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Thumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageThumbnail imageAlmost all those attending today masquerades from Xiberoa only see a burlesque show, combined with dance performances. Yet in their origins and symbolic masquerades are carnivals, ie popular phrases having a double meaning: questioning the society in its scheduling, its operations and its hierarchy, and a rebirth of human beings, animals and natural elements, the transition from winter to spring lethargy heralds back to life.

In ancient times, masquerades were held during a period called zotal egünak - that could be translated as "day care" or "crazy days" - which corresponded to the difference of twelve days between lunar and solar calendars.It was customary that masquerades take place then and only then. Today we are far from this tradition of masquerades that lasts until May! ...

 

The Kautere (Boilermakers) and Buhame (gypsies) are used to criticize and ridicule those who hold power and hierarchy of the established order - symbolized by Jauna and Anderea (Lord and Lady) but also by Laboraria and Laborarisa ( the peasant couple). In their game, while the death, disorder and crowd, and the content very impertinent of peredikü (speech), and kautere buhame show they want to enjoy the period of free speech and action without limits in zotal egünak . We can therefore say that masquerades Souletine represent the clash between two worlds, that of orderly society, civilized, and the hierarchy of marginal people with little, and others left out of social evolution.

 

The symbolism of rebirth, the passage from winter to spring, is to find it in several scenes of masquerades, particularly in the death and resurrection of the Pitxu kautere clown or in the pet bear - which is not present in all masquerades - out of its hibernation period.

 

According to some scholars - anthropologists and other - other scenes masquerades, and in particular the castration of Zamaltzain (horse-man or man-skirt) are, themselves, the symbolic transition from the state of being wild one to be civilized.

 

A final carastéristique masquerades - like other forms of carnival - is to represent the values and references of an agro-pastoral civilisation, who has disappeared or at least changed profoundly.

 

: A very interesting study of the symbolic masquerades Souletine is freely available on the following link: http://ericdicharry.hautetfort.com/archive/2007/12/27/du-rite-au-rire-le-discours-des-mascarades-souletines-these11.html