The AINCIART-BERGARA family
Charles BERGARA and his daughter Nicole continue the family tradition today, at Larressore. Charles had made makhilas with his father, Joanes BERGARA, before taking over the family business.
Joanes had married Marie-Jeanne AINCIART and learnt the craft from his father-in-law, also named Jean who was born in 1862. Jean, in turn, discovered the secret from his father (Antoine, born in 1828) and from his grandfather, Gratien, born in 1796. The tradition came from Gratien's father, Dominique AINCIART, but the rest is unknown as no archives are known of, beyond this era.
"Jean AINCIART is son and grandson of makhila makers - a veritable master of his craft"
The Ainciart-Bergara makhilas are crafted at Larressore thanks to handed down knowledge by several generations. Each piece and component such as the baton itself, the weighted cap, the decorative casing and the pommel, is hand made always using the same family tools. The tricks of the trade and secrets have been carefully guarded and passed on to family members.
"A makhila featured in the 1889 exhibition in Paris and won a "prix d'honneur". The engraved casing, lying before my eyes, represents a wild boar, a woodcock, a fox, a hare and all their names in Basque : basa urdia, pekada, hacheria, erbia. This particuliar makhila is now to be found in the Basque Museum in Bayonne".
A collection of makhilas presented to Basque Museum by the Ainciart