Woodcarvings, pottery or reproductions of traditional cultural elements make the craft industry in Gipuzkoa an excellent shopping option.
In the Donostia's Old Town, as well as in many other towns around Gipuzkoa, visitors will find all sorts of shops selling typical Basque handicrafts that will give their souvenirs that authentic touch. Pottery bowls, such as the 'pedarra' or Basque pitcher, baskets woven of chestnut or willow wickerwork, ceramic figurines or woodcarvings offer endless possibilities. The traditional rural Basque costumes such the "txapela" or beret, or the "abarkas" (leather shoes) are also unusual and interesting.
In Eibar we can find damascene work, or the traditional gold engraving. Towns such as Tolosa, Azpeitia, Beasain or Bergara have their own more modest but tasty specialties, their own typical sweets.
One can meet and see the artisans themselves at work, at the various fairs and marketplaces all yearlong. They are the ones that keep this kind of handiwork alive by using traditional techniques. The "Feria de ArtesanÝa del PaÝs Vasco" (Basque Country Crafts Fair), held in Errenteria in late April or early May, is one of the most attractive.
Among the interesting traditional objects made by artisans in Gipuzkoa are:
Argizaiola: These carved wooden tablets, some with anthropomorphic shapes, with a long candle wrapped around them, were used to take fire from the hearth to the dead.
Kaiku: This lovely wooden pitcher, used by Basque shepherds since ancient times, is used for decoration today.
Kutxa: A large chest made of carved wood. Today one can also find small-scale versions.
Yuke: This is another rural cultural element, a wooden piece to yoke a pair of oxen. Today it has also become a decorative element.
Makila: A cane symbolising authority, made of carved wood with a steel point.
Gabiltza. Asociaciˇn de artesanos de Gipuzkoa
Tel.: 656 73 24 74
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