Trade and Exchange among Farmers in a Post-Soviet Lithuanian Village
Volume 13 (2006): Studia Anthropologica, II: Defining Region: Socio-cultural Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Part 2, pp. 19–30
Pub. online: 20 December 2006 Type: Article Open Access
20 December 2006
20 December 2006
With the breakdown of the USSR the daily life in the rural areas of Lithuania went through radical changes. The entire system of collective farming was replaced by another system, based on the right to private property. Lithuania´s collective farms and land were divided and distributed among the former members and private farms were emerging all over the country. In this article I look at the situation from a farm level. By using material from my fieldwork in a Lithuanian village I shall present how the Small Farmers here cope in spite the lack of resources. In the first place I will offer some background information for the distribution of land which took place in the early 1990s. I argue that the distribution of land left many villagers with so scarce resources that they could only be individual farmers by expanding the resources of the farms through co-operation. In the second place I will look at the co-operative economical system they have employed in order to make ends meet. I will argue that only the people who lack re-sources within their household employed strategies of reciprocity, whereas people who have sufficient re-sources by themselves do not engage in this system. Thereby there is a correlation between property rights and property relations. Bourdieu has classified these two kinds of sale as a ‘village/market dichotomy’. The article is based on my fieldwork in a Southwest Lithuanian village in 2004.