Nationalism Is Muted Among Basques in Idaho
By ANTHONY RIPLEY
Special to The New York Times
BOISE, Idaho, Dec. 19—The annual Sheepherders Ball ended at 2 A.M. today and was a smash hit—but then, it´is every year for the 12,000 Basques who Uve around Boise.
Open, relaxed, confident and so talkative they would have drowned out the band if they were not so fond of dancing, 600 Americans of Basque descent attended the affair at the Mardi Gras dance hall on South
Their yodeling war cry was heard occasionally over the music and talk. Much wine and whiskey were disposed of. But not a single voice shouted out the cry of Basque nationalisme "Gora Euzkadi," or "Up with the Basque nation."
Even though televisión screens and newspapers are filled with reporte of dissent, demonstrations and strikes in the Basque provinces of Spain, nationalism is only a shadow here in the lárgest Basque settlement in the United States.
It ís an undercurrent, not a ground swell: a matter of concern, not action, It is divorced from the fabric of daily life which the Basques live here with a remarkable zest.
At the Sheepherders Ball there were no patriotic speeches, no moments of silent prayer, no ringing declarations, not even looks of grave concern at the plight of the people in Spain.
In the Basque provinces of Spain, 16 members of the extremist Euzkadi ta Azkatasuna group, called by the initials E.T.A., have been tried by a military courtmartial in Burgos for the murder of the chief of
can, a Basque and the son of a sheepherder.
Governor Laxalt and Gov. Don Samuelson of Idaho sent a telegram to Generalissimo Francisco Franco asking a fair tríal with due process of law for those facing murder charges.
Except for some letters to Senators and Congressmen, the telegram has been about the extent of action in Idaho.
"We have tried to send letters, but what can you do?" asked Mrs. Espe Alegría, who has a one-hour Basque language program every Sunday over Radio Station KBOI.
"Spain is a dictatorship, so you watch from afar."
The Rev. Santos Recalde, pastor of Sacred Hearts Church, in Parma, came to the United States 10 years ago and has been organizing Mexican farm workers in Idaho.
"It is tragic what is going on," he said of the American Basque reaction to events in Spain. "There is no action in a unitd way.
"There is tremendous spirit. Basques will do anything and do it well. But the problem is waking up people
in a profound sense, not in a surface, folklore way.
"We have Basque centers, picnics and social events. But when it comes to something deeper . . ."
He threw his hands in the air in a gesture of despair.
The Basque Center of Boise is planning a chartered flight to Madrid this summer.
Father Recalde said he did not agree with the ETA, whose "methods and philosophy are against everything that is Basque."
But, he reflected, "you don´t make a revolution with rósaries."
political pólice for Gipuzkoa Province.
Even conservative Basques in Idaho contend the man was a torture rand a sadist and will not be missed.
"None of these people condone the E.T.A. group," said Pete T. Cenarrusa, who was just re-elected secretary of state in Idaho.
"They understand why the action was taken, but they would choose other methods to bring about change.
"But they understand, too, when people are under so much pressure that their backs are against the wall."
Mr. Cenarrusa, like Gov. Paul Laxalt of Nevada, is a Republic