Dimensions of Kinship in the Everyday Culture of a Western-Bulgarian Mountain Village (the Village of Govedartsi, Samokov Region) Cover Image
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Измерения на родството във всекидневната култура на едно западнобългарско планинско село (Говедарци, Самоковско)
Dimensions of Kinship in the Everyday Culture of a Western-Bulgarian Mountain Village (the Village of Govedartsi, Samokov Region)

Author(s): Ana Luleva
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The article outlines the dimensions of kinship in the everyday culture of a Western Bulgarian mountain village in the period from the 1920s to date. Different levels of manifestation of kinship are discussed; the conceptions about it, the field of meanings of the clan; the social relations they constitute; the system of rules outlining the perimeter of the kinship structures and their role in the everyday culture of the present-day Bulgarian village. Special attention has been paid to the way (culture) of living: the settlement and the home are discussed as a spatial expression of the family and kinship forms, as well as a field of realisation of the family-kinship relations, the object of inheritance, of sharing, etc. The main source of the study have been the autobiographical stories, collected in the summer of 1997. The kinship, resting on the stringent observance of the principles of patrilineage and patrilocality was, in the early decades of the century, a dominant principle in the structuring of the village space, the arable land, the organisation of labour, the form of the family and relations between families. Changes have set in in that model since the 1930s (1947-1957). The principle of kinship exogamy was violated, patrilocality succumbed to neolocality, a number of elements of bilinearity became established, the scope of the clan was narrowed down, the horizontally extended family was ultimately substituted by the vertical family of two or three generations; family, rather than clan affiliation became determining in the identity. Today the land of the clan is a factor, awakening the kinship identity. The land "takes back" to the village again also a great number of the young people, who cannot find employment in the town. They form a household together with their parents, the grandmother and the grandfather. A trend is taking shape towards the bolstering of vertically extended families incorporating three or four generations. New family and kinship structures are in a process of development: the importance of patrilocality decreases, the sisters are considered (not only by the law) as heirs of equal rights; the land is cultivated in common by relations, whose domicile is otherwise in the town.

  • Issue Year: 1999
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 85-101
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Bulgarian