Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

Croats are Slavs living primarily in Croatia, although some Croats also live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Slovenia. Croats are primarily Roman Catholic. Most Croats live in rural areas. The economy is mixed, depending on farming (mostly small farms), service industries, and industry (particularly shipbuilding, textiles and food-processing).


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Europe --Southeastern Europe



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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in this eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Croats file consists of five English language documents. None of these, however, can be considered as comprehensive works dealing with all of Croatia as of the 1990s. The closest to a general survey of the region is the study of southwest Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Dalmatia made by the Croatian economist Rudolf Bicanic in 1935 (Bicanic 1981, no. 2). This work provides much ethnographic data on the areas outlined above but is restricted to the period of the author's field work (i.e., 1935). Gilliland and Olsen's writings (Gilliland 1986, no. 1 and Gilliland 1989, no. 4) are basically community studies of the town of Milograd (a pseudonym), a medium-sized industrial town in the Slavonian region of Croatia. Gilliland (no. 1), who studied Milograd during 1981-1982, discusses family values in terms of various aspects of the ethnography (e.g., ritual occasions, courtship and marriage, etc.). Gilliland (no. 4), who did field work in 1983, concentrates on socio-economic changes in household structure, particularly in relation to authority and in patterns of conflict and sharing. Bennett (Bennett 1974, no. 1), a social anthropologist, presents a detailed study of socio-cultural change in the village of Sutivan on Brac Island on the Dalmatian littoral in Croatia. This study, based on the author's field work in 1970-1971, provides much cultural data on the population of this island. The final document in the Croatia file by Olga Supek (Supek 1983, no. 5), based on field work in 1977- 1980, presents a general discussion of the relationship of Mardi Gras (carnival) to social stability and/or instability and change. The time coverage for this file extends from approximately 1840 to 1983. For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document. We thank Gerald Creed for suggestions regarding possible sources to be included in the files.

This culture summary is from the article, "Croats," by Jasna Capo, Jakov Gelo, Trpimir Macan, and Olga Supek in the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Vol. 4. 1992. Linda A. Bennett, ed. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall & Co. The geopolitical units have been updated in June, 1996 by John Beierle, who also prepared the synopsis and indexing notes.

Overview by

John Beierle

Agricultural Workers Association -- category 474

Agriculturalist's Association -- category 474

BANOVINE -- provinces -- category 635

Croatian Peasant Party -- category 665

district mutual assistance associations -- category 452

Djurovic factory -- a manufacturing plants producing heavy engineering equipment -- category 392

Fishermen's Association -- category 474

GOSPODA -- the Croatian elite -- categories 571, 565

KARMINE -- funeral feasts -- category 765

KUM -- the "best man" at a wedding and also godfather to the future family -- categories 585, 608

MJESNA ZAJEDNICA -- village council; a council, similar to a town council, but operating at the community level - - category 623

NAROD -- the people (peasants -- category 565

OP'CINA -- a governmental unit comparable to an American county sometimes referred to in the literature as a commune) -- category 634

SABOR -- parliament -- category 646

SEDMINE -- commemoration celebrations seven days after the funeral -- category 765

tourist society -- category 485

ZADRUGA -- the extended family household -- categories 592, 596

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

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