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Gender Performance In Southeastern Serbia

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Chapter Summary

The organization of family life in Serbian villages was based, until the end of World War II, on the institution of a large, extended family, called kucna zadruga. In Serbian villages, gender hierarchies were strongly connected to pre-Christian beliefs and pagan concepts of female sexuality. After marriage, a womans status within the rural society changed completely, and many social activities became forbidden to her. The social position of women in Niko Polje was strongly interrelated with their cultural roles. In general, being female determined the social purpose of women's existence. The bulk of women's activities took place in the sphere of the household, while the governed public sphere was primarily under the control of men. This chapter presents four song genres associated with the customs which appear to have been an important part of womens cultural role in Niko Polje.

Keywords: gender performance; kucna zadruga; Niko Polje; Serbian villages



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