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S'Imbiatu. Gift and Community in Central Sardinia

Zene, Cosimo (2007) 'S'Imbiatu. Gift and Community in Central Sardinia.' Culture and Religion, 8 (3). pp. 291-312.

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Abstract

This essay, which is part of a wider forthcoming publication, discusses the general principles and the underlying cosmology upon which gift-giving in central Sardinia rests. Gift-sending (imbiatu) is here presented as a ‘total social fact’ reflecting the key role it plays in community life and the motivating force behind ‘being and belonging’. If tradition (su connotu), including customary law—often in opposition to state law — hasresulted in delivering the ‘code of vendetta barbaricina’, it has also stimulated a giftgiving system (imbiatu) which positively complements the ethical but ‘inconclusive’ code of vendetta. This ‘archaic’ system is not necessarily anti-modern, anti-rational and prelogical as some psychologists, psychiatrists and criminologists studying Sardinia have tended to claim. On the contrary, the common tradition which supports both giftsending and the code of vendetta accentuates the role of women as gift-givers, when they choose life over death and vendetta. KEYWORDS gift-sending; imbiatu; community; Sardinia; vendetta

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: gift-sending; imbiatu; community; Sardinia; vendetta
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISSN: 14755610
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/14755610701660064
Depositing User: Cosimo Zene
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2009 08:34
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/7756

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