The Circle of Mountains

The Circle of Mountains

A Basque Shepherding Community

eBook - 1993
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Book News
Reprint of the Oxford University Press book originally published in 1981 with a new preface and afterword. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
The commune of Sainte-Engrace extends along a mountain valley in the southeastern corner of Soule, one of the three Basque provinces in France. In The Circle of Mountains, Sandra Ott examines the importance of cooperation and reciprocity as the essential basis for the main institutions within this community. These French Basques visualize their community as circle, and their vision of living in the "circle of mountains," rather than in a valley, reflects their perspective on the society in which they live.
The first half of the book incorporates material on history, ecology, and economy, and delves deeply into the domestic organization kinship, and neighborliness of this Basque community. In the second half of the book, the author introduces the males' customary roles as shepherds and cheesemakers. Following a detailed commentary on these vocations, Ott suggests that these seemingly prosaic activities represent the male attempt at symbolic fulfillment of the female procreative and nurturing roles.
In a new afterword, Ott discusses developments that have impacted life in the pastoral community of Sainte-Engrace since the original publication of this book - including the construction of roads to nearly every home and the acquisition of telephones.
The Circle of Mountains will be of interest not only to social anthropologists but also to those concerned with the Basque language and culture and to scholars and students of ethnology, international studies, and political science.

Publisher: Reno, NV : University of Nevada Press, ©1993, 1981
ISBN: 9780874174472
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xv, 242 pages, [9] pages of plates) : illustrations


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