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«Pirineos-Monte Perdido»


Consuetudinary law

Consuetudinary law governed the lives of the people who lived in this area for centuries.
Some instances of this kind of law have survived through to the present day, among them the facerías, the institution of the casa and the way that property is passed on to heirs.

Facerías are an important aspect of the cross-border nature of the Pyrenees-Monte Perdido World Heritage Site, as they are treaties between valleys on both sides of the mountains. The terms of these agreements govern the joint usage of some of the pastureland on the border.
These pacts date as far back as the 14th century.
Astonishingly, the facería that still today allows the livestock herdsmen and women in the Broto Valley to use the mountain pastures in Oussoue (in the Barèges Valley in France) dates from 1390.
The institution of the casa, known on the other side of the border as the ostau, is another example of traditional law.

The casa was a microcosm that encompassed all the members of the main family, the building itself, any farming property and animals and its history. The survival of the casa over the centuries was ensured as it could only be passed on to a single heir.

Each casa had its own name and this was used to identify each of its members. This name is still used today and comes after each individual's first name.