In his 1824 book entitled Gipuzkoako dantza gogoangarrien kondaira edo historia
, Juan Ignacio Iztueta described the jorrai-dantza in the following terms:
“The jorrai-dantza is danced using swollen wineskins and hoes at the end of local festivities. It is danced in the following manner:
Eight, twelve or sixteen men come in to perform this dance. The leader has to carry a long staff with a sharp iron point at one end. The other dantzaris carry hoes. For each group of four dantzaris, there is a fifth man in charge of carrying a swollen wineskin on this shoulders. The wineskin porters will follow the moves of the dantzaris.
Wherever the dance is to be performed, the leader will first perform the zortziko while the other dantzaris stand still as they watch him. When the leader finishes his dance, the other dantzaris begin to dance in unison.
Once the zortziko is completed, the tambourine player plays that melody of the hoes and all the dantzaris begin to hoe, with the blows of their implements in time to the melody.
When the dantzaris begin to hoe the ground, the wineskin porters move into the middle of each group of four dantzaris and, at the last point of the melody, the dantzaris use the handle of their hoes to hit the wineskins filled with air at the same time.
After hitting the wineskins, the dantzaris begin to hoe facing in the opposite direction. But the wineskin porters approach again and move into the middle of the hoers. And again the hoers use the handles of their tools to hit the swollen wineskins.
This jorrai-dantza marks the end of the festivities, the wineskins are emptied and everyone has to now return to their tasks and leave the other revelries behing. The Basques were thus wisely told that they should leave the festivities on one side and return to work”.
A document unearthed by Iñaki Irigoien describes the dance programme that the dance group directed by José Antonio Olano, the dance master who took over from Iztueta, performed in Bilbao in 1858. The document includes the programme offered by the dance group, but the brokel-dantza
does not appear among the listed dances. After Olano, the work of teaching dancing in Guipuzcoa was carried out by José Lorenzo Pujana, who ran a dance group in Añorga in 1927. The dantzaris can be seen getting ready to perform the jorrai-dantza
in one of the first photographs featuring this group.