Sunday, June 30, 2013

8.900 Euros Beret

For any Beret Project visitor who finds the Elósegui 150 Años Edición Limitada expensive, consider the beret pictured here, priced at 8,900 Euros (some US$ 11,500.00). 
In this case, it's not so much the beret that is costly, but the txortena (or cabillou), made of white diamonds by Origine Ateliers in Anglet (France).

Saturday, June 29, 2013

On Urals, Dneprs and Berets

This beautiful picture of two Russian boys sitting in the sidecar of a Dnepr motorbike was sent to me by a German friend (thanks, Peter). I always had a strong liking for Dneprs and Urals (a similar model bike from Russia), until I owned one when living in Azerbaijan and discovered that it wasn't only a pain to get it going, but especially to keep it going...
Dnepr is the brand name of heavy motorcycles produced in Kiev, Ukraine
The Dnepr is famous for its off-road capability. Armed services models equipped with sidecars had two-wheel drive and as much as 15 cm (5.9 in) of ground clearance. The present engine is a 650 cc OHV boxer twin. Modern models are sold with engines ranging from the factory standard 650 to 750 and 1,000 cc.
These motorcycles have featured in many films like Indiana Jones and used prominently in the movie Garden State, with Zach Braff.
French Ural-owner at a Paris motorbike show
Since the break up of the U.S.S.R. the factory has fallen on very hard times. Production decreased to only remnants of former glory.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Jesús de Cos Borbolla

Jesús de Cos Borbolla (1924 - 2012) was a Cantabrian guerrilla fighter and activist for the recovery of historical memory in Spain since his return from exile in France.
Jesus spent his childhood in the Nansas Valley, fishing and tending the cattle. After the military occupation of Cantabria in 1937 by Franco's Nationalists, his family was brutally repressed by the fascists, including imprisonment, torture and execution by garrote. His father, Donato de Cos, who was Deputy Mayor in Rionansa and member of the Popular Front, was killed in a Nazi extermination camp in 1941.
In November 1946, Jesús decided to move to France with the help of his brother Manuel. After passing through a concentration camp, and feeling abandoned by the Communist Party, whose decision to cease armed struggle left hundreds of guerrillas on their own, he settled in Bordeaux. Once recovered from his wounds he worked as a bricklayer.
He joined the Socialist-Communist trade union Confederation Generale de Travailleurs and continued to work with the PCE, taking responsibility for the Peace Committee, raising funds to help. In 1963, disagreeing with the policy of "national reconciliation" of Carrillo, he got involved with the Movement for the Third Republic. May 68 took him to Paris, where his son Joseph was arrested and tortured.
In 1979 he returned to Spain with a legal passport, with his partner Katya, with whom he had two children, Anais and Florian.
In 1986 he finally returned to Cantabria, beginning with his partner and wife Mari Sol Gonzalez the work of historical memory and the rights of Republican fighters through association, War and Exile (AGE).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The DEER Summer Berets are on SPECIAL!

From 27 June on Special for a very limited time: the perfect Summer berets made by DEER, in wool and linen/cotton and at a price you'd struggle to beat in Japan!
Kongo-Shokai Ltd. is an old Japanese hat manufacturer, founded in 1928, making some of the most comfortable berets one can find: the DEER Basque Beret. These berets have a diameter of 250mm, are fitted with a soft, stretchable headband and the most beautiful satin lining found in any beret, carrying the embroidered DEER Berets label. These berets show excellent craftsmanship and eye for detail. 
Available in a limited number of colours in soft, light wool and the extremely cool linen version @ $ $59.50 and $ 61.00.

Berets in Support of Prince Harry

Another day, another story about Prince Harry. The party-loving grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, known for his partying in NAZI uniform, has been exposed again, this time naked, playing strip billiards flanked by an equally naked girl. And, when this happens to be a Royal, you know it becomes big "news"; with supporters rallying pro and con the Prince.
Many in the military took up for him, posting pictures of nude-ness under their berets. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Good news for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere: the new stock of cotton berets from Argentina has just come in! 
That means that all summer berets in cotton are in stock; 
'boinas Espinosa', 
'boinas Tolosa Tupida' and 
'boinas Tolosa Tupida Plato Grande'! 
Have a look here for more information and ordering.
And for those who find a cotton beret still too hot to bear, there are the linen DEER berets here!

Jaime Rebelo, a Portuguese Anarchist

Jaime Rebelo (1900 - 1975) was a militant Portuguese anarchist and antifascist.
Jaime Rebelo lived most of his life in Cacilhas. Rebelo was active in both Portugal and Spain in the anti-fascist struggle. He was imprisoned (and tortured) by the dictatorship of the Estado Novo.
In 1931 , following the "strike of 92 days," Rebelo was arrested and tortured by the PIDE, having cut out his tongue to stop him speaking.
The victim of constant persecution, he emigrated to Spain where he joined the militias of the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), the anarcho-syndicalist workers' confederation, and then lead a unit that fought on the southern front in the Spanish Civil War.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Paisanos con boina




A peasant of Spanish or Italian ethnic origin.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Basque with the Wheelbarrow

Guillermo Ugarte Larregui Isidoro, (1885 - 1964), also known as El Vasco de la carretilla (the Basque of the Wheelbarrow) and as the "Don Quixote with one wheel", travelled more than 22,300 km on foot pushing a wheelbarrow of 130 kg.

Initially he worked as a seaman. Later, in Patagonia, as an American oil pawn until 1935.

That year, during a meeting with friends, he made ​​a bet that changed his life and made ​​him one of the most eccentric people of Argentina.

"I dare, I said, to cross all Patagonia and go to Buenos Aires on foot with a wheelbarrow. They took it as a joke and one of them brought me a wheelbarrow. Then, when they saw that I was about to embark on the trip and that it was serious, they were surprised".

He was 50 years old when he set out to fulfil this dream. Larregui was a simple, strong and free man. He carried in his wheelbarrow all he needed for the body and soul. The wheelbarrow proved a great way to discover the unknown.  

The wheelbarrow measured 70 cm x 110 cm and 30 cm high, and contained the following objects: tent 2.5 m long and 2 m wide, foldable bed, mattress and quilt, tools, complete kitchen utensils, heater, washing basin with brushes, a razor and supplies.
He talked and listened to all kind of people and knew several languages, including English, French, Italian, German and Dutch.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kon Tiki

Sometimes I find a little treasure when I least expect it. Watching the (new) movie Kon Tiki last night, I found one of the crew members, Erik Hesselberg, wearing a Basque beret!
Kon-Tiki was the raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. It was named after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, for whom "Kon-Tiki" was said to be an old name. 
The original crew, with Erik Hesselberg wearing his beret
I guess I knew a bit about Thor Heyerdahl and his fantastic adventure, but watching the movie was an eye-opener (and not only for that beret...). Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times, although most anthropologists now believe they did not. His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so. 
The crew as per the 2013 film Kon Tiki
Although the expedition carried some modern equipment, such as a radio, watches, charts, sextant, and metal knives, Heyerdahl argued they were incidental to the purpose of proving that the raft itself could make the journey.
Erik Hesselberg, with beret and sextant
The Kon-Tiki expedition was funded by private loans, along with donations of equipment from the US Army. Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores. The trip began on April 28, 1947; they sailed the raft for 101 days over 6900 km (4,300 miles) across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947.
Odd-Magnus Williamson as Erik Hesselberg

Friday, June 21, 2013

Carpenter, Medieval Market Errenteria

 Pictures of a traditional carpenter at the Medieval market in Errenteria. 
Errenteria is a town located in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque Autonomous Community, in the north of Spain, near the French border.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Celedón (2)

Following yesterday's about the Festival of the Virgin and the appearance of Celedón, here a short film of the event on 5 August, 2009.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Celedón is the character who comes down from heaven with an umbrella, during the festivities in Vitoria, in Álava (Basque Country, Spain).
The celebrations of Vitoria are held in honour of the Virgen Blanca ("Andre Mari Zuria") whose feast is celebrated on August 5. The celebrations begin a day before the Descent of Celedon that takes place in the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca before a large crowd that receives the character by lighting cigars and opening bottles of champagne.
From the top of the tower of the church of San Miguel, at six in the afternoon, after a loud bang, Celedón descends to the square and mixes in with te crowd. From there he heads up to the balcony of the church from where he gives a speech encouraging everyone to have fun and thus inaugurating the celebrations of the Virgen Blanca.