Leonese - Economy

Subsistence and Commercial Activities. The Leonese economy is predominantly agricultural, with grain being the principal crop. Rye and wheat are the most important and are sown on as much of the private land as will support them, as well as on common lands. Barley is sown on the remainder. Animal husbandry is also important—each household keeps cows, oxen, sheep, and goats. These animals are merged with the livestock of other households in the village and pastured together on common lands, with herding responsibilities rotated among households in a system called vecera. Households also maintain gardens and keep chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, as well as a family pig.

Industrial Arts. There is specialization in the trades (e.g., carpentry, smithing), and shops specialize in the provision of goods and services needed by the community. There is, However, little industrialization outside of major urban areas, and when farm work is not sufficient to employ villagers, some must leave the area to find employment. Traditional cottage industries arise from the processing of flax and the production of linseed and thread.

Division of Labor. Women work in the fields along with the men and are included in all household and farm decision making, but they are excluded from community leadership. Domestic tasks and child rearing are specifically women's work.

Land Tenure. Individuals each hold title to several Scattered, small plots, the total area of which rarely exceeds 3 hectares, as a result of an inheritance system that operates on the principle of equal shares to all heirs, women as well as men. These small holdings, in themselves inadequate to support the needs of individual households, are offset by use rights to communal lands, which consist of woodlands, "wastes" or scrublands, and grazing areas.

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