The makila is the typical stick of the Basques, and is so old as mankind. It was an important element in the paleolithic communities. The narrow ribbon of makila with the qualities of respect and power comes from very old.
Prehistory has left us batons witn unknown functions(for some interpreters were pins to tie skins to the body, hunting trophies, instruments of sorcery or symbol of authority). They are made of reindeer or deer horns, and have from one to four holes. The heads of the various tribes and communities were often distinguished by the size and elegance of his stick.
With regard to the walking sticks, already the noble Egyptians used as a sign of distinction long wooden sticks between 120 and 200 cm, and were richly decorated with lotus flowers, eyes, etc. In the Museum of Louvre of Paris you can see some walking sticks egyptian and hebrews, also they are very longs, and topped with fists hook or ball.
Besides many rituals have arisen in relation to the basque makila in all over the Basque Country. Especially we must to the Basques of Xiberoa East and Lower Navarre, the development of makila because is in the foothills of the Pyrenees where we can find the greatest varieties of woods for their making: loquat, chestnut and others.
The Makila is the traditional Basque walking stick. It was until very recently the very essence of the traditional dress of the people of Basque Country.
The Makila is a wooden stick of medlar tree, flexible, gnarled and hardy, stylish and crafted with great care, of course, made by hand.
As a symbol, the Makila means nobility, justice, respect and authority.
As a utility, the Makila was inseparable companion on all paths and also a security element.
The Makila has had a great evolution through history. They took the shepherds of our mountains, but then were longer than those used in villages and urban areas.
Although some people have regarded the Makila as a defensive weapon, you can not say that had this function but as a complement.
Until the beginning of the century, none in the Basque Country was able to imagine going on a trip or attend a jai alai without his red sash and Makila in hand.
MAKILA HISTORY FROM OTHER SOURCES:
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