftsman engraves decorative motifs about the Basque symbols.

Makila punta

The tip

The tip of the makila that touches the ground is usually made of steel.In the sleeve situated on the top of the makila is reserved a space so that customer entrusts to craftsman the task of engraves one sentence, usually is a short dedication with words of great meaning. Some of these sentences already have become typical and others distinguish by their originality. Here we show some sentences that you can read in one makila.

Sentences on the makila

In the sleeve situated on the top of the makila a space is reserved for customers to entrust to the craftsman the task of engraving one sentence, usually a short dedication with words of great meaning. Some of these sentences already have become traditional and others distinguish themselves by their originality. Here are some of the dedications that you can read in makilas:

Hitza hitz

My word is my bond

Hitzemana zor

I deliver on my promises

Ihes etsaiak

Enemies flee

Nerekin beti zuzen

With me always straight

Nere bideko laguna

My partner in the way

Nerekin inoren beldur

With me there isn´t fear of anyone

Nere laguna eta laguntza

My partner and help

Makila, the symbol of basque people.

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