Begoña Echeverria of the band NOKA presents on the burning of Basque “witches” in 1610, including passage readings from her historical novel “The Hammer of Witches” from 7 to 8 p.m. on July 26. The book was the Historical Novel Society’s Editors Choice for May 2015. Following the readings, NOKA will perform Basque witch songs. If time allows, a question and answer session will follow.
NOKA is composed of three women of Basque descent from Chino, California: Andréa Bidart, Begoña Echeverria, and Cathy Petrissans. NOKA sings contemporary and traditional Basque songs, with a special interest in those about women. NOKA is a familiar form of address, used only in speaking to women. It literally means to speak familiarly or informally to women, and was used throughout the Basque Country when addressing women or girls with whom one felt konfiantza (trust). Use of “noka” began to decline in the 19th century, though speakers from some small villages (many of whom immigrated to Chino) continue to use it.
“The Hammer of Witches” Basque Book Reading is sponsored by the City of Sparks.