Wayne (padpedpladuk) wrote in linguaphiles,

Linguistic / Mythological memory of Neanderthals?

The post below (from this blog last year) about Basque mythology sounds like it could be a cultural recollection of Neanderthals.

The very last site where Neanderthals are known to have survived is in Spain, although it was in southern Spain rather than the north where the Basques live now.

A genetic analysis done in the past year or so concluded that the Neanderthal individual that the material came from had red hair.

Basque is said to be mysteriously unrelated to any other language. I have long wondered if Basque might carry some remnants of a Neanderthal language. It is an interesting coincidence that the "Basque" called these people "Basajaun."

I'm sure many of you have heard of this before but the specifics were news to me when I ran across them this evening. Thought it was cool in a linguistic sense so I'm posting it here. Anybody know any further details about this and how it might relate to the Basque language?

Below I am quoting the post that I found interesting ...
In Basque mythology, the basajaun (plural: basajaunak) were an ancient human race of stout, hairy wild men who were megalith builders.

Basajaun means "Lord of the Woods", they once dwelled in the mountains of the Basque Pyrenees of northern Spain and southern France and had knowledge of magic. The Basajaun was heavily built and about 2 to 3 meters tall. Dark reddish hair reached their knees. They were very agile, strong, hairy beings with animal characteristics.

The Basajaun watch over the forests and all wild creatures. They are rural genies, also called the Wild Lords, also considered to be the protector of flocks. When comes a storm a Basajaun will shout warnings to the shepherds; and they prevent wolves from approaching flocks. They are the first to have cultivated the earth.

Human beings obtained the right to cultivate the earth when a man won a bet with a Basajaun. He stole the seeds that the Basajun was sowing and he came back to his peoples to teach them how to produce food.

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