Sunday, March 4, 2012

Las Encartaciones : Biscay (Spain)

West of Bilbao is one of the seven comarcas composing the Basque province of Biscay : the "Encartaciones". Contrary to the remainder of Biscay, the area has been traditionally Romance-speaking for centuries.

  • Sample :
Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark, leptomorphic, long and triangular head, long and straight nose, close-set eyes, full eyebrows, pointy chin and large jaw
~ (Dinaromorphic) Atlanto-Mediterranean

Those people don't look Basque, more like classical Iberian. Another series show more Basque afinities to my eyes (strong dinaromorphism, frequency of green/grey eyes, ...) though it's quite variable.

- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion, brachymorphic, large face, square-box head head, little and straight nose, rather distanced eyes, little eyelids, large jaw
~ Alpinoid

Though brachymorphic types are not absent from Basque lands, these people are not Basque-looking to my eyes and are similar to neighbouring Cantabrian people.

  • Final morphotypes :


  1. How did you make this sample, Heraus? Did you just include anyone living in the Left Bank? Most look a lot from Leon and such. Just to be sure, I made some Google searches with municipality+"retrato" (portrait) and the faces I find are much more Basque-looking.

    I think it's a misleading sample.

  2. I selected people from the rural western parts of Las Encartaciones who went to school in little villages or towns, I did not select people from the left bank of the Nervion river (too cosmopolitan). I selected people with local surnames (generally Spanish and shared with neighbouring Cantabrian areas) though occasionally there are castillianized Basque ones (Lambarri being an obvious one).

    Here's the list of surnames : Santisteban, Vivanco, Zaballa, Ontalvilla, Zaton, Lazcano, Lambarri, Zorrilla, ...

    I checked them one by one :

    I'll try to see whether a sample in neighbouring eastern Cantabria gives similar results and another one in Biscay. For sure, as far as this sample is concerned (it may be flawed indeed), Enkarterriak don't look strikingly Basque.

  3. In truth that Enkarterriak is a somewhat strange transitional area.

  4. Wished I could contact you privately, but I can't find any email address.
    Guess: where am I from?

  5. I cannot open your link. BTW you make me realize I have forgotten to forge an April Fools' joke this year !

  6. My fault. I could post a link to the family album, but that would make it too easy.
    Try to copy paste these links into your browser tab:
    I don't dye or straighten my hair, and wear no make up in the pic with my pijama on. I had just woken up. Pics were taken in mid-winter, so I wasn' tanned at all. Good luck!


I've chosen to let people comment freely on my posts. Nevertheless, you'll lose your time taunting me and calling me a fascist (which I'm really not) : I pray you to read my introduction which will reassure that my intentions genuinely aim at achieving amateurish knowledge. I understand that you may not share my passion for the history of the peopling of the World, just don't let me know as clear conscience gained by bashing a humble documentary work is useless.