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  • Issue date: 16/05/2008
  • Printing Process: Huecograbado
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (vertical)
  • Sheet effects: 25 sellos + 25 viñetas
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,43 €
  • Print run: 500.000
  • Dented: 13 3/4

This issue is devoted to lifting stones, the most representative traditional sport of the regions of Navarra and the Basque Country where it is known as “Arrijasoketa”. It consists of lifting or carrying heavy stones to prove one’s strength.


There are no written documents on the Arrijasoketa so presumably the origins of this game are linked to the workers of the quarries and the custom to mark one’s land with boundary stones. It was in the late XIX and early XX century when Victor Zabala- known as Arteondo- exhibited his ability in stone lifting in public and determined the volumes and weights of this sports discipline. Besides Arteondo, José Manuel Ibar “Urtain” and Iñaki Perurena, have been the best known stone lifters of all times. Perurena broke his own record lifting a stone over 325 Kg. The shapes of the stones used by stone lifters are divided into four different shapes: Cylindrical stone which can weigh from 50 Kg to 125 Kg; the cubic stone with six squared faces and no handgrips weighing from 125 to 212.5 Kg; the rectangular stone, 125 to 312.50 Kg , used to set new personal records of maximum weights and finally the spherical stone, or ball, with no handgrips weighing from 112.5 to 125 Kgs and mainly used in exhibitions. Stone lifters perform one after the other, never all at once, and the contest consists in lifting the stone as many times as possible in the shortest time. The athlete lifts the stone up to his shoulder and can lean it on his legs, stomach and chest. For his performance to be valid, the stone must be thrown forward over a pit made out of sandbags or some other shock absorber material. The stamp and vignette depict a typical scene of the stone lifter and his assistant who helps in lining up the stones correctly for the following contestant.

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