1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast (Basque: Aiziritze-Gamue-Zohazti) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in southwestern France.

The people of the commune are known as Aiziriztar.[1]



The commune is part of the Mixe country in the French Basque Country of Lower Navarre. It is located immediately north of Saint-Palais. Highway D29 runs north from Saint-Palais through the entire commune from south to north and passing through the town. The D529 Highway runs east from the commune to its junction with Highway D134. Highway D933 enters the commune in the southeast and runs north along the eastern side of the commune to exit in the north.[2]


The commune is located in the Drainage basin of the Adour and is watered by the Bidouze, a tributary of the Adour, and it has its tributaries: the Joyeuse and the Eyherachar and Recalde streams.

Places and Hamlets[3]

  • Aguerria
  • Ahano
  • Aïcirits
  • Aiherguy
  • Berhouet
  • Blazy
  • Bordaberry
  • Camou
  • Capou
  • Changartia
  • Chourry
  • Christy (2 place names)
  • Coutrenia
  • Elgartemix
  • Enauthardy
  • Errecaldia
  • Escutary
  • Esquilamborda
  • Etchart
  • Etchebestia
  • Etchecoin
  • Etchegorria
  • Eyhera
  • Eyherabidia
  • Goyhenetchia
  • Halsague
  • L'Hippodrome
  • Hourcadette
  • Ihitzague
  • Ilhardoy
  • Jauberria
  • Larrabure
  • Larramendy
  • Larrania
  • Larrartia
  • Longynia
  • Mandachainia
  • Mendiburia
  • Mocoroua
  • Oyhenart
  • Sagaspe
  • Salha[4]
  • Salle
  • Suhast
  • Tocoua
  • Tolospia
  • Ttarga (craft zone)


The commune's name in Basque is Aiziritze-Gamue-Zohazti.

For Aïcirits, Jean-Baptiste Orpustan proposed the Basque etymology aitz, meaning "high" and aratze, meaning "fern patch", giving "high fern patch" or "rocky fern patch".[5]

He also indicated that Suhast may come from zuhaztoi, meaning "plantation of trees".

The inhabitants of Camou are known as Gamuar and the inhabitants of Suhast are known as Zohaztiar.

The following table details the origins of the commune name and other names in the commune.

Name Spelling Date Source Page Origin Description
Aïcirits Sanctus Martinus de Assiriz 1160 Orpustan Village
Ayxiritz 1316 Orpustan
Aysiriz 1350 Orpustan
Aychiritz 1413 Orpustan
Ayxeriis 1472 Raymond
Camou Sactus Petrus de Camono 1160 Orpustan Village
Camou-Mixe 13th century Raymond
Camo 1304 Orpustan
Chamo 1309 Orpustan
Gamo 1350 Orpustan
Camo 1413 Orpustan
Camur 1472 Raymond
Camo en Micxe 1479 Raymond
Camo 1519 Raymond
Camu 1621 Raymond
Camon 1621 Ldh/EHESS/Cassini Biscay
Camou-Mixe 1863 Raymond
Suhast Sancta Maria de Suhast 1160 Orpustan Village
Suhast 1316 Orpustan
Suast 1350 Orpustan
Suhast 1413 Orpustan
Suast 1513 Raymond
Salha Çalaha 1384 Raymond
Duchesne Chateau and Fief, subject to the Kingdom of Navarre
La maison deu senhor de Salha en lo pays de Micxe 1547 Raymond
Uhart-Juson Uhart-Juson 1863 Raymond
Fief, vassal of the Kingdom of Navarre




Suhast, formerly the village of Camou-Mixe, joined Aïcirits and Camou-Mixe on 22 March 1842.[4]


Arms of Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast
The arms are made up of the three shields of

Aïcirits, Camou, and Suhast.

Argent, three inescutcheons posed 2 and 1. The first Azure with two keys of Or saltirewise to dexter an orb the same banded and crossed at chef argent charged with three crosses pattées of gules; the second of Azure a wolf passant in Or armed and langued in gules, bordure the same charged with eight crosses of St. Andrew of Or 2 at chief, 3 at dexter and 3 at sinister; the third Or with three oaks eradicated vert shaft Tenné


List of Successive Mayors of Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast [12]

From To Name Party Position
1995 2014 Guy Énéco CPNT
2014 2020 Chantal Erguy

(Not all data is known)

Administrative Associations

The commune is linked to the following administrative bodies (non exhaustive list):

  • the catchment area of Saint-Palais
  • Local Agency for Employment (ALE) of Biarritz
  • the social welfare fund of Bayonne
  • the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bayonne Basque Country
  • the sanitation sector of Bayonne Saint-Palais-South-West-Landes
  • the subdivision of the Departmental Equipment management of Saint-Palais-Bidache

Judicial Districts

The town depends on the district court of Bayonne, the High Court of Bayonne and the Court of Appeal of Pau.


The commune belongs to six inter-communal structures:[13]

  • the community of communes of Amikuze
  • the AEP union for the Mixe country
  • the energy union of Pyrenees-Atlantiques;
  • the intercommunal union for regrouping of teaching "Ikas bidea"
  • the intercommunal union for the operation of the schools of Amikuze
  • the union to support Basque culture.


In 1350 there were 20 hearths in Camou.[14]

The fiscal census[15] of 1412 to 1413, made[16] on the order of Charles III of Navarre, compared to the one in 1551 "of men and weapons that are in the kingdom of Navarre outside the ports",[17] revealed a strong growth in population. The first census indicated at Aïcirits the presence of 4 fires, the second 13 fires (12 + 1 secondary fire). Similarly in Camou, the census reported in 1412-1413 10 fires, and that of 1551 31 fires (27 + 4 secondary fires). Finally at Suhast, the counts indicated 6 fires in the first census and 22 fires (21 + 1 secondary fire) for the second.

The census of the population of Lower Navarre in 1695[18] returned Aïcirits with 31 fires, Camou with 49, and Suhast with 38.

In 2010, the commune had 655 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known through the population censuses conducted in the town since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1][Note 2]

Population change (See database)
1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851
206 211 236 186 262 252 261 256 281
1856 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896
252 240 225 211 207 228 254 226 270
1901 1906 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954
249 238 238 234 249 235 240 202 179
1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2006 2007 2008
204 219 564 531 531 559 642 648 665
2009 2010 - - - - - - -
660 655 - - - - - - -

Sources : Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 (population without double counting and municipal population from 2006)

Prior to 1842 the above tables are only for the Camou-Mixe commune. Before that date, Suhast's population was as follows:

1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836
148 152 155 131 145 148
Population of Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast


Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast is classified by the INSEE[19] among the communes which are predominantly rural areas in the hilly agricultural region of the Basque Country. It is part of a favoured agricultural area known as "simple" (under rules of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Rural Affairs).

The registered office of the Lur Berri company, a large food cooperative group, is located in Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast.

The town is part of the designated zone of Ossau-iraty.

It also hosts other companies in the agri-food sector as one of the first fifty two communes of the department:

  • Union agricultural coop feed livestock (feed manufacturing for farm animals);
  • Haraguy-Bayonne ham (industrial preparation of meat products);
  • LBO (food production for farm animals);
  • Lajournade SAS (industrial preparation of meat products).

Culture and heritage


According to the Map of the Seven Basque Provinces published in 1863 by Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte, the dialect of Basque spoken in Aicirits-Camou-Suhast is eastern low Navarrese.

The village has a cave at Camou (the grotto Oltzibarre) closely linked to the Basque legend of Txahalgorri,[20] the young red bull.

Civil heritage

  • The former Chateau of Camou (17th century).Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[21] It contains collections of ancient tools and models of machines from plans of Leonardo da Vinci.

Religious Heritage

  • The Church of Saint Martin(1841).Logo monument historique - rouge sans texte.svg[22]

Notable People linked to the commune

See also

External links

Notes and references


  1. ^ At the beginning of the 21st century, the methods of identification have been modified by law No. 2002-276 of 27 February 2002 [1] Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine., the so-called "law of local democracy" and in particular Title V "census operations" which allow, after a transitional period running from 2004 to 2008, the annual publication of the legal population of the different French administrative districts. For municipalities with a population greater than 10,000 inhabitants, a sample survey is conducted annually, the entire territory of these municipalities is taken into account at the end of the period of five years. The first "legal population" after 1999 under this new law came into force on 1 January 2009 and was based on the census of 2006.
  2. ^ In the census table, by convention in, and to allow a fair comparison between five yearly censuses, the principle has been retained for subsequent legal populations since 1999 displayed in the census table that shows populations for the years 2006, 2011, 2016, etc., as well as the latest legal population published by INSEE


  1. ^ Brigitte Jobbé-Duval, Dictionary of place names - Pyrénées-Atlantiques, 2009, Ed. Archives and Culture, ISBN 978-2-35077-151-9, passage 12 (in French)
  2. ^ a b Google Maps
  3. ^ Géoportail, IGN (in French)
  4. ^ a b c Topographic Dictionary of the Department of Basses-Pyrenees, Paul Raymond, Imprimerie nationale, 1863, Digitised from Lyon Public Library 15 June 2011 (in French)
  5. ^ a b Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, New Basque Toponymy, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2006, ISBN 2 86781 396 4 (in French)
  6. ^ Notaries of La Bastide-Villefranche in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  7. ^ Manuscript from the 14th century in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  8. ^ Contracts retained by Ohix, Notary of Soule, Manuscripts from the 15th century in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  9. ^ Titles of the Kingdom of Navarre in the Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (in French)
  10. ^ Derecho de naturaleza que la merindad de San-Juan-del-pie-del-puerto, una de las seys de Navarra, tiene en Castilla, 1622 (in Spanish)
  11. ^ Titles published by don José Yanguas y Miranda (in Spanish)
  12. ^ List of Mayors of France (in French)
  13. ^ Intercommunality of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Cellule informatique préfecture 64, consulted on 22 October 2012 (in French)
  14. ^ Jean-Baptiste Orpustan, Collective work, Amikuze - the Mixe country, Ed. Éditions Izpegi, 1992, ISBN 2909262057, page 77 (in French)
  15. ^ Censuses cited by Manex Goyhenetche, General History of the Basque Country - Volume 3, Ed. Elkarlanean, 2001, ISBN 2913156347, page 26. The same work by Manex Goyhenetche indicates on page 284 that there was an average of 5.5 people per fire. (in French)
  16. ^ Transcribed and published by Ricardo Cierbide, Censos de población de la Baja Navarra, Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen, 1993 (in Spanish)
  17. ^ Departmental Archives of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, E 575, transcribed by Louis Baratchart in The Friends of old Navarre, January 1995, pages 44-54 (in French)
  18. ^ Bibliothèque nationale, 6956, Moreau Register 979, cited by Manex Goyhenetche, General History of the Basque Country - Volume 3, Ed. Elkarlanean, 2001, ISBN 2913156347, page 299. (in French)
  19. ^ INSEE website - Notice on Aïcirits-Camou-Suhast
  20. ^ Philippe Veyrin, The Basques, Ed. Arthaud, 1975, ISBN 2700300386, page 233. (in French)
  21. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée PA00125253 The old Chateau of Camou (in French)
  22. ^ Ministry of Culture, Mérimée IA64000679 Parish Church of Saint-Martin (in French)