Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date


Degree Title

Master of Applied Historical Research



Major Advisor

Dr. John Bieter


Lekuak ("Places") traces how Basque places in Boise reflect the evolution of each generation’s expression of ethnic identity in response to American societal forces of the times. The first-generation Amerikanuak (late 1800s to 1920s) predominantly expressed their ethnicity as an internally-focused, solely-Basque ethnic group and built places such as boardinghouses and frontons that met communal needs. The Tartekoak, ("in-between" second generation, 1930s to the 1950s), mostly expressed a dual Basque and American ethnic identity. Tartekoak places often revealed the individuation of this generation with single-family residences and Americanized businesses, and the Basque Center with ancestry-based membership. The Egungoak ("today" from the 1960s to the present), who may have mixed ancestral heritage, often express their ethnicity through conscious choice and inclusivity and principally created educational institutions that are open to non-Basques, including the Basque Museum and the Boise'ko Ikastola preschool. Boise's Basque Block represents the culmination of the evolution of Basque places over generations. Its visible, external expression of "symbolic ethnicity" contains examples of each generation's places: a boardinghouse, fronton, museum, and social center, as well as Basque symbols that permeate the streetscape. Ultimately, Lekuak documents Basque cultural persistence for over a hundred years in one American Western city through the lens of place.