Historically, Montenegrins have been farmers, in the areas where agriculture is possible, and herders elsewhere. Major agricultural products include rye and barley, as well as other cereal crops. In coastal areas, olives, figs, and grapes are also grown. Most important, however, has been the herding of sheep, goats, and cattle based on seasonal movement of flocks.
Subsistence and Commercial Activities. Although post-World War II modernization has produced some industrialization, Montenegrin industry and agriculture remain underdeveloped and the population poor by Yugoslav standards. In the post-World War II period, Montenegro continued to rank last among the Yugoslav republics in the percentage of its work force employed in industry.
Trade. In general, external trade was historically of only minimal importance. Because of the isolation generated by centuries of military conflict with the Ottomans and extensive raiding outside of the mountain strongholds, trade links did not develop as they had farther up the Adriatic coast.
Division of Labor. Sex roles traditionally were well defined and women economically important but of low status.
Land Tenure. Contemporary landholding laws and patterns are governed by Yugoslav law and mirror those in Serbia. However, according to late nineteenth-century reports, historical distinctions existed in grazing versus farming rights. Whereas arable holdings and their inheritance followed the traditional Serbian pattern, grazing rights were vested in the larger clan and tribal communities.