Animal Husbandry in the Middle and Lower Polimlje in the Middle Ages

Marijan Premović


In this paper, the terms such as Middle and Lower Polimlje refers to the area of the following medieval parishes: Lim, Ljubovidj (now the territory of municipality of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro), Zvijezd, Crna Stena (the territory of the municipality of Prijepolje, Serbia) and Dabar (includes Priboj, Serbia and Rudo in Bosnia and Herzegovina). The nature in this region, as elsewhere, affected human interests. Meadows and pastures are spread along the rivers and streams, in the villages, in the foothills and mountains. The configuration of the terrain and geographic and climatic characteristics of Polimlje influenced the economic life of the medieval population, which was based on livestock farming as one of the most important industries. As for the original sources for this work, ie. research material on this topic, in addition to relevant published literature, Serbian sources (charters), I used the works of several travelers who visited the area. It should also be noted that the documents of the Ottoman Empire dating from 1475/77 and 1585 were used as well. This Ottoman material has, so far, little been used in researches related to this branch of industry. Professional cattle breeders, known as Vlachs, were organized in kind of pastures and kept a large number of cattle, which they bred through the regime of seasonal movements between winter and summer residences. These livestock groups are listed in defter (cadastral tax census of the Ottoman Empire) from 1475/77 in the districts: Mаtаruge, Kuknj, Mileševa and Ljubovidj. In the area of Middle Polimlje they had their winter and summer destinations. Livestock breeding in the Middle Ages had multiple significance, animal products provided the necessary food: milk, cheese, sour cream, butter and meat were irreplaceable as food. Livestock had also been used, mainly oxen, in field work. Most of the cultivated animals were sheep, cattle and goats.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n4p432

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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