Gender, Religion and the Person: The 'Negotiation' of Muslim by Tone Rand Bringa

By Tone Rand Bringa

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Extra info for Gender, Religion and the Person: The 'Negotiation' of Muslim Identity in Rural Bosnia

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A common set of customs forms the fabric of village identity. A village thus equals one set of "traditions"; anything else is a contradiction in terms, and this is reflected in the image Dolina villagers invoke of their village as a community of two nacije. 4 The image of Dolina Our village is very beautiful, only people here are no good. e. g. Herzfeld, 1985). The unusual thing about Dolina, however, is that this particularism is expressed through negative statements. Earlier, Dolina was described as consisting of several hamlets, some of which are considered as a different village.

An awareness of the significance of adet is epitomised in several proverbs: for instance, "Better that the village should die than our customs" ("Bolje je da selo propadne nego adeta"); "There are as many customs as there 56 are villages" ("Koliko sela, toliko adeta"). Such sayings reflect the pronounced idea that traditions and customs are what creates the group (the village) and gives a person his or her identity; as we see from the second proverb, customs may even be specific to one village (although there is no proverb which expresses diversity of customs within the village).

During my stay only three of the unmarried girls and one married woman (without any children) in the upper part were working outside the household. ) Some unmarried and young married women have at some point worked as seamstresses at the clothes factory in a nearby market town, but found it very demoralising to do piece-work on a very low wage. Today this factory, albeit doing well, has a bad reputation among the female work force. Some young girls still work there for a period of time until they marry or have a child.

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