Laminak Bridge Licq

Laminak Bridge (Pont des Laminaks), Licq-Atherey Soule (Pyrenees-Atlantiques) (Pyrenees)

The lamia (plural: lamiak) is a siren- or nereid-like creature in Basque mythology.[1][2] Lamiak, laminak or amilamiak live in the river. They are very beautiful, and stay at the shore combing their long hair with a golden comb and they charm men. They have duck feet.

In the coast some believed that there were "itsaslamiak" who had fish tails in the sea.

Beliefs Edit

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Lamia (Basque mythology)

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Lamiak help those who give them presents by providing them with help at work; if a farmer left them food at the river shore, they would eat it at night and in exchange would finish the work he had left unploughed. In some places, bridges were believed to have been built by lamiak: Ebrain (Wikipedia:Bidarray, Wikipedia:Lower Navarre), Azalain (Wikipedia:Andoain, Wikipedia:Gipuzkoa), Urkulu (Wikipedia:Leintz-Gatzaga, Wikipedia:Gipuzkoa), Wikipedia:Liginaga-Astüe, (Wikipedia:Labourd bridges were built at night.

Lamia Garagartzan Unknown crop

Statue of a lamina with webbed feet in the district of Garagartza in Arrasate (province of Guipuzcoa, the Basque Autonomous Community)

In some places lamias had to go away if the bridge they were building at night was left unfinished at cockcrow. People believed that lamias had left a river if a stone of the bridge was missing. Most lamias disappeared when men built small churches in the forest.

There is a lamia at the other side of the rainbow combing her hair, and when the sun lights her hair the rainbow opens.

In some places male lamias also exist, they are strong and have built Wikipedia:dolmens at night. Sometimes they can enter a house when its inhabitants are sleeping. They are given different names: Maideak, Mairiak, Wikipedia:Mairuak, Intxixuak (in Wikipedia:Oiartzun, (Wikipedia:Gipuzkoa), Saindi Maidi (in Wikipedia:Lower Navarre).

Many toponyms are related to lamias: Lamikiz (Markina, Laminaputzu (in Wikipedia:Zeanuri), Lamitegi (in Wikipedia:Bedaio), Lamirain (in Wikipedia:Arano), Lamusin (in Wikipedia:Sare), Lamiñosin (in Wikipedia:Ataun).



  1. "lamia". Orotariko Euskal Hiztegia. Euskaltzaindia (Academy of the Basque Language). Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. Williams, Elena Arana (1989). "Basque Legends in their Social Context". Essays In Basque Social Anthropology And History. Basque Studies Program. pp. 119-120. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 

See alsoEdit

Further reading Edit

The French Wikipedia has an article which is much better developed; see the Edit text for a text-hidden version of the article Google Translate-d (ie badly translated) into English


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an:Laina ca:Lamina eu:Lamia fr:Lamina (mythologie) it:Lamiak