The 'Jorge Oteiza' Baztán Ethnographic Museum, founded in 2001, is located in 'Casa Puriosenea' in Elizondo
, a town in the north of Navarre located on the banks of the river Baztán. This area of 'damp' Navarre is characterised by its green meadows and extensive forests and also for its gentle climate all year round.
In this late 15th-century building you can discover the ancestral customs and traditions
of the people of the Baztán valley in a series of objects, photographs and audiovisuals. You can discover the secrets of rural life and work or peoples' social relations, represented by the family and the local community. Finally, games and festivities round off the exhibition.
The ethnographic exhibition stands alongside the painting of customs and ways of life ofJavier Ciga
, whose creations are authentic historical and sociological documents. They transport the viewer to the past through a blend of romanticism and realism. A visit to the ethnographic museum of the Baztán valley
On the ground floor
the first thing you see is a small collection of funeral steles, commemorative monuments in the form of a tombstone or pedestal. The next thing you see is a recreation of two oxen with a yoke and blankets dragging a cart loaded with two barrels. On the same floor you can explore an authentic Baztan shop in the purest rural style
, or or enjoy the traditional occupations and the tools they used. Craftsmen such as smiths, weavers, saddlers and coopers (among others) are reflected here. From here you go out into the garden, where there is a complete collection of implements such as rollers, ploughs and carts. From there, you enter the garden. You initially enter a new space dedicated to the megalithic monuments of the valley, and in the courtyard, a full collection of implements such as rollers, ploughs and carts. Like a sentry, the giant Soalar protects the collection of objects in the museum. It is a menhir 4.5 metres high that weights 3 tons, with an engraving on one of its faces.
On the first floor
pieces are exhibited that illustrate themes related to gaming, Basque pelota, folklore, costumes and music, and also the reconstruction of a kitchen, a room on the municipal council where the valley assembly was held, and typical Baztan valley bedrooms from the early 20th century. The works of Ciga are strategically placed in order to throw more light on the ethnography of the valley. They all offer something in parallel to the objects on display. The "sokadantza" for folklore
, "Meeting of the 12 elders under the oak of Jauregizar" to show the general assembly of the valley, "Leaving the church after Mass" together with typical dress, etc.
The second floor
houses a monographic exhibition of Javier Ciga, with an itinerary through the biography and work of this virtuoso of the paintbrush.Jorge Oteiza and his connection with the museum
The great Basque sculptor showed the affection he felt for the town of Elizondo by taking an active part in the efforts made by the people of the valley to conserve their heritage. In 2002 he donated his sculpture titled "Maternity"
to the museum; it is on display in the garden in front of the museum. In gratitude to Oteiza for his interest, the people of the town decided to pay tribute by naming the museum after him.
Jorge Oteiza was one of the fundamental artists in the evolution of sculpture on the 20th century. Nowadays his work can be seen in the Museo Oteiza
, a large reddish-coloured concrete cube in Alzuza, 8 kilometres east of Pamplona.