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Sprega, Suvez, Ortakluk: Traditional Forms of Working Cooperations
; Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (4 MB)
Đaković, B. (1997). Sprega, suvez, ortakluk: tradicijski oblici kooperacija. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 9(1), 17-58. Preuzeto s https://hrcak.srce.hr/59846
Sprega, suvez, ortakluk are the most widespread terms for specific traditional forms of joining up in working teams, common at farms in the South-Slavic countries. In the past such teams were mainly formed in the context of agricultural work, when there was a need for mutual cooperation, in which one or more members of a family became involved. The crucial factor in the process was the insufficient economic strength of the households which agreed to make a cooperation deal, to put it more precisely, a shortage of cattle (oxen or horses) and of tools (plough, harrow, cart and so on).
The duration of the cooperation was mostly limited to one year, but, by agreement, it could extend over a period of several years, even decades. As a rule, deals were concluded by word of mouth, but were considered binding, in compliance with common law and with generally accepted rules of behaviour.
Although such a working team was essentially created on a voluntary basis, sometimes undesirable situations and conflicts were unavoidable. In such cases, there was a tendency to avoid forms of behaviour which would cause harm to the wider social (rural) community, that would mostly penalize them severely.
Sprega can be observed as a complex structure with the inner dynamic, in the case of which, from a more general point of view, various regional variants with their particularities have been placed within broader frames of social and economic interests and relationships. Those relationships were regulated according to the norms of common law, while certain customs and rituals occurring within or on the basis of such cooperations additionally stressed their significance. This is obvious when analysing the ceremonial agreement on mutual obligations, the so-called velika večera (big supper), for which the tableware and the dishes were specially chosen, as well as the date: Sunday, Christmas, St. George's day (Đurdevdan), St. Demeter's day (Mitrovdan), Christ's day (Krstovdan). Frequently, all members of the families took part on these occasions, but also more prominent members of the village community were invited, who, in a way, served as witnesses of the unwritten agreement.
The changes of the production methods and of the social and economic development in general, which occurred in the late 19th and the 20th centuries, lead to the intensification of disappearance of sprega.
Numerous terms (the majority of which originates from the general Slavonic linguistic corpus) basically refer to the same or similar contents, while certain particularities in realization are mere expressions of specific circumstances, and are more of local than of regional character.
As such cooperations practically do not exist nowadays, thorough research has been made, with the aim of placing this phenomenon in its cultural historical context.
traditional forms of working cooperation; ethnological cartography
Hrčak ID: 59846
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