NovelsFamilyMedlarWorkshopMakhilaBasque Country

Infos, coordonnées, plan du site






 
The Makhila
The fabrication
Types and tariffs
   
The Makhila
This traditionnal Basque walking stick is a symbol of honour. It reflects a certain philosophy and a way of life. Elegant, practical, a redoutable defensive weapon as well as a decorative object, the makhila (or makila) is not only a mark of distinction but also a walking companion - a truly important element in Basque life.
       

The fabrication
Everything begins by the hunt for the rare medlar tree (Mespilus germanica) in the forests. Once found, wavy incisions are cut for decoration on the living branch. This is a springtime operation. The branch grows until the beginning of winter (thus expanding the design of the incision) when a return trip is made to the forest to cut the branch. 
  
Once back at the workshop at Larressore, the bark is removed and the branches are straightened by the heat of a kiln. This is a delicate technique requiring particular knowledge and vast experience. The branches are now naturally dried for several years. The last stage in preparation is colouring the wood using a secret family technique, perfected many years ago.
 
The dressing and decoration of the makhila consists of preparing made-to-measure decorative fittings varying on the thickness of the baton. A harmonious line is sought after while respecting the weighted balance of the baton which is an aide for walking. The makhila is decorated with various metal bands including brass, german silver, silver and gold. They are cut, curved, braced and decorated, then adjusted to fit the medlar wood. The handle is either all metal or garnished with woven leather straps and is finished with a horn or worked metal pommel. The handle can be unscrewed revealing the makhilas deadly secret; a forged spike. Thus it was not only used for walking but also as a defensive weapon !
The weighted end is fashioned into a trefoil design.
Each makhila is unique with the personnal touches added by the inscription of the christian and family name as well as a motto chosen by the customer. On models crowned with an all metal pommel, initials or coats-of-arms are also engraved.
 

Types and tariffs
       


Click to zoom


Click to zoom


Click to zoom


Decorative bands :

Decorative bands :

Decorative bands :
Brass : 280 euro
Nickel silver :
290 euro
Sterling silver :
430 euro
  
Nickel silver   :
390 euro
Sterling silver :
650 euro
 
Nickel silver :
390 euro
Sterling silver :
650 euro
  

More pictures of the three models that we craft :
     - makhila with horned pommel
     - makhila d'honneur  with pommel in metal entirely fashioned in our workshop. Initials are engraved in English lettering:
       makhila d'honneur with leather handle
       makhila d'honneur

The makhilas are only made-to-measure so we always need the weight and height of our customer. All the models have a personnal touch added with family and christian names engraved as well as a motto which we translate in Basque.
  
An advance payment of 30% of the price is required so that we may proceed with the order.

order form for makila


Our address :


Atelier Ainciart Bergara
64480 Larressore
 FRANCE
Tél : 33 (0)5 59 93 03 05
Fax : 33 (0)5 59 70 30 13
     
The workshop is open everyday except Sundays and national holidays from 9 am - 12 am and from 2 pm - 6 pm (Saturday: 5 pm)

By-the-by 
     - our makhilas (makilas) are all signed and dated on the bottom band
     - our makhilas are not sold anywhere else outside our workshop

"BE CAREFUL OF IMITATIONS"
say Marie-Jeanne Ainciart and Joanes Bergara