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Politike i razmjena
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Ecology of the Peasants from the Island of Cres
; Institute of Ethnology and Folklor Research, Zagreb, Croatia
The paper points to the relation towards natural resources that was shown by the peasants from North Adriatic island of Cres in the fulfillment of their life needs. That relation was a constituent part of their traditional culture in the early of the 20th century. Resources weren't abundant, for that was a Karst ground, consisting of 58% of scant rocky-ground pastures, 33% of woods and only 9% of cultivable land. Islanders adjusted their rural economy to such natural resources. In consequence, sheep-breeding was the strongest agricultural potential, they exported firewood to a lesser degree, and were also engaged in farming. Wine-growing prevailed in that period, and they were also involved in olive-growing, whereas cultivation of bread grains and vegetables was hardly enough for their home supply.
The respect towards the resources as well as their rational economy, to which they were compelled, prompted them towards circular manufacture. In other words, they tried to find a purpose for every incidental product, and possible waste they recycled. Such work was done in belief that whatever they took from nature should be given back.
That can primarily be seen in the wine-growing activities. Besides producing fresh grapes and raisins for home nourishment, the inhabitants of Cres produced quality wines for sales only, diluted wine for their own needs, vinegar, brandy for drinking and for healing purposes (in the framework of popular medicine), and natural fertiliser for much needed reproductive needs. They have also shown high degree of exploitability and manufacture with no waste in the use of wheat, barley and corn, manufacturing them not only as means of nourishment for people and fodder for cattle, but also by using parts of these plants for housing and constructive needs.
They used the same ideas in animal production as in vegetable manufacture, especially in sheep-breeding. The trace of sheep can be found in many segments of the former way of life: in nourishment, clothing, house inventory, share in agricultural work and the products for the market.
The inhabitants of Cres have shown refined feeling for their scenery in settling their life needs. Their intention not to disfigure it by their interference was noticeable. Several buildings mentioned in the article are the example of successful juncture of the usage of natural materials, popular constructive skills and adjustment to working and life needs, also harmoniously integrated in natural environment.
Such viewpoint, that used to be applied in the past, is close to the contemporary conception of life and world, and could be an inspiration for the future praxis.
natural resources; the life of peasants; ecology; Cres
Hrčak ID: 48546
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