Jon Oñatibia Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BAQ021

Scope and Contents

BSQAP 0041 1977

-Copy of Jon Oñatibia's diary of a trip to the Northwest.

BSQAP 0423

-Tapes for Método de Euskera Radiofónico in Guipuzcoan dialect and Methode d'Euskera Pradiophonique in Labourdin dialect.

-English translation to his work Método de Euskera Radiofónico made by William H. Jacobsen.


  • 1977-


Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site.

Biographical / Historical

Jon Oñatibia was an influential promoter of the Basque culture for a large part of the twentieth century. He was born in Oiartzun, Gipuzkoa, in 1911, and passed away there in 1979. Oñatibia was a skilled txistu (Basque fipple flute) player and was held in high esteem as a txistu teacher at the NABO music camps of the 1970s in the western United States. Aside from his music, Oñatibia was an ardent political activist, defending the Basque Government in exile and its interests, through his efforts to keep the Basque culture alive.

Oñatibia began teaching txistu in Zaragoza. He was also the founder of the Oñatibia dynasty of txistularis. He and his brothers were also known for Basque dancing and handball. During the Spanish Civil War, he was exiled in Paris and became part of the "Eresoinka" group to preserve the Basque Culture. He continued to work to preserve Basque culture when he traveled to the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. There, he formed musical groups and created the magazines Euskadi and Argia, among others. When he arrived in the United States, he founded the “Euzkadi Group,” a Basque show that included various representations of Basque life, such as songs and dances. Oñatibia was appointed as a delegate to the Basque Government in New York by Lehendakari Agirre in 1954; he served in this position until 1963 when he returned to the Basque Country after more than 25 years in exile. Here, he developed Basque language lessons while working in radio, he started to teach Basque and worked to train new teachers. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Paris, with the dissertation Análisis morfológico del Euskara. He was a member of Euskaltzaindia, the Royal Academy of the Basque language.

Oñatibia’s contributions to Basque music, politics, and culture are many. Still, he is most fondly remembered in the Basque communities of the western United States for the role he played in educating the younger generation of Basque-Americans.


BASQUE MUSEUM. Jon Oñatibia. [Online] [No longer available]

AUÑAMENDI. Juan Oñatibia Audela. [Online]


0.25 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


Copy of Jon Oñatibia's diary of a trip to the Northwest, tapes for "Método de Euskera Radiofónico"/"Methode d'Euskera Pradiophonique". It also includes an English translation to his work "Método de Euskera Radiofónico" made by William H. Jacobsen.

A Guide to the Papers of Jon Oñatibia
In Progress
Irati Urkitza Ansoleaga
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Jon Bilbao Basque Library Repository

1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)