Sarakatsani - Economy

Sarakatsani life centers year-round on the needs of their flocks. The demands of this pastoralist economy vary with the seasons, with winter being by far the most arduous and time-consuming because lambing occurs then. The protection and general care of the flocks, shearing, and milking are done by the men and boys. The women are responsible for building the dwellings, sheepfolds, and goat pens for the care of newborn lambs and kids, for child care and the domestic tasks of cooking and sewing, as well as for preparing, spinning, and dying the shorn wool. In addition, women try to keep chickens, the eggs of which provide them with their only personal source of income. That income is used to purchase dyes in the village. In summer villages, women keep household vegetable gardens, and in winter women and girls gather wild vegetables and herbs to supplement the family diet. The pasturage used by a stani is leased, with the head of each participating family paying a share at the end of each season to the stani leader ( tselingas ), in whose name the lease was originally taken.

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