Albanian Folktales and Legends

Selected and translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie

Albanian Studies, Vol. 2

ISBN 978-1507631300 Centre for Albanian Studies, London 2015 186 pp. Folktales are still very much alive in the mountains of Albania, a land of haunted history. They are recited in the evenings after a day’s work or out in the fields, are learned by heart and pass, as if immortal, from one generation to the next. Whose imagination could not be captured by the cunning of the Scurfhead, by the demands of the Earthly Beauty, by the heroic feats of Muja and Halil or by the appearance of a fiery Kulshedra in the forest? Included in this collection are not only folktales but prose versions of some of the best-known Albanian legends (based on historical or mythological events and figures). The adventures of Muja and Halil and their band of mountain warriors are still told and indeed sung in epic verse in the northern Albanian mountains, and the exploits of the great Scanderbeg, the Albanian national hero who freed large parts of the country from Turkish rule in the fifteenth century, are recounted everywhere Albanians gather, as if events five centuries old had taken place yesterday.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Boy and the Earthly Beauty The Scurfhead The Three Friends and the Earthly Beauty The Three Brothers and the Three Sisters The Youth and the Maiden with Stars on their Foreheads and Crescents on their Breasts The Shoes The Girl Who Became a Boy The Maiden in the Box The Tale of the Youth Who Understood the Language of the Animals The Stirrup Moor The King’s Daughter and the Skull The Bear and the Dervish The Snake and the King’s Daughter Gjizar the Nightingale Half Rooster The Boy with No Name The Barefaced Man and the Pasha’s Brother The Foolish Youth and the Ring The Princess of China The Jealous Sisters The Grateful Snake and the Magic Case The Maiden Who Was Promised to the Sun Muja’s Strength Muja and the Zanas Halil’s Marriage Muja and Halil Visit the Sultan Muja Avenges Halil’s Death Gjergj Elez Alia Aga Ymer of UlcinjScanderbeg and Ballaban Shega and Vllastar Rozafat Castle Notes Bibliography Buy this Book on AMAZON
Robert Elsie