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The Island of Three Hundred Widows: Everyday Life of Late-Sixteenth Century Lopud

Slavica Stojan

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 209 Kb

str. 191-218

preuzimanja: 1.351



Drawing on female wills, the article aims to reconstruct the everyday life (of the women) of Lopud in the latter half of the sixteenth century. With husbands at sea, these determined women, in addition to the traditionally allotted tasks, took upon themselves the burden of responsibilities in and outside the family and household (estate and household governing, fiscal and other expenditures, etc.). In comparison to elsewhere in the Republic of Dubrovnik, the women of Lopud enjoyed greater freedom in making decisions and expressing their own will when dealing with property matters. Their insightful wills depart from the traditional patriarchal patterns, representing their testators as independent self-willed women who followed their own inclinations and affection regardless of whether the bequests concerned their kin or fellow-citizens.
Unsuccessful naval operation Emperor Charles V had taken against Turkish corsairs off the shores of North Africa proved a most devastating blow to this small island community, as it brought death or slavery to many men who sailed aboard the ships of the Christian fleet.
A large proportion of solitary and elderly women in the island population testifies to the fact that experienced Lopud mariners early set out on long and adventurous voyages to Americas. Having settled in the New World on a temporary or permanent basis, most men continued to support their families back home.

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