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zadruga,village community of the South Slavs. The zadruga, a large family or clan organized on a patrilineal basis, lived together in one dwelling and held all land, livestock, and money in common. The oldest able member of the community was usually its ruler, responsible for allotting tasks to the members. This system, which was common to all the South Slavs, existed in Serbia into the 20th cent.
a large patriarchal family among the South Slavs. Until the late 19th century, the zadmga represented “the best existing example of such a family community” (F. Engels, Proiskhozhdenie sem’i, chastnoi sobstvennosti i gosudarstva, 1963, p. 62). The zadmga usually consisted of 20-30 persons (sometimes as many as 50-80)—the sons of a single father with their wives and children—living in one household. Production and consumption were communal. The father was the head of the household (domachin, gospodar\ glavatar’)’, it was he who directed the entire life of the family with the help of his wife (domachitsa, gospodaritsa), who was in charge of the women’s work. In the second half of the 19th century, the development of capitalist relations among the South Slavs facilitated the division of zadmga into individual families; since the early 20th century it has been rare and vestigial.