- Recording date: 1992-11-17
- Owner: Euskarabidea-mediateka
- Informant: Agustinela, Mainaina, Pierre.
- Main theme: Shepherd life.
- View allowed: Free
- Publication allowed: Limited
- Sound quality: Good
|Introduction. Agustinela went from Ezterenzubi to Irati at the age of eighteen, as the wife of a shepherd. She got married and that same year she began with the shepherding. In winter they came down to Eiheralarre.They went to Irati on foot. They used to get up at dawn and she would milk the sheep and make cheese. It was a long journey and they did it all on foot.
|jobs:, nutrition:, water
|Mainaina was at the shepherding for thirty-two years in Irupil. The same year that she got married she went to the pasture lands. The cabin was at a distance of three and half hours. They would go some eight days before to clean it and to bring up the provisions. Then they would take the sheep up on the twenty-ninth of April.In the mornings while her husband collected the sheep she would light the fire and heat the water so that all would be ready to make the cheeses as soon as the sheep were milked. Making the cheese was her work, she would make two in the morning and two at night. Meanwhile she would do the other chores, cleaning the cabin and so on. When it was time to take down the cheese, they would set off at about three in the morning with the mule and the donkey, before the cheese might get heated up. They needed eight days to bring down all the cheese. They used to milk about a hundred sheep and make cheese of that milk. She learnt how to do it from her husband. How they made the cheese.The chores in the cabin.They did up the place.Later they took over the hotel during two years but continued with the shepherding and the cheeses. When they had children, they too were up there in the summer. During the school year, however, they stayed down below.They never had any problems with the cheese. The journeys they had made up and down.By ten o’ clock in the morning they used to have all the chores finished .In the cabin there was no running water. They used to take two donkeys and it was about an hour away to reach the water spot. One donkey would carry sheets and things and the other the water. They had to go for water everyday.
|jobs:, nutrition:, war
|They made roads in Garruze and the children went to school in Donapaleu.The flock grew according to their needs. They boys would do the same as she did. Where the boys all are now.She was the only woman in Irati. The people who passed through there. It was the time of the war. An anecdote about the “Maquis”: they saw how they took one of the sheep to the hotel, but it was not the only time. The woodcutters would spend the afternoons with them. They used to sell the cheese.The children would come up to them during the holiday period. In the autumn all of them would go back down. When, how and to whom, they sold the cheese. In war time it was an advantage to make cheese.
|In May her husband would go up and she would follow eight days later with the child. The child was there with them until he reached the age to go to school.Nowadays the life in the cabin is easier. Now there are roads, light, telephone, water…Just like home. Even so, nobody wants to go there now.In winter she also worked with her husband at shepherding.The negative side of the business: bad weather, rain, the cold. However, she has no regrets about the life there. They were thirty-two years in the mountain, up to twelve years ago when they retired.The shepherds would get together from time to time. The shepherd’s food and the lambs(one-year-old ones).As well as preparing the meals for the shepherds she would also cut their hair.Her husband would go up in May and come down in July to the grass lands.She thinks it is possible for a family to live nowadays in the mountain.
|They were two years without children. They had one hundred and twenty sheep when she got married and two years later they had two hundred and fifty. Then they had their first child. Later the flock got smaller and did not give so much money.Nowadays it is not as hard as before to live as a shepherd.(Mainaina). Nowadays there are subventions, unlike the old days.(45:10”) It is still possible to make a living from shepherding, even for women.Goodbye.