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The Basque farm


The Basque farm, isolated rural construction, has an age of approximately 500 years, its aim was to combine in a single space a shelter,  stable, barn, and winery. A success from the logistical point of view and efficiency for Basque primitive dwellings were simple wooden huts covered with green roofs.

With an area of about 1000 meters squared distributed on two or three floors that protected and connected different family generations.

Life was spent in the care of animals, chickens, sheep, cows and horses, and the cultivation of garden.

Usually the stable occupies the ground floor and housing the top floor , the attic is used as a barn.

The type of construction has longitudinal roofing and gabled with tiles. The materials used for construction are usually  stone and local wood.

Its successful outcome as a quasi self-sufficient economic unit and intergrational union must be preserved, and here comes the need to protect the retention time of the settlement, for which the rigid laws of primogeniture that made the farm and all of its lands were inherited only by a single individual, usually the eldest son of the family. Despite that, the leasehold right allowed the free disposal of assets ( there was no right of "legitimate"), so that the inheritance could be transmitted to some other stem or family, including women. However, this was something exceptional, usually being the firstborn son who inherited the property.

This circumstance forced the rest of the men of the family, to either emigrate or move to the clergy, military or royal administration. If they stayed in the village they had to work for the big brother and in this case would not marry. This explains the amount of emigration that occured in these lands.

The property fell on the man but the administration of the village used to be in charge of the women in the family, in the near to matriarchy regime. The women carried out the planning of crops, livestock, etc. and generally they administered the property. The importance of women within the family was and is very important. This has given rise to the theory of Basque society as matriarcalist despite tending towards patriarchy in their real social structures.

It is said that the status of a women in Basque culture, for these historic circumstances, is perhaps the highest in Europe.

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