Sunday, December 31, 2017

Karajoz Coffee

Following yesterday's post on Chechias, Fezzes and Coffee, I should really mention a present-day addition: Karajoz Coffee from Auckland, NZ.

Not bad coffee at all, but I'd find it hard to part with my favourite Cuban and Vanuatu beans from Havana

Saturday, December 30, 2017

On Fezzes, Chechias and Coffee

Isn't it fascinating to see how coffee was associated with fezzes and chechias during the first half of the last century?
Coffee roasters from many different countries all incorporate (stereotypical) North Africans wearing chechias in their advertising.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Meanwhile, in Rudkøbing

A bearded man in a black beret, smoking the butt of a cigar.  Location Rudkøbing, Langeland, Denmark.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Gorbeia's Transhumance

Gorbea or Gorbeia is a mountain and massif, the highest in Biscay and Alava (Basque Country, Spain), with a height of 1,481 m AMSL. The massif covers a wide area between the two provinces.
The entire massif has been enclosed in a natural park of 200 km² created by the Basque Government in 1994 to preserve the local flora of beech and oak and fauna of wild boar and deer. The main access points for the mountain are Murgia from Alava and Areatza from Biscay.
Enrique Etxebarria is a shepherd who takes his flocks every May to the higher pastures at Gorbeia for the summer months, the transhumance. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sven Palmqvist

Ernst Sven Robert Palmqvist  (1906 – 1984)] was a Swedish glass artist and glass designer , known for his Fuga bowl series.
Palmqvist studied at the Technical School (now Artfack) and the Royal Academy in Stockholm, and spent a few years in Paris. During World War II, Palmqvist moved  to Orrefors in Sweden and stayed there until his retirement in 1971.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


While Santa Claus (a Coca Cola reinvention after the Dutch Saint Nicholas figure) is rapidly taking over the world as the symbol for Christmas, in the Basque Country they hold strong to their Father Christmas: Olentzero.
According to Basque traditions Olentzero comes to town late at night on the 24th of December to drop off presents for children. In some places he arrives later, for example in Ochagavía – Otsagabia on the 27th and in Ermua on the 31st.
There are many variations to the Olentzero traditions and stories connected to him, sometimes varying from village to village. The first written account of Olentzero is from Lope de Isasti in the 17th century: A la noche de Navidad (llamamos) onenzaro, la sazón de los buenos.
One common version has Olentzero being one of the jentillak, a mythological race of Basque giants living in the Pyrenees. Legend has it that they observed a glowing cloud in the sky one day. None of them could look at this bright cloud except for a very old, nearly blind man. When asked to examine it, he confirmed their fears and told them that it was a sign that Jesus will be born soon. 
According to some stories, the old man asked the giants to throw him off a cliff to avoid having to live through Christianisation. Having obliged him, the giants tripped on the way down and died themselves except Olentzero.
Other versions have the jentillak simply leaving, with only Olentzero remaining behind to embrace Christianity.
Parts of Olentzero legend are reminiscent of a prehistoric cult rituals surrounding the winter solstice, such as the involvement of ritual "last meals" and sacrifices of rebirth.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all, boineros and boineras!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Alain Guézou

The Revenu de solidarité active (RSA) is a French form of in work welfare benefit aimed at reducing the barrier to return to work. It was implemented on 1 June 2009 by the French government.
 Its goal is to provide a minimum income for unemployed and underemployed workers, with the aim of encouraging them to find work, and provide a complement for low-wage workers so that they do not suffer the perverse effects of earning less through employment than unemployment.
Alain Guézou, president of the association RSA 38 walked from Grenoble to Brussels to denounce the dysfunctions of the RSA and create dialogue.

He became a ‘celebrity’, in good portion thanks to his ever present béret Alpin

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

New at the One-Offs-Page

New at the One-Offs-Page at a discounted price!
Mataco patterned heavy duty 120 grams cotton knitted boina in 29.5cm diameter, fitted with a comfortable elastic headband. BROWN, one only from $56.50 at $49.95.

WWII Polish-French Beret

Found on a Czech website selling 'military antiques': a Polish military beret from WWII, made in France.
Not only is the beret fitted with a beautiful bayadère multi-coloured lining, it also carries a Basque label prominently displaying the Basque lauburu, an age old Basque symbol that looks very similar to the swastika adopted by the Nazi's (many centuries later). 
And of course, this is a Basque beret (with the cabillou in place) converted into a military beret!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Boinas Guarda Pampa by Arandú

The Guarda Pampa (People of the Earth) was originally created by the aboriginal people of Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia.  This symmetric design symbolizes the reflection of the Andes Mountains in the lakes of the region. 
The Guarda Pampa, adopted and made iconic by the Argentine gauchos, has become a design that is woven into the fabric of Argentine and Chilean culture – from the flat pampas regions to the urban cities to the Andes Mountains.
Many designs, originally of Mataco and Mapuche origin, are commonly seen in gaucho's berets. Hard to find, even in Argentina and Chile, South Pacific Berets now stocks a small number of boinas guarda pampa.
The boinas Arandú are available in both the guarda pampa and a traditional Mapuche Aboriginal design; heavy duty 120 grams cotton knitted boinas in 29.5cm diameter, fitted with a comfortable elastic headband. Five colours @ $56.50.


21 December... The beginning of winter for those of you unlucky enough to be in the northern hemisphere.
Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth in that hemisphere being oriented away from the Sun. 
In many regions, winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. The moment of winter solstice is when the sun's elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value (that is, the sun is at its farthest below the horizon as measured from the pole), meaning this day will have the shortest day and the longest night. 

The earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates outside the polar regions differ from the date of the winter solstice, however, and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth's elliptical orbit (see earliest and latest sunrise and sunset).
Astronomically, the winter solstice, being the day of the year which has fewest hours of daylight, ought to be in the middle of the season, but seasonal lag means that the coldest period normally follows the solstice by a few weeks.
In some cultures, the season is regarded as beginning at the solstice and ending on the following equinox – in the Northern Hemisphere, depending on the year, this corresponds to the period between 21 or 22 December and 19, 20 or 21 March. In the UK, meteorologists consider winter to be the three coldest months of December, January and February.