Through the Window: Kinship and Elopement in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Through the Window: Kinship and Elopement in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Through the Window: Kinship and Elopement in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Through the Window: Kinship and Elopement in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Synopsis

This book is not about war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, evil, or the killing of a society. It is about a cultural heritage, something vital to a society as a society, something that was not killed in the previous war, something that is resilient.

Excerpt

“There is something in society that cannot be killed with
violence, whether it is the violence of nature or the violence
of society itself. Even if every member of a society were
killed, the memory of that society would remain a part of
world history and humanity’s consciousness.”

This statement from the author, Keith Doubt, uncovers the aim of his book and opens a wider space of resonance for the results of his research. While it is relevant for any research concerned with history and the past, in this case, it introduces hope, happiness, women’s will and action into the Bosnian-Herzegovinian perspectives, too often seen only as bleak, sad, and hopeless.

The author develops his argument in an impeccable academic manner: His research establishes elopement’s significance for the maturation into adulthood in the context of running debates on rites de passage; his study compares relations of affinity (prijatelji in Bosnian) with agnatic relations called bratstvo and fictive relations called kumstvo so as to show how prijatelji are unique and important to Bosnia, albeit politically vulnerable to nationalism; and, his work assesses the damage on this cultural heritage during the past war from 1992–1995 in order to measure the resilience of this cultural heritage. The aspect that I mentioned earlier remains, however, not only rational but also deeply inspirational, especially in empowering Bosnian-Herzegovinian women. This is one of the quali-

Keith Doubt, Through the Window: Kinship and Elopement in BosniaHerzegovina (Budapest, Hungary: Central European University Press, 2014), xiii, 136.

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