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Original scientific paper

Traditional Marriage and the Role of Witnesses in the Parish of Ravno in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Marinko Marić orcid id ; University of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Rina Kralj-Brassard orcid id ; Institute for Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik, Croatia

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This article addresses the issue of marriage witnesses in the Catholic parish of Ravno in the Ottoman-controlled hinterland of Dubrovnik of the nineteenth century. In this rural community, witnesses at marriage were awarded an important role in establishing and sealing social networks. Based on the data of 233 marriages, i.e., 466 male witnesses, the article elucidates the reasons that guided the choice of marriage witnesses, along with their relationships with the bride and groom in terms of natural and spiritual kinship. Apart from the role traditionally assigned to the marriage witness by the Church, the article casts light on a less familiar customary role of kum at marriage.


marriage witnesses, Parish of Ravno, Popovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, marriage customs

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