Pasiegos - Settlements



The municipality, or township, is the largest unit of local membership. Each of the three Pasiego municipalities has its town center ( villa ) and rural neighborhoods ( barrios). Barrios usually correspond to mountain river valleys and thus have a vertical dimension. Within barrios, named meadow clusters are called praderas; these are interspersed at different altitudes with municipally held forests and brushlands. Each meadow within a pradera is fully enclosed, bears a housestable structure, and is visited seasonally by its owner or renter. Families move between praderas separately from their neighbors, but most transhumance occurs within single barrios. Much socializing and intermarriage reflect barrio membership or use of high meadows in boundary areas of adjacent barrios. Habitation is dispersed from meadow to meadow, but there is incipient clustering toward the valley bottoms and elsewhere where terrain permits. The town centers are focal points for trade, transport, civil and religious functions, and leisure, though they are distant from the higher meadows. Where Pasiego-type transhumance is practiced in barrios of neighbor municipalities not officially known as Pasiego towns, there is nonetheless a deep sense of community and also intermarriage. The administrative boundaries of the Montes de Pas do not, in the herders' view, separate Pasiegos from non-Pasiegos if they live within the same form of economy.

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