This famous spirit`s name means “the lord of the woods” or “the savage lord”. Basajaun lives in the dense forests and in the caves located in the highlands. He has the appearance of a big and frightening man. The hair of his head comes down to his knees, his body is covered with hair and it nearly covers up his face, his chest and his belly. One of his feet is similar to a human`s one but the other one is completely rounded.
This spirit is the protector of the woods and Nature. He protects the flocks especially. That`s why, when a storm approaches, Basajaun roars to alert the shepherds. Thanks to the roars, the shepherds can take shelter with their flocks in time. Basajaun also protects the flocks again wolves. When the sheep feel that Basajaun is near, they ring their little bells and, that way, the shepherd can be certain that wolves will not approach more.
Sometimes, Basajaun can also behave as a wicked and frightening spirit, showing us his tremendous strength and his speed. Some other time, he appears as the first farmer, the first blacksmith or the first miller. He is a master at all those jobs. That`s why humans stole from him the secret of how to make the saw, the axis of a mill and of how to weld.
According to the legends, on one occasion, a brave man called San Martiniko stole from Basajaun the secret of how to make the saw. Basajaun had made a saw and San Martiniko heard the news; but he did not know how to make it himself, so he devised a ruse to find out the secret. He sent his servant to the village, who spread the news that his master had achieved making a saw. Basajaun heard the news, so he asked the servant:” Has your master apparently seen the leaf of a chestnut tree?” And the servant answered: “He hasn’t yes but he will”.
Cret right away, so he could make the saw quickly. At night, Basajaun come to San Martiniko`s to confirm if the news was true. When he noticed that the saw was already made, Basajaun, in a fit or rage, took the saw and turned all its teeth, one by one, one to the right and the next to the left, because he thought that this way it would be useless. But, that reaction became useful for San Martiniko, who realized that, now, it could saw up much better.