Not to be confused with its homonym constituent parts.
For the Spanish autonomous community, see Basque Country. For the unofficial Basque territory in Spain, see Southern Basque Country.
in the western Pyrenees that straddles the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast.
It comprises the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain and the Northern Basque Country in France.
Even though they are not necessarily synonyms, the concept of a single culturally Basque area spanning various regions and countries has been closely associated with the politics of Basque nationalism.
The region is home to the Basque people (Basque: ), culture and traditions.
The area is neither linguistically nor culturally homogeneous, and certain areas have a majority of people who do not consider themselves Basque, such as the south of Navarre where in 1996 the census reported that 71% of inhabitants did not identify themselves as Basque – although fewer people in the same area (53%) opposed measures to support the Basque language. The name is difficult to accurately translate into other languages due to the wide range of meanings of the Basque word herri.
It can be translated as nation; country, land; people, population and town, village, settlement.
Thus a more literal translation would be "country/nation/people/settlement of the Basque language", a concept difficult to render into a single word in most other languages.The two earliest references (in various spelling guises) are in Joan Perez de Lazarraga's manuscript, dated around 1564–1567 as eusquel erria and eusquel erriau and heuscal herrian ('in the Basque Country') and Heuscal-Herrian in Joanes Leizarraga's Bible translation, published in 1571.The term Basque Country refers to a collection of regions inhabited by the Basque people, known as Euskal Herria in Basque language, and it is first attested as including seven traditional territories in Axular's literary work Gero (he goes on to suggest that Basque language is spoken "in many other places"), in the early 17th century.Some Basques refer to the seven traditional districts collectively as Zazpiak Bat, meaning "The Seven [are] One", a motto coined in the late 19th century.The Northern Basque Country, known in Basque as Iparralde (literally, "the northern part") is the part of the Basque Country that lies entirely within France, specifically as part of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques départment of France, and as such it is also usually known as French Basque Country (Pays basque français in French).In most contemporary sources it covers the arrondissement of Bayonne and the cantons of Mauléon-Licharre and Tardets-Sorholus, but sources disagree on the status of the village of Esquiule.