Korrika: Basque Ritual for Ethnic Identity
Korrika, a ritual that first emerged in 1980, is an annual running event in which thousands of people from all social spheres join together in a run to every corner of the Basque Country. Carrying a baton bearing a message in the Basque language, each person runs for one kilometer. In clear and precise prose, Korrika vividly describes this modern way of expressing and reinforcing identity in the Basque Country.
Approaching the ritual through the symbolic strategies of its organizers and participants del Valle introduces the reader to the run from beginning to end. This methodology offers the reader the opportunity to experience the mood of the race and to grasp what the symbol means in the context of the entire ritual.
Korrika describes and interprets modern Basque identity in terms of traditional symbols and activities. Furthermore, the book explores the process of selecting symbols in the midst of cultural and political change.
Arguing against the popular notion that ritual is merely the invention of a small, and manipulative group, del Valle makes a major contribution to current literature about the creation of traditions. As such, Korrika will be important reading for students and professors of anthropology, Basque studies, political science, contemporary history, and the history of social movements.
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