Beatrice Palmero

A contemporary source for the history of the territory. The "Commissariato agli Usi Civici" and the practices of use

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


We have studied a contemporary source: the Commissariato agli Usi Civici archive that, during its activity (1927-1929), attests the end of the agro-silvo-pastoral economy and the territorial reorganization of the mountain communes. The Commissariato works in order to loosen the inter-community uses of pasture (usi promiscui) on the Alps frequented by the shepherds of different mountain villages. During the XIX century the promiscuous uses of pasture on the Carsene and Marguareis Alps (Alpi Marittime franco-liguri-piemontesi) have characterized the pastoral management of the Alps and produced a series of territorial quarrels in this epoch. Well, with the civic use, the Commissariato affirms an immemorial use of the pasture before the new commune rules of 1892 and faces the arguments produced by the land registry dated 1890. Therefore we have undertaken a sort of archaeological excavation on the contemporary source. This has allowed us to individualize the alpine pasture as the historical object of study and the use of pasture as the historical finding. The old use is hidden in the administrative speeches of the protagonists that stratify it, certifying the affiliation of the alpine territory. Such speeches refer to different epochs and distinguish, in comparison to a custom of pasture, the actions and the rules of a settled use of the Alps. Also the testimonies converge in the custom telling what had always been done there, with the memory of the places. We propose then a reassemblage of the historical-documentary sources around the notion of «Alps of proximity».

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