Semeando entre as pedras: história e ecologia do minifúndio no nordeste algarvio
[Resumo proveniente da fonte]
The mountainous Northeastern region of the Algarve in Southern Portugal has been generally depicted in negative tones, as characterized by poverty, unfeasible landholdings, irrational or individualist farming practices, and rural exodus. A series of bizarre elements appears to be both symptom and cause of the supposed demise of agriculture (desertificação), grating the area an aura suggestive of a barren wasteland. Nevertheless, extensive fieldwork within the zone's typically minuscule settlements (montes) comprising rarely more than a dozen domestic groups confirms that agriculture continues, that the local population has not vanished, and that the latter lack such a "catastrophic" vision of their future. Rather than an impediment to modernization, this extreme example of the excessive subdivision and fragmentation of land can be seen as a consistent and rational form of ecological adaptation favouring continued residence and cultivation. Equal partition does not therefore constitute some kind of pathological application of an abstract rule, but instead a locally recognized and respected form of division coherently linked to a highly diversified agrarian system of polyculture. The rural household is not viewed as an enduring structure to be preserved through the generations - much greater value is placed on the distribution to ali heirs of a multiplicity of dispersed fields. The article concludes with a cal! for more detailed research into the historical and ecological factors antedating and underpinning this minifúndio smallholding system.
ÍNDICE: O. O PROBLEMA | 1. NORDESTE ALGARVIO, ALENTEJO E ALGARVE | 2. DUAS VISÕES AlTERNATIVAS | 3. O ORDENAMENTO DO ESPAÇO: ALDEIAS, MONTES E A FRAGMENTAÇÃO DA PROPRIEDADE | 4. DIVISÃO, HERANÇA, E TEORIA | 5. ECOLOGIA E HISTÓRIA DO SISTEMA DE MINIFÚNDIO