Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism

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Z
Zadruga

Communal extended family found historically in the Balkans, primarily but not solely among South Slavs and Albanians. Such families might be extended either through multiple generations or through a group of siblings, usually male, and their descendants. Adoptive kinship was also possible. Family members lived in proximity to one another, usually in one house or household compound, not only sharing agricultural and domestic work but also eating together. Heads of such families were usually the eldest male, but on rare occasions were women, usually mature widows; zadruge had and sometimes exercised the right to choose the most capable family member as head. The head of the zadruga could neither unilaterally dispose of the assets of the family nor make decisions regarding its future without consulting other men within the family. Habsburg legal codes recognized the zadruga itself, not its head, as a legal person.

Widespread in the nineteenth century, zadruge have gradually disappeared. In the northwestern Balkans they were gradually dissolving by the mid-nineteenth century, and they persisted into the mid-twentieth mainly in south-central regions. Rising taxation, the penetration of a money economy into the countryside, and the adoption of modern legal codes all encouraged the dissolution of zadruge. Scholars disagree about the origin of this family type, some tracing it to the Middle Ages and others to the social dislocations and uncertainty of the post-medieval era of warfare between the Ottoman and Habsburg empires.

Written scholarly descriptions of zadruge date from the late eighteenth century (1776 and 1783). The word “zadruga, ” however, is more than likely a neologism, which first appeared in Vuk Karadžić's (1787–1864) Serbian dictionary of 1818 and corresponded to the German term “Hauskommunion” (house commune), used in the 1807 Austrian legal code devised for the Military Frontier. Peasants themselves used various other terms for such families; these terms varied from region to region and frequently corresponded to the local word meaning “house.”

James P. Krokar


Further reading

Byrnes, Robert F., ed. Communal Families in the Balkans: The Zadruga. Notre Dame, Indiana, 1976.

Erlich, Vera St. Family in Transition: A Study of 300 Yugoslav Villages. Princeton, New Jersey, 1966.

Halpern, Joel M. and Barbara Kerewsky Halpern. A Serbian Village in Historical Perspective. New York, 1972.

Hammel, Eugene A. “The Zadruga as Process, ” in Household and Family in Past Time, ed. by Peter Laslett. Cambridge, 1972.

Todorova, Maria N. Balkan Family Structure and the European Pattern: Demographic Developments in Ottoman Bulgaria. Washington, D.C., 1993.

See also Croatian Military Frontier; Vuk Karadžić; Peasants


Zagreb

Capital city and chief industrial center of the Republic of Croatia. Zagreb is situated at the intersection of the shortest routes from Western Europe to the Middle East and from East Central Europe

-899-

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Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Contributors ix
  • Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe xv
  • A - Abakanowicz, Magdalena (1930–) 1
  • B - Babits, Mihaly (1883–1941) 45
  • C - Cankar, Ivan (1876–1918) 117
  • D - Dalmatia 211
  • E - East Prussia 235
  • F - Family 265
  • G - Gafencu, Grigore (1892–1957) 283
  • H - Habsburg Empire 317
  • I - Iancu, Avram (1824–72) 375
  • J - Jagiellonian University 395
  • K - Kádár, János (1912–89) 411
  • L - Labor 441
  • M - Macedonia (Geography) 469
  • N - Načertanije 519
  • O - Obradović, Dositej (Dimitrije) (C. 1739–1811) 543
  • P - Paderewski, Ignacy Jan (1860–1941) 555
  • R - Račić, Josip (1885–1908) 647
  • S - Sabin, Albert Bruce (1906–93) 707
  • T - Taaffe, Count Eduard (1833–95) 785
  • U - Udržal, František (1868–1938) 819
  • V - Varna 825
  • W - Wajda, Andrzej (1926–) 837
  • X - Xenopol, Alexandra D. (1847–1920) 863
  • Y - Yalta Conference 865
  • Z - Zadruga 899
  • Index 909
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