A BASQUE STORY IN BASQUE HISTORY
The Ainciart Bergara makhila workshop, a story that goes back to the French Revolution
The story of the Ainciart Bergaras began around 1780, in the village of Larressore, in the same place as today’s workshop. The workshop’s know-how has been passed down over more than 7 generations.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE AINCIART BERGARA WORKSHOP
From Gratien to Liza, 7 generations of craftsmen and women
A PASSIONATE TEAM WITH UNIQUE KNOW-HOW
Our makhila makers
Come and discover our workshop
Our workshop is located in the village of Larressorre, 15 minutes from Bayonne and Biarritz, and just 3 minutes from Espelette.
The workshop is open from Monday to Friday, except public holidays from 8am to 12pm and 2 to 6pm, Saturday mornings from 9am to 12pm. Visits are free and open to all.
AWARDS, CERTIFICATIIONS AND DISTINCTIONS
Numerous awards throughout the centuries
MASTER OF ART
In December 2019 Xavier Retegui, workshop craftsman, was awarded the title Master of Art by the Minister for Culture. He thus committed to train Liza Bergara over a 3 year period and pass on to her all the makhila’s know-how.
More than mere recognition, this title is the symbol of commitment and a will to pass on the trade. Since 1994, 141 professionals, creators and restorers, have been named Masters of Art with 101 craft trades honoured.
This recognition values unique know-how and skills, as well as the attachment to keep this cultural tradition alive. This distinction was requested by the Ministry of Culture. The workshop did not apply for this recognition.
The Ainciart Bergara makhila has been registered in the inventory of Rare Art Trades under the convention for the conservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Ainciart Bergara makhila is the only know-how chosen for this in the Basque Country.
EPV certification is the mark of recognition by the Ministry of the Economy which distinguishes French companies with know-how of excellence.
This certification was created in 2005 and rewards companies which respect precise criteria. These unique companies must know how to reconcile tradition and innovation, know-how and creation, work and passion, heritage and future, local and international.
Our workshop (Ainciart Bergara) was awarded EPV certification in 2012. This certification was renewed in 2017.
A STAR IN THE MICHELIN GREEN GUIDE
In September 2015, on the occasion of the release of the new edition of the Aquitaine Guide for Aquitaine & the Basque Country and the Navarre Guide, the Michelin Green Guide awarded our workshop one star.
Based on 9 criteria, the evaluation which leads to the obtaining of a star juges both the public image and heritage of the place as well as its authenticity, charm and quality of the welcome and visit. It is the second tourism distinction awarded to the Ainciart Bergara workshop.
ART DE FRANCE WORKSHOP
Ateliers d’Art de France is the professional union for craft trades. It brings together over 6 000 craftsmen and women, artists and art creators throughout France. Its vocation: defend and showcase the crafts sector and contribute to the economic development of professionals both in France and abroad.
BEST WORKER IN FRANCE IN 1936
In 1936, during the National Exhibition in Paris, Jean Bergara received the the award for the Best Worker in France as a Makhila Basque walking stick maker. The diploma is on display in the workshop.
MEDALS AT UNIVERSAL EXHIBITIONS
The first recognition given is attributed to Jean Ainciart (1862-1932), who obtained a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. In 1937 Jean Bergara took part in the Paris Universal Exhibition and won two silver medals.
POLITICIANS, ARTISTS, SPORSMEN & WOMEN & OTHER VIPs
They have received a Makhila from our workshop
Drag the cursor over the images to see the names of VIPs, click to zoom in