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Studia ethnologica Croatica, Vol.19 No.1 Prosinac 2007.

Izvorni znanstveni članak

Endemic opposed to ethnocartographic: new reflections on the margins of ethnological maps (the case of virgins, girls offered by a vow)

Jelka Vince ; Institute of Social Sciences "Ivo Pilar"

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (4 MB) str. 17-43 preuzimanja: 1.016* citiraj
Vince, J. (2007). Endemsko prema etnokartografskom: nova razmišljanja na marginama etnoloških karata (primjer virdžina, zavjetovanih djevojaka). Studia ethnologica Croatica, 19(1), 17-43. Preuzeto s

Starting from the phenomenon of virgins (virdžine/toelije), the girls offered by a vow, the author of this article is reflecting on ‘the margins of ethnological maps’ on the achievements of ethnological cartography in the case when we are encountering a disadvantageous situation – the endemic nature of the phenomenon, its limited geographical distribution; in ethno-cartographic sense, a narrow, small area. By contrasting the endemic nature with ethno-cartography (the possibility of comparative analysis and drawing conclusions of the basis of a geographical distribution of a given phenomena), the author has, while working on this interesting, specific and unique phenomenon, come to some new conclusions and findings. This article discusses the phenomenon of virgins exclusively in the context of questions based on ethnological cartography and also analyses theoretical-methodological aspects of ethno-cartographic technique, an auxiliary method used in historical ethnology. In the works of sociologist Vera Stein Erlich, the author finds elements which could be linked to ethnological cartography, but only in the section when Vera Stein claims that a space, a plane of contemporariness, a synchronic frame, can outline and be the projection of a time flow, of diachronic frame, which is exactly the basis of ethno-cartographic technique. The phenomenon of virgins is analyzed as an endemic phenomenon which is not only accepted, but also institutionalized and codified through common law, which is its basic differentia specifica, as compared with other examples of cross-dressing in European region. In her quest for virgins the author is using two sources: a) the questionnaires of the Ethnological Atlas, b) accounts from literature where she found 104 examples in 54 bibliographical units written by 45 authors in 7 languages! Even though the author used this valuable and, as the article showed, necessary supplements to the questionnaires, she also pointed to a number of problems which she encountered during the research of this endemic social phenomenon as well as to internal and external reasons which made this addition not only a benefit, but also a necessity. Insufficient precision of the questions from the questionnaires of Ethnological Atlas was experimentally confirmed through verification done with these questionnaires during the field research in the Southern Istria. The set framework of this phenomenon in the limited area of the local conditions of patriarchal way of life of this part of the Dinaric region at its core – Albanian-Montenegro border – enabled us (together with the analysis of the key elements of the phenomenon of virgins which were not the immediate topic of this article), to discover multiple inter-relationships between this phenomenon and a specific type of patriarchic way of life – tribal type of patriarchy. This could be observed not only on the macro level of the entire map, but also on the micro level on the example of Montenegro where the virgins were rare in the Old Montenegro and quite common in the Mountains, the region where the tribal lore was more prominent. On the Baumann’s map of the world this phenomenon was singled out as unique, but was interpreted as the survival of the ancient cult function of virgins which, according to the author, wrongly links this phenomenon to the evolutionist assumptions on the idea of survivals, in this case of the female cult function which virgins supposedly used to have in ancient times, but which was later lost

Ključne riječi
virgins; endemic; ethnological cartography; patriarchalism

Hrčak ID: 22111



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