in many ancient European societies it is unanimously admitted that in Rumania
the essential act for long-term management of a household is the establishment
of the young couple. It is then that parents take major decisions : how
to best dower the children, how to better transmit to them the family patrimony
habitation abandoned during the communist regime. Dobritsa, Rumania.
dowry is, for girls like for boys, the result of the matrimonial negociation
(...). A signifying negociation, indeed, since its conclusion always informs
the whole local collectivity that the present equilibrium of relations between
the families is broken, the dowry resulting in a redistribution of patrimonial
goods. Both recipients and donors are therefore particularly attentive to
a precise designation and exact quantification of the goods entering the
system of exchange. And this all the more as matrimonial arrangements in
the communist regime might have very significant consequences, since patrimonial
goods might consist of whole estates in families of Boyards (...), and of
tens of hectares of lands and hundreds of pieces of cattle in families of
rich peasants (...). For marriages posterior to 1950, patrimonial goods
put into circulation as a result of matrimonial arrangements are much less
important owing to collectivization of the neighbouring villages traditionally
concerned with exogamic marriages (...). As for the regime prevailing since
the fall of Ceaucescu, it gives by the law of privatization a new importance
to dispositions determining establishment dowries and largely re-opens the
field of stakes for matrimonial arrangements.
Le Feu Vivant, la parenté et ses rituels dans les Carpates, Paris,
PUF, 1994, p. 314-315
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