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© CEN photographie
Tracing Venice

Makhila Ainciart Bergara

Cane making

For more than 200 years, the Ainciart Bergara workshop located in Larressore, near Espelette, has specialised in the manufacture of makhila (or makila), the Basque walking stick. They make them according to the family tradition, working with medlar wood, leather and metal, and following ancestral methods with entirely artisanal production. As a result, these makhilas are unique works of art. The craftsmanship of the Ainciart Bergara workshop was recognized very early on by the title of "Meilleur Ouvrier de France", awarded in 1936 to Jean Bergara, for the perfect welding of the pommel of their honorary makhilas.


The makhilas handcrafted by the Ainciart Bergara workshop have been given to personalities as diverse as Général de Gaulle, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill and Pope John Paul II. Since March 2019, Liza Bergara, from the seventh generation, has been at the helm of the company, succeeding her mother, allowing the Ainciart Bergara workshop to remain faithful to the history of the makhila and its roots in Basque culture. The company has been included in the UNESCO Inventory of Rare Crafts and is labelled as a Living Heritage Company.

Objects Next of Europe Exhibition Contact
75 Plazako Bidea 64480, Larressore, France
+33 559930305
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