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ARBASO, the Association for the Promotion of the Traditional Crafts of the Basque Country, is a non profit-making. It is recognised for its social function and we are currently working to achieve its recognition as a Public Interest body.

In ARBASO we se traditional crafts as an essential link between the culture inherited from our ancestors and the current one, transformed from those roots

We believe it necessary to conserve, maintain and bring to people this economic and cultural activity in order to keep the cultural roots of our people alive.

The Basque word ARBASO means ancestor.

ARBASO arose on 5 March 1995 in the Arts Centre at Durango (Bizkaia), after a series of preliminary meetings, which commenced in January of the same year on the initiative of artisans Bernat Vidal and Xanti Illarramendi. These were the “midwives” of ARBASO as an association that brought together the craftsmen and craftswomen whose work was related to traditional artisan work in the Basque Country (Euskal Herria).

ARBASO currently boasts forty artisans spread out over a considerable number of different crafts, from the oldest traditional trades that still existent in our culture.

Today there is also a place in the association for those crafts that are not strictly traditional but the fruit of professional research and of modern times.

ARBASO is currently made up of a hundred craft workshops spread over a large number of different crafts.

ARBASO is the only association of craftspersons of a Basque national ambit and, thus, with representatives from Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Navarre and Iparralde.

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