Advertisement

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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

mountain ecosystems land tenure peasant communities Alps 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, R. T. (1971).Traditional Europe, Wadsworth, Belmont, Calif.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, A. R., and Butlin, R. A. (1973).Studies of Field Systems in the British Isles, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. Barth, F. (1964).Nomads of South Persia, Humanities Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Bloch, M. (1970).French Rural History, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  5. Boserup, E. (1965).The Conditions of Agricultural Growth, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  6. Carrier, E. H. (1932).Water and Grass, Christophers, London.Google Scholar
  7. Chayanov, A. V. (1966).The Theory of Peasant Economy (Thorner, D., Kerblay, B., and Smith, R. E. F., eds.), Richard D. Irvin, Homewood, Ill.Google Scholar
  8. Dubois, A. (1965).Die Salzversorgung des Wallis 1500–1610: Wirtschaft und Politik, Verlag P. G. Keller, Winterthur.Google Scholar
  9. Engels, F. (1972).The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (Leacock, E. B., ed.), International, New York (orig. 1884).Google Scholar
  10. Evans, E. E. (1956). The ecology of peasant life in Western Europe. In Thomas, W. L. (ed.),Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 217–239.Google Scholar
  11. Foster, G. M. (1967). What is a peasant? In Potter, J. M., Diaz, M. N., and Foster, G. M. (eds.),Peasant Society: A Reader, Little, Brown, Boston, pp. 2–14.Google Scholar
  12. Friedl, J. (1973). Benefits of fragmentation in a traditional society: A case from the Swiss Alps.Human Organization 32: 29–36.Google Scholar
  13. Gutersohn, H. (1961).Georgraphie der Schweiz, Vol. II:Alpen, Part I, Kümmerly-Frey, Bern.Google Scholar
  14. Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons.Science 162: 1243–1248.Google Scholar
  15. Homans, G. C. (1960).English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century, Russell and Russell, New York (orig. 1941).Google Scholar
  16. Manners, R. A. (1964). Colonialism and native land tenure. In Manners, R. A. (ed.),Process and Pattern in Culture, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  17. McCloskey, D. N. (1975). The persistence of English open fields. In Parke, W. N., and Jones, E. L. (eds.),Economic Issues in European Agrarian History, Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
  18. Morgan, L. H. (1963).Ancient Society (Leacock, E. B., ed.), World, Cleveland (orig. 1877).Google Scholar
  19. Netting, R. McC. (1972). Of men and meadows: Strategies of alpine land use.Anthropological Quarterly 45: 132–144.Google Scholar
  20. Netting, R. McC. (1974). The system nobody knows: Village irrigation in the Swiss Alps. In Downing, T. E., and Gibson, M. (eds.),Irrigation's Impact on Society, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 67–75.Google Scholar
  21. Niederer, A. (1956).Gemeinwerk im Wallis, Schriften der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, Vol. 37, G. Krebs, Basel.Google Scholar
  22. Pfeifer, G. (1956). The quality of peasant living in Central Europe. In Thomas, W. L. (ed.),Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 240–277.Google Scholar
  23. Sauter, M. R. (1950). Prehistoire du Valais.Vallesia 5: 1–165.Google Scholar
  24. Shanin, T. (1971). Cooperation and collectivization: The case of Eastern Europe. In Worsley, P. (ed.),Two Blades of Grass, Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 263–274.Google Scholar
  25. Sprenger, U.-D. (n.d.). Besprechung einer Walliser Urkunde aus dem 13. Jahrhundert. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  26. Stebler, F. G. (1922). Die vispertaler Sonnenberge.Jahrbuch des Schweizer Alpenclub, 1921.Google Scholar
  27. Stenning, D. J. (1959).Savannah Nomads, Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar
  28. Uhlig, H. (1971). Fields and field systems. In Buchanan, R. H., Jones, E., and McCourt, D. (eds.),Man and His Habitat, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, pp. 93–125.Google Scholar
  29. von Roten, P. (n.d.). Untersuchungen über die Verteilung und die rechtlichen Verhältnisse des Grundbesitzes in der Vispertälern im 13 und 14. Jahrhundert. Ms. in Staatsarchiv Sitten, SA 1081.Google Scholar
  30. Wolf, E. R. (1957). Closed corporate peasant communities in Mesoamerica and central Java.Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 13: 1–18.Google Scholar
  31. Wolf, E. R. (1966).Peasants, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.Google Scholar
  32. Zimmermann, J. (1968).Die Orts- und Flurnamen des Vispertales im Wallis, Juris Druck-Verlag, Zürich.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1976

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations