Accepted paper:

The art of memory in Mediterranean Croatia

Author:

Jelka Vince Pallua (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shows that long-term semantic memory, a millenary long history and heritage practices conncected with the standing stones called «babas» from Mediterranean part of Croatia are transmitted from illiterate times and premodern (memory transmitted customs) orality to the present moment.

Paper long abstract:

On the basis of several examples of standing stones found during the author's own fieldwork in Mediterranean part of Croatia this contribution tends to prove that a woman - memory incorporated monoliths known as babas - can be considered as a genius loci, genius of the town. Babas bring happiness and overall prosperity to the individuals and to the town so they have to be donated fruit and wheat and kissed when seen for the first time. It will be shown that features of archaic culture, suppressed and sublimated, live on through symbolic undertones of the mythological and legendary heritage in a kind of syncretistic reality of female cults and legends. This paper shows that in the case of this material practice chosen to encode memory, there is no tension between constancy and variation in transmission of culture. Its aim is to show that long-term semantic memory, millenary long history and heritage practices are transmitted from illiterate times and premodern (memory transmitted customs) orality to the present moment.

panel W024
Mutuality and memory: encounters in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cities