Udarregi

Sculpture honouring Udarregi
Sculpture honouring Udarregi

You are now at the sculpture honouring Udarregi. This sculpture commemorates Juan Jose Alkain Udarregi, the versolari or Basque troubadour who was born at the Uztaetaburu farmstead in Aia in 1829 and who spent his life in Udarregi. Even though he created and improvised verses, he was an illiterate Basque speaker. This did not prevent him from taking part in the Basque cultural production of his time. He invented a technique to record his verses, using a code made up of lines that only he could understand. This sculpture features one of his writings conserved on the wall of the Artikulaaundi farmstead.

This sculpture was erected in May 1966 to mark the festivities organised in Usurbil in memory of this versolari. It is the work of Remigio Mendiburu, one of the main figures of the school of contemporary Basque culture. Even though this artist mainly used timber, this piece shows that stone and metal also had its place in this work.

The year in which the tribute was paid to Udarregi, Euskal Herria was under Franco's regime and Basque culture was totally oppressed. That being so, huge obstacles were faced when organising cultural acts. The tribute to Udarregi was the pretext to organise festivities that featured different Basque activities. It was the first time that an event of these characteristics had been organised and was a respite in the heyday of Franco's regime.

The day of the festivities
The day of the festivities

The tribute to Udarregi was a meeting point for numerous Basque artists and creators, including Remigio Mendiburu himself, who produced the sculpture, and Jorge Oteiza, the author of Quousque Tandem, an essential work in the endeavour to revive the whole of Basque culture. Beyond the individual work, these two artists belonged to the Gaur group as they were aware of the importance of team work.

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