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Sports, Music & Dance

  • Frontoia (courts) are found all over the Basque country, traditionally made of church walls to play handball. Photo by Cristina Diaz-Carrera, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Frontoia (The Handball Court)

Now the courts are found in a great variety of styles and sizes, and they continue to be community gathering spaces for not only pilota games but also carnival processions, music and dance performances, bertsolaritza poetry competitions, and rural sports contests. Outside of Basque country, frontoiak are often the meeting grounds for Basque diaspora communities.

As the symbolic center and meeting place for the American people, the National Mall of the United States was a fitting location for a frontoia in Washington, D.C. The Folklife Festival Frontoia venue allowed visitors to watch and participate in pilota lessons and games, bolo (bowling) lessons and games, sokatira (tug-of-war), lokotz biltzea (cob gathering), demonstrations of other bertoko kirolak (local Basque sports), music and dance performances, and bertsolaritza.




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