Antropología Física

The Basque people have always lived at the western end of the Pyrenees, straddling the border Spain and France and looking towards the Bay of Biscay. We anticipate that the focus of this article is anthropological and, therefore, has certain limits, since we are not going to analyse the entire population currently living in the Autonomous Community, Navarre and the Northern Basque Country, given that, in fact, the fertile community there is made up of native, immigrant or mixed couples, and an investigation of such disparate groups would be imprecise and inadequate. Therefore, in our case, the scientific method requires us to specify our object of study by choosing samples of the indigenous Basque population which, due to the quantity and uniqueness of their anthropological characteristics, are statistically significant, in the same way as could be done, for example, with the Lapps, Galicians or gypsies. Although it may seem that the title refers to a singular individual with typically Basque traits, in reality it corresponds to the natural population, that is, to the biological aspect of the human group that has always populated Euskal Herria, that is, to this group observed from the point of view of the genetic base that is expressed in the morphological, biochemical, physiological, pathological and behavioural traits that constitute the adaptive responses that the collectivity, over generations, has given to the stimuli of the environment.

All humans are descendants of some population and all populations are located in some territory. For this reason, to the biological definition of individuals must be added that of population and territory. For anthropology, the individual is a being who carries in his body genetic information received from his ancestors which he will pass on to his descendants. The Basque body under investigation is the bearer of a past, a present and a future. All of this belongs to the genetic heritage of the community. Together with the diversity of individuals that follow each other in the generational chain, a common heritage of genetic community is maintained, which we call race or population. The physical reality of a people is not that which appears directly in the individuals, but that which is inscribed in the sexual cells of the reproductive community, this being the true family heritage. The territory is the natural region in which the human group is located: the Pyrenean mountain area, the Cantabrian coastal strip, the high country (goiherri) of Gipuzkoa, the Araba plain, the middle and flat Navarre, the foothills of the Swabian foothills, etc. In this Basque eco, the human group has been able to control the environment with a specific way of life, and has adapted with a culture. All this is embodied in the current Basque biotype; in the men and women we meet either in Azpeitia, Tolosa or Elizondo on a fair day, or in the fishing villages or when we visit the popular festivals in Duranguesado.