Speaking Through the Aspens
Basque Tree Carvings in Nevada and California

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Author: J. Mallea-Olaetxe

Format: Paper
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780874177626
Published Date: 2008


Speaking Through the Aspens analyzes the content of thousands of arboglyphs in the mountains of Nevada and California by topic—language, politics, the Basque homeland, the sheepherd’s life, sex, and pictorial themes. In addition, author Mallea-Olaetxe has examined such sheepherder artifacts as sheep camps and bread ovens, conducted extensive interviews with former herders and sheep company personnel, and undertaken research in immigration and other records. The result is a highly original work of history—a detailed account of the lives of Basque sheepherders in the American West. For the first time, these men who contributed so much to the development of the region, many of whom went on to establish the West’s thriving Basque community, speak for themselves about their experiences. Enhanced by numerous illustrations, this book is history at its most engrossing, essential reading for scholars and anyone curious about the arboglyph phenomenon.

Author Bio
Joxe Mallea is a Basque Researcher at the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Reviews

“J. Mallea-Olaetxe has produced and encyclopedic work on the carvings, answering many questions about Basque people in the mountain west.” --James Snyder, historian, National Park Service

“Speaking Through the Aspens is nothing less than the definitive study of Basque aspen art in the American West.” --Michael Claytor, emeritus professor of anthropology at Sierra College

“Previous publications of aspen carvings have been written by non-Basque individuals. Mallea-Olaetxe, as a Basque immigrant, offers a unique perspective of the literal and substantive interpretation of this type of art and inscription.” —Society for California Archaeology Newsletter

"Speaking Through The Aspens is a seminal work of original scholarship." - The Midwest Book Review

"...this book is history at its most engrossing, essential reading for scholars and anyone curious about the arboglyph phenomenon." - Sierra Heritage Magazine