Makhila Ainciart Bergara

Useful information

Location : In town

Province : Labourd

  • English
    • A traditional Basque stick, the makhila or makila symbolizes a whole way of living, thinking, honoring. Elegant, practical, formidable, decorative and defense object, distinctive sign or walking companion, it is an essential element of Basque sensibility. "Makhila" (or makila) means "the stick" in the Basque language. A jewel of Basque craftsmanship, the makhila or makila is made by the Ainciart Bergara family in Larressore, a village in the Basque Country.

      Discover the Ainciart Bergara site, the noble manufacturing journey, the ancestral know-how of the only Basque family that has been making makhilas by tradition for 6 generations.

      The makhila factory Ainciart Bergara is located in the center of the village of Larressore, along the main road and on the pediment (Basque pelota playground).

      The house is old. Its name of Killoteia comes from the Basque word which indicates the distaff. It is a former renowned linen weaving workshop but the Ainciart family also made cattails and makhilas there. Only the production of makhila or makila was to survive with Jean Ainciart. In 1926, his daughter Marie-Jeanne married Jean Bergara and the makhila became Ainciart Bergara.

      The workshop of the factory can be visited every day except Sunday and holidays, from 8 to 12 and from 14 to 18 hours (Saturdays: 17h).

      We can attend the different stages of making a makhila on very old workbenches, count the stalks of medlar during drying, examine a photo gallery of artists, politicians or sportsmen who received a makhila made here: Léon Zitrone, Gérard Klein, César, Charlie Chaplin, Chirac, General de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan, Prince Philip, Pope John Paul II, Platini, Cantona, Lizarazu, architect Pei, Nelson Mandela and many others again, including all the presidents of the Republic of Lebrun to Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.

      You will see there the diploma of Best Worker of France obtained in 1936 by Jean Bergara for the perfect welding of the pommel of the makhilas of honor. You can sit there on a zuzulu, listen to all the useful explanations and, of course, touch the medlar wood and try the different models of makhila. The workshop is EPV Centenaire et Plus (Living Heritage Company) and their makhila has been listed in the inventory of rare crafts by Unesco.

      OPENING HOURS :

      • closed on Saturday afternoon from January to the end of March
      • open in the morning all year round
      • open in the afternoon from April to December

  • Français
  • Español

Traveller Reviews

4.7 sur 5 137 reviews

  • Philippe Mottier

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Philippe Mottier on 01/09/2020

    Exceptionnel de rencontrer des gens passionnés par leur art Leur envie de transmettre, leurs émotions, donnent envie de revenir découvrir ces Makilas

  • Jan Ca

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Jan Ca on 15/10/2018

    L'ARTISANAT dans toute sa SPLENDEUR

  • thierry lob

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by thierry lob on 03/09/2020

    Gardien d'un symbole du pays basque depuis 7 générations, cet atelier fabrique l'un des plus beaux objets traditionnels régional ; le Makhila, bâton de marche et de défense de nos campagnes. Merci à eux.

Traveller Reviews

4.5 sur 5 47 reviews

  • "Really worth a visit"

    5 / 5 Reviews posted by RosB__11 (Johannesburg, South Africa) on 24/08/2015

    I loved our visit to this Makhila producing family. The skill and love with which each walking stick is crafted was mind boggling, so much so I ordered one for shipping back to South Africa. A true...

    Read the full review
  • "La magie de l'artisanat"

    5 / 5 Reviews posted by Voyageurrelax on 28/07/2020

    Il n'est pas de bon artisan qui n'aime son travail. Une tradition à découvrir avec le fameux makhila du pays basque. Malgré une renommée exceptionnelle, cette maison garde la tradition dans un...

    Read the full review
  • "Une découverte étonnante, une visite passionnante."

    5 / 5 Reviews posted by Vincent D (Luingne, Belgium) on 27/07/2020

    Un artisanat local, qui fait partie de l'histoire et de la vie basque : le Makhila. Au centre d'un petit village "Larressore", vous y trouverez la maison "Makila Aiciart bergara". Un petit film très...

    Read the full review

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Address

Inthalatzia Ouest
Fronton
64480 Larressore

GPS coordinates

43° 22'5.64"N, 1° 26'24.32"W

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