Boise, USA. The Basque Center in Boise, Idaho, was filled with activity from early in the morning last Saturday, April 23, when Euzkaldunak's local Mus tournament took place. Registration for the tournament was scheduled for 9:00 am, with the games starting at around 10:00 am. Participants did not finish playing until almost 8:00 in the evening. Seventeen teams participated in the tournament with one objective in mind: to represent Euzkaldunak in the NABO Mus finals next June 11 in Fresno, California.
Each NABO member club can send a team from its own local tournament to the annual national tournament. A club who has more than 20 teams (21 teams and up) can send two teams to the NABO final. The previous NABO winners home club serves as the hosts for the next year's NABO finals, in this case the Fresno club. The winners of the NABO finals then represent the United States at the annual international tournament.
Participants in the Mus tournament in Boise played for 8 hours straight. They only broke for lunch, which included red beans, morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo, bread, salad, wine, coffee and dessert.
The Boise Mus tournament welcomed both male and female participants from different age groups. Esther Ciganda, Izar Iribarren-Gorrindo (also one of Ahizpak owners), and Juliana Aldape were the three women taking part in the tournament. Esther Ciganda tells EuskalKultura.com that she started playing mus at home when she was a little girl, and represented the Seattle Basque Center in the finals seven years ago. Izar Iribarren-Gorrindo, on the other hand, says that she started playing just a few years ago, but now she’s hooked. In her opinion, mus is a great way to merge generations and to meet members of the community that she might otherwise not have gotten to know.
Ramon Barquin, who works at Leku-Ona Basque restaurant in downtown Boise, and Jose Neira won the tournament and they will represent Euzkaldunak in the Fresno finals.