Saison (river)

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Saison
Country France
Basin features
Main source Licq-Athérey
288 m (945 ft)
River mouth Gave d'Oloron
43°24′8″N 0°58′27″W / 43.40222°N 0.97417°W / 43.40222; -0.97417 (Gave d'Oloron-Saison)Coordinates: 43°24′8″N 0°58′27″W / 43.40222°N 0.97417°W / 43.40222; -0.97417 (Gave d'Oloron-Saison)
Progression Gave d'OloronGaves réunisAdourAtlantic Ocean
Basin size 627 km2 (242 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 72 km (45 mi)

The Saison[1] or Uhaitz Handia,[2] is a left tributary of the Gave d'Oloron river in the French Basque Country, (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Southwest of France. Its general south to north direction provides the axis for the former French province of Soule. It is also known as the Gave de Mauléon.

Geography[edit]

The river is formed in Licq-Athérey from the confluence of the Gave de Sainte-Engrâce (from the Pierre-Saint-Martin Cave) and the Gave de Larrau (from the Pic d'Orhy).

It flows north and joins the Gave d'Oloron in Autevielle-Saint-Martin-Bideren, downstream from Sauveterre-de-Béarn.

Départements and towns[edit]

The riverside towns are Tardets-Sorholus and Mauléon-Licharre.

Name[edit]

The vernacular name Uhaitz handia (or simply Uhaitza) is based on the common word uhaitz meaning "torrential river" in Euskara. It corresponds to the French word gave. -a is the article and handi means big.

The enigmatic gascon name Saison could be a contraction season with the former name Gaison, itself derived from the variant ugaitz of uhaitz.

Tributary names are also linguistically interesting, with two specific stems:

  • Aphanize: name of tributaries from Montory (Aphanize) and from Haux (Aphanixe).[3]
  • Aphahura: leading to the following names: Aphaura (from Aroue and from Arrast,[4] Aphura (from Alçay), Aphuhura (from Aussurucq).

The stem gezal, a derivate of basque gazi 'salty', applied to 'still water', is also represented.

Main tributaries[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gaison on the 18th century map by Cassini; Sazon in 1548.
  2. ^ Uhaits handia on the map of Cassini
  3. ^ x [X] is a softened allomorph of the phoneme z (laminal [s] as the French ss).
  4. ^ also graphied Aphanire following Paul Raymond, Dictionnaire topographique du département des Basses-Pyrénées, 1863.
  5. ^ Aphanize, Aphanice
  6. ^ L'Apaure, la Phaure…
  7. ^ La Phaure, Lafaure…

References[edit]