Γυναίκες, γάλα, συγγένεια : Κοινά παλαιοβαλκανικά στοιχεία στό λαϊκό πολιτισμό τών Βαλκανικών λαώνPart of : Επετηρίς του Κέντρου Ερεύνης της Ελληνικής Λαογραφίας ; Vol.28, 1986, pages 43-68
Women, Milk, Kinship : Paleo-Balkanic Common Traits in the Folk Culture of Balkan Peoples
This paper is concerned with matrilateral kinship among balkan peoples. In the case of balkan peoples, kinship groups are formed in a patrilineal manner, as a rule. Kinship from the maternal side, however, is also taken under consideration. This is evident by the forbidding of marriage between individuals which have a matrilateral relationship, by the bride-price custom in which the bride' s mother and maternal uncles are also entitled to a share and by other customs and symbols as well. Milk constitutes one of the most important symbols of matrilateral kinship. This symbol connects children that have been breast-fed by the same woman and creates an unbreakable bond which is considered to be a marriage -obstacle if these children are of the opposite sex. This is a symbol of archaic origin that has been encountered in the balkan peninsula from the proto-historic (maybe even the prehistoric) period. Myths about breast-feeding goddesses or female spirits are nevertheless spread out throughout the hellenic and balkan areas until present.