Women and movable goods in a maritime border economy in 19th century Sicily (Aeolian Islands)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on women possessing material goods, and on their informal administration, use, production, maintenance, and transformation in a small Sicilian island, Stromboli in the Aeolian Archipelago, in the first half of the 19th century. To explore this diverse social practices such as work, assistance, personal and familial relationships, and the informal management of money in transactions should all be taken into account. In areas such as Southern Italy, where Roman Law heritage predominated in Medieval and Early Modern age, women’s property rights were quite strong: although they were subject to special restrictions, they enjoyed, at the same time, special protections, as in the case of the dowry system. The new Bourbon Civil Code enacted under the Restoration was quite flexible and allowed to balance the transmission of property to women and men. Archival sources such as judicial proceedings, marriage contracts, wills and post-mortem inventories give the possibility to shed some light on the everyday life of women of the lower classes and on their relationship with movable goods, personal objects, household goods, and working tools. Women in Stromboli owned and used objects for agricultural and fishing activities and fully participated to the economic life of the island with its licit and illicit trades.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender Law and Material Culture. Immobile Property and Mobile Goods in Early Modern Europe
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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