Concept

Molise Croats

Summary
Molise Croats (Moliški Hrvati) or Molise Slavs (Slavo-molisani, Slavi del Molise) are a Croat and Slavic community in the Molise province of Campobasso of Italy, which constitutes the majority in the three villages of Acquaviva Collecroce (Kruč), San Felice del Molise (Štifilić) and Montemitro (Mundimitar). There are about 1,000 active and 2,000 passive speakers of the Slavomolisano dialect. The community originated from Dalmatian refugees fleeing from the Ottoman conquests in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Identity and status The community does not have an ethnonym of their own, but are traditionally accustomed to the term Zlava and Škjavuna ("Slavs"). Since 1999, the governments of Italy and Croatia recognize the community as a Croatian minority in Italy. However, the people consider themselves to be Italo-Slavs or Croatian-speaking Italians, and the term "Molise Croat" is a recent exonym rather than their own name for themselves, dating to the middle 19th century. His
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