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

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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—has resulted in delivering the ‘code of vendetta barbaricina’, it has also stimulated a gift-giving system (imbiatu) which positively complements the ethical but ‘inconclusive’ code of vendetta. This ‘archaic’ system is not necessarily anti-modern, anti-rational and pre-logical as some psychologists, psychiatrists and criminologists studying Sardinia have tended to claim. On the contrary, the common tradition which supports both gift-sending and the code of vendetta accentuates the role of women as gift-givers, when they choose life over death and vendetta.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: gift-sending; imbiatu; community; Sardinia; vendetta
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
ISSN: 14755610
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2009 08:34

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