Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

James Mokhiber

Second Advisor

Marc Landry

Third Advisor

David Beriss


This thesis examines how Basque-American communities from the 1930s to the 2000s, responding in part to external threats and accusations of treason, communism, or terrorism, and have come to be identified more with cultural practice over homeland politics. This can be seen through the career and legacy of Pete Cenarrusa (1917-2013), a longtime Idaho politician of Basque descent. Cenarrusa’s early life and career were dedicated to Basque nationalist politics, but his primary legacy is that of a cultural preserver, who helped to further develop the Western United States’ Basque community’s cultural focus, as expressed through festivals, physical sites and community-based Basque-American organizations.


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