A zadruga refers to a type of village community common among South Slavs in Yugoslavian history. Generally formed of one family, or a clan of related families, the zadruga held its property, herds and money in common, with the oldest capable patriarch usually ruling and making decisions for the family. Because the zadruga was based on a patrilineal system, when a girl married, she left her parents' zadruga and joined that of her husband. The Zadruga eventually went into decline, beginning in the late 19th century, as the largest began to become unmanageable, and broke into smaller zadrugas, or formed villages. Many modern day Balkan villages have their roots in a zadruge. Slav, Slavic or Slavonic can refer to: Slavic peoples Slavic languages Slavic mythology Church Slavonic language Old Church Slavonic language Slavonian can also refer to Slavonia, a region in eastern Croatia. ... Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in all south Slavic languages) is a term used for three separate but successive political entities that existed during most of the 20th century on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe. ... Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. ...
Bogišić, whose account of the zadruga will be discussed presently, was convinced that the noun zadruga had never existed and that, since Dušan’s code in the fourteen century, the word kuća (Serbo-Croatian for house) had been used to name a household or family, not unlike in other parts of Europe.
The zadruga, however, set clear bounds to such “patriarchalism.” The starešina (the house father or head of the family) was not able to decide anything without the agreement of the other adult co-inhabitants.
With the scientific “discovery” or “invention” of the zadruga in the nineteenth century, the binding of the zadruga to national myth-making discourses commenced.
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