Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Requeté Motorcyclist with Red Beret

Spanish Civil War Nationalist Requeté Soldier on BMW Motorcycle (1937). Sold only in Italy as part of a series of WW1 and WW2 figures on Motorcycles. 
The figure is made in 1/30 scale and has the type of uniform and equipment used by Spanish Nationalist soldiers during the Spanish Civil War, including the typical Carlist red beret. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Vintage Beret Photos from Norway

Opening of the Fosen Ferry at Skansen
Florist with beret behind the counter, Oslo, November 1956. Kerosene lamp over the counter makes a nice detail
Hospitality Club's trip to Opda, date unknown
Harness racing in Vadsø in 1933
Mønsåsfest on Skistua

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hannah (and Hans) Ryggen

Hannah Ryggen (1894 - 1970) was a Swedish-born Norwegian textile artist. Self-trained, she worked on a standing loom constructed by her husband, the painter Hans Ryggen. She lived on a farm on a Norwegian Fjord and dyed her yarn with local plants.
She was a pacifist and was active in the Norwegian Communist Party and international workers’ movements. She paid close attention to the rise of fascism in Europe, and made work in direct response to it. Her 1935 tapestry 'Etiopia' (Ethipoia) was triggered by Benito Mussolini’s invasion of the African country. It was shown at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937, next to Picasso’s Guernica (1937). Etiopia was also shown in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair, but there was a cloth covering the part of the scene with a spear piercing through Mussolini’s head. 
In 1936 she wove one tapestry called 'Hitlerteppet' (The Hitler Carpet), with two decapitated figures kneeling before a hovering cross, and one called 'Drømmedød' (Death of Dreams) depicting prisoners and murderous Nazis in a concentration camp.
Ryggen created about one hundred large carpets in her lifetime. Following the formal traditions of 17th and 18th century Norwegian folk textile arts, her works combine figurative and abstract elements. Her 'Henders bruk' from 1949 was the first textile artwork acquired by the National Gallery of Norway. She was the first female Norwegian artist to be represented at the Venice Biennale, in 1964. In 2012 a selection of her woven works were included in dOCUMENTA in Kassel.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Caricaturistes Montmartre

During the summer months many retail associations in the Netherlands organize events with the theme of Montmartre. 
These are in line with the real French Montmartre caricaturists used as crowd pullers. Usually, these cartoonists are hired individually.
For retailer associations and other event organizers, this represents a missed opportunity, as the scale is too small and nothing is done about the overall environment of the event. Caricaturistes Montmartre is a unique partnership of five professional caricaturists who not only provide entertainment, but also a cozy French atmosphere and bring their self-designed decors.
Thanks, Emile

Vallée d'Ossau en 1962

A true gem, this film about the Vallée d'Ossau in 1962. Of course, the Vallée d'Ossau is [within Béarn] the real birthplace of the beret.
And many berets to be seen, worn by all!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Berets in Prehistoric Caves

Some of the most beautiful caves of prehistoric times are coincidentally found in the same area as where most berets are found, the South-West of France. Below a collection of some fine samples of the combination.
The cave of Rouffignac:
Henri Breuil at the Grand Plafond. Note the low ceiling. H. Breuil is at one edge of the deep well above which the Grand Plafond was created. 
A visit to the cave in 1956 by Abbé Breuil, Professor Graziosi, Director of the Museum of Anthropology of Florence, and the owners of the site. 
Here we see the visitors preparing to enter the cave, carrying carbide/acetylene torches for lighting. Abbé Breuil is on the right of these two photos in his characteristic beret. 

This still gives a good idea of the scale of the paintings, and the characteristic nodules in the walls. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Two Videos on Auguste Casassus

Following yesterday's post, two beautiful video's about the life and work of Auguste Casassus.
Click here for the video by Mélanie Dalsace.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Auguste Casassus

Hunched from years of milking, his face reddened by the mountain air, Auguste paces the harsh summer pastures of Gaziest. Screwed beret, his eternal rubber boots on, he keeps the sheep on the mountain with the same knowing and malicious look of his youth. "I started at 14 years. After my graduation certificate, I became a shepherd in the mountains. I'm still in the same house since, "says Auguste Casassus who is 78 years, one of the oldest active transhumance shepherds.
"I have no problem of loneliness, I have never watched TV or listened to the radio, I watch my sheep, I take care of my life and not that of others."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tasio Erkizia

Tasio Erkizia Almandoz (1943) is a Basque (Spanish) politician, historic member of the left-wing nationalist and pro-independence Basque Party.
Tasio Erkizia was born in the Navarran town of Lesaka . He entered the Salesian order and became an ordained priest. He also graduated in psychology.  Based in Bilbao , from 1971 he taught in the neighborhood of Santutxu .
Shortly before the death of Franco, May 8, 1975, Tasio Erkizia was arrested during the state of emergency and was tortured at the police station. In addition to punches, he suffered an attempted rape. Due to injuries, he was hospitalized for two months.
He participated in the founding of the coalition Herri Batasuna (HB) in 1978. In 1979 he formed part of the candidature HB to the town of Bilbao, being chosen councilman and occupying the post of deputy mayor during the 1979-1983 legislature. In 1984 he was elected deputy in the Basque Parliament, remaining in the chamber until 1998, but did not participate in parliamentary activity, since HB boycotted the Basque legislature.
In February 1997 he was imprisoned along with 22 other members of the board of HB, accused of collaborating with armed groups, having given a free electoral space HB to broadcast a video of the terrorist organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA). The Supreme Court condemned him to seven years in prison, but in July 1999 he was released. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Tasio is a film by Montxo Armendáriz about a child, growing up healthy and happy in a village at the foot of the Sierra de Lokiz in the Spanish Basque Country.
At age 8, the family needy, he begins to work on the mountain, helping to make the charcoal together with his father.
At 14, he meets Paulina, who will become the love of his life. Although the circumstances compel men to adjust to a steady job and move to the city, Tasio prefer to keep their personal freedom and live in the bush, in utter solitude.

The film depicts the adventures of a real person, Anastasio Ochoa Ruiz (Tasio ), free coal maker and poacher, born in Zuniga ( Navarra ), in 1916 and died in 1989 on Mount Valderrota.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fred Below

Fred Below (1926 –1988) was an American blues drummer, best known for his work with Little Walter and Chess Records in the 1950s.
Below was born in Chicago, and started playing drums in a high school jazz band. After being conscripted into the United States Army, he joined the 427th Army band, where he played with Lester Young. After war service, he played in nightclub in Germany before returning to the United States in 1951.
Back in Chicago, Below joined a group called The Aces, comprising Junior Wells and brothers Louis and Dave Myers. Little Walter had just left Muddy Waters' band to pursue a solo career, Wells taking over Walter's role on harp in the Muddy Waters band and Walter commandeering the Aces (Myers brothers and Below). As Little Walter and the Nightcats, they became one of the top electric blues bands in Chicago.
He continued to play on Little Walter's records, as well as hit records for Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Rogers, Elmore James, Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Howlin' Wolf and others.
Amongst his more famous work was playing on Chuck Berry's 1957 hit single, "School Days".
Below died from cancer on August 14, 1988 in Chicago at the age of 61.

Thanks, Paul

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Niko Etxart

Niko Etxart is a Basque singer-songwriter and musician born in 1953 in Altzürükü, Soule, Basque Country. He's widely reputed in the Basque area for being a forerunner of Basque rock and bridging the gap between Basque old tradition and modern music trends.
When he was two years old, his parents moved to Paris. However, unlike many others, he received the Basque language and culture as a child, in particular through the Basque centre in Paris. When he left school in 1972, his only wish was to be a singer. By this year he founded a group named Tinka with two other friends.

In the late 1990s and the 2000s, he has taken up composing traditional pastorals, as well as staging traditional vocal songs along with his father Dominika and Robert Larrandaburu. When performing with instrumental background, he's supported by the band Hapa-Hapa (Zuberoan Basque for 'panting'). Among his most abiding hits are Euskal Rock'n Roll, Baga biga klik, Tumatxa, Eperra (traditional).
The video is a compilation by Basque TV, including some good beret shots.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Beñat Achiary

Beñat Achiary (born in Saint-Palais, Pyrénées-Atlantiques) is a Basque vocal improviser who lives in southern France.
Achiary finds inspiration in the Basque language and in poetry from all backgrounds to create the texts of his songs. In  concert he works with many musicians from jazz to traditional and contemporary music.
Achiary is the artistic director of the jazz festival Errobiko Festibala of Itxassou.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Clément Serveau

Henri Clément Serveau (1886 – 1972) was a French painter, designer, engraver and illustrator. 
Clément-Serveau produced works in a realist manner early on, but soon became interested in the new movements. He was influenced by his friend Louis Marcoussis and experimented with Cubism, utilising geometric patterns to give the illusion of form and space. 
Later in his career he turned toward abstraction with a post-cubist stance. 
He designed banknotes for the Banque de France and went on to produced large mural's and participating in numerous French and international exhibitions.
Thanks, Jean-Claude

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chaplains with Beret

Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister, such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or lay representative of a religious tradition, attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, police department, fire department, university, or private chapel.
French, World War I
Though originally the word "chaplain" referred to representatives of the Christian faith, it is now also applied to people of other religions or philosophical traditions–such as the case of chaplains serving with military forces.
French, Foreign Legion
Military chaplains provide pastoral, spiritual and emotional support for service personnel, including the conduct of religious services at sea, on bases or in the field. Military chaplains have a long history; the first English military-oriented chaplains, for instance, were priests on board proto-naval vessels during the 8th century. 
French, Chasseurs Alpin (left)
Land-based chaplains appeared during the reign of King Edward I. The current form of military chaplain dates from the era of the First World War.
Belgium, Chasseurs Ardennais
Chaplains are nominated, appointed, or commissioned in different ways in different countries. A military chaplain can be an army-trained soldier with additional theological training or an ordained person nominated to the army by religious authorities.
Though the Geneva Conventions does not state whether chaplains may bear arms, they specify (Protocol I, June 8, 1977, Art 43.2) that chaplains are noncombatants.
Jewish, South Africa

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Best Vehicles to Accompany a Beret

Citroën DS 23 Convertible 
 Citroën C15 Traction Avant
 Citroën C15 (in the Basque Country!)
 Citroën Mehari
 Citroën Mehari
Citroën HY
Citroën C8 Béarnaise