Roundup: December 10, 2014

Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

Speaker: Gina Napolitan & Beaux Mingus
Subject: Basques and the Disappearing West

Click here to view photos from the event.

Gina Marie Napolitan and Beaux Gest Mingus, Los Angeles-based filmmakers and arts educators earned Master Degrees in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts will present a program on the disappearing Basque culture in the American West.

The pair worked closely on this Basque history project with Philippe Duhart, a first-generation Basque-American and PhD candidate in the Sociology program at UCLA, and historian Steve Bass.

The result of that collaboration has been “Disappearing West,” a film that investigates the little-known and largely undocumented history of the Basque-American diaspora. It traces the distinct visual and social landscape: scattered social clubs, idiosyncratic boarding houses, abandoned livestock bridges, and elaborate graffiti carved into the aspen trees along sheep grazing routes by Basque shepherds.

Originally from the Pyrenees Mountains on the border of France and Spain, the Basques played an overlooked but meaningful role in the creation of the American West, shaping it both physically and economically through their dominance of the sheep herding industry in the early 20th century.

However, Basque-American culture is slowly disappearing: the first-generation immigrant population is aging and virtually no new immigrants have arrived since the 1980s; historic buildings are being torn down; traditional sheep herding and the open lands associated with it are increasingly rare.

The Los Angeles Corral’s own venerable Froy Tiscareño recommended this interesting program.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Paul McClure
Deputy Sheriff