Collection Description

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Culture Description

The Montenegrins are closely related to the Serbs. Montenegrins speak the Stokavian dialect of Serbo-Croatian and call their republic Crna Gora, meaning "Black Mountain." Where agriculture is possible, farming is of major importance; herding with seasonal movement of animals is important elsewhere. Industry is not that developed. In contrast to the Serbs, clan and tribal groups were of major importance.


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Europe --Southeastern Europe



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Collection Overview

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

The Montenegrins file consists of four English language works that provide a cultural history of Montenegrin society, none being studies of modern Montenegro. Two are historical accounts by foreign travellers who visited Montenegro in the 1800s (Viallade Sommieres 1820, no. 3; Wilkinson 1848, no. 4). One traveller was an officer in Napoleon's army which occupied the coastal province of Cattaro, and the other was an Englishman and Fellow of the Royal Society. Both works may be regarded as intelligence gathering trips, describing the terrain, roads, settlements, warfare, leadership, national character and sympathies of Montenegrins. The other two sources in the file are ethnohistorical works by the ethnographer, Christopher Boehm, who focuses on the social organization and values (Boehm1983, no.1), and feuding behavior (Boehm 1984, no. 2) of Montenegrin tribal society before 1900. For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.The selection of documents was based on recommendations by Christopher Boehm.

This culture summary is from the article "Montenegrins," by Richard A. Wagner, in the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Vol. 4. 1992. Linda A. Bennett, ed. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall & Co. Information regarding population and political organization was updated by Ian Skoggard, June 1996, who also prepared the synopsis and indexing notes.

BRATSVO -- a patri-clan which can range in size from a large household to a sib -- 596, 613, 614, 618

KMET -- a tribunal of tribal elders -- 692

KUCA -- household -- 592

PLEME -- tribe -- 619

VLADIKA -- Eastern Orthodox ecclesiastical authority, equivalent to a Catholic bishop -- 793

ZADRUGA -- an extended or joint family holding common property -- 596, 592

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