Elkokoak: The Basques of Elko

Elkokoak The Basques of Elko

The Virtual Humanities Center at Great Basin College is proud to present this growing collection of materials representing northeastern Nevada's rich Basque heritage. Originally designed in conjunction with the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival "Innovation by Culture" tribute to Basque-Americans and the Elko National Basque Festival, the Elkokoak exhibit will be a permanent showcase of our local Basque communities.

Fall Basque Dancing at the California Trail Interpretative Center

Elko Arinak DancerThe Elko Ariñak Basque Dancers will perform a variety of folk dances at a Fall Basque Dance at the California Trail Interpretative Center on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at 2:00 pm.

Many of the Basque dances are illustrated stories of traditional lifeways from the Basque Country. When Basque immigrants came to rural Nevada and other parts of the American West, they brought this exuberant expression of their culture with them.

The Elko Ariñak Basque Dancers, first formed in 1967, has performed throughout the United States. The dancers took part in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in July 2016.

The fun starts at 2:00pm, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the California Trail Interpretative Center event page.


Mountain Picassos showcases Basque arborglyphs at GBC Art Gallery

Mountain Picassos exhibit posterMountain Picassos: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin is a traveling exhibit of the tree-carvings done by Basque sheepherders. Such carvings are common throughout the Great Basin and the American West, and comprise a unique artistic expression of the Basque-American heritage.

The traveling exhibit will be on display at the GBC Art Gallery, located in the Leonard Center for Student Life, through 12 October 2017. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, and admission is free.

The NTI-Traveling Exhibition is co-sponsored by the Nevada Historical Society, Nevada Humanities, the Nevada Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

To learn more about Basque arborglyphs, we recommend Richard Lane's short article "Basque Tree Carvings" [click here] from our Elko Basque Articles collection.


Sandoval Proclamation Honoring Basque HeritageGov. Sandoval Proclaims 29 June 2016
Day in Honor of "Basque Heritage and Culture in Nevada"

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has issued a proclamation naming 29 June 2016 as a day in honor of "Basque Heritage and Culture in Nevada."

The proclamation, issued 24 May 2016, cites the vital roles played by Basque communities and individuals "in shaping the growth and success of the Silver State, with recognition of the remarkable place Basque culture, history, and heritage continues to occupy in the Nevada character." The Basque community's continued celebration of its identity is also praised by Governor Sandoval.

For exhibit information, contact Scott A. Gavorsky (scott.gavorsky@gbcnv.edu)

The "Elkokoak: The Basques of Elko" Exhibit is a joint project of

Great Basin CollegeVirtual Humanities Center at Great Basin CollegeNortheastern Nevada Museum

This exhibit has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

NEH Logo graphic

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibit do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Great Basin College; Elko Euzkaldunak Club; Vince J. Juaristi; Northeastern Nevada Museum