Human Ecology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 135–146 | Cite as

What alpine peasants have in common: Observations on communal tenure in a Swiss village

  • Robert M. Netting


An ecological approach to the persistence of communal tenure in a Swiss village suggests that such rights are neither historical anachronisms nor aspects of the closed corporate community. The adaptive value of group holdings in alpine pasture, forest, water, and access routes is compared to that of individual rights in arable land, meadows, and buildings within the same community. The nature and exploitation of resources are related to communal acquisition, conservation, and distribution.


mountain ecosystems land tenure peasant communities Alps 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Netting
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ArizonaTucson

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