40 / 2014
Špela Ledinek Lozej

Šavrinkas – Migrant Women Traders between Central Istria and Coastal Towns and Bearers of Symbolic Identifications: Sociohistorical Conditions of Labour Migrations and the “Šavrinization” of the Istrian Countryside

The paper presents the sociohistorical conditions, trade routes and every day life of migrant women traders from the north-eastern Istrian countryside. In the first half of the 20th century they traded in central Istria, where they gathered eggs, and paid for them with consumer goods, e.g. thread, soap, paraffin, salt, kerchiefs and handkerchiefs and other goods, and sold them in Trieste. The egg-selling centres, the main weekly trade routes and the conditions under which the women involved in this activity worked are listed and discussed. In the conclusion the role of the migrant women traders (known as Šavrinkas in central Istria) in the preservation of the original ethnic label Šavrini and in the processes of the “šavrinization” of the northern Istrian countryside is outlined.
KEY WORDS: Šavrinkas, egg-sellers, labour migration, Istria, Trieste