Berit Backer

Behind Stone Walls:

Changing Household Organisation

among the Albanians of Kosovo

Edited by Robert Elsie and Antonia Young,

with an introduction and photographs

by Ann Christine Eek

Albanian Studies, Vol. 10

ISBN 978-1508747949 Centre for Albanian Studies, London 2015 326 pp. ‘Behind Stone Walls’ is a sociological, or more specifically, a social anthropological study of traditional Albanian society. It focuses, in particular, on the formation and evolution of household and family structures among the Kosovo Albanians and was written on the basis of field work carried out by the author in the village of Isniq in western Kosovo in 1976. The study provides the reader with a fascinating glimpse into an exotic world which will soon belong to the past, as the author predicted.


Preface, by Robert Elsie Introduction: Berita - the Norwegian Friend of the Albanians, by Ann Christine Eek BEHIND STONE WALLS Acknowledgement 1. INTRODUCTION   Family and Household   Family – Types, Stages, Forms   Demographic Processes in Isniq   Fieldwork   Data Collection 2. ISNIQ: A VILLAGE AND ITS FAMILIES Once upon a Time   Going to Isniq   Kosovo   First Impressions   Education   Sources of Income and Professions   Traditional Adaptation   The Household: Distribution in Space   Household Organization   Household Structure   Positions in the Household   The Household as an Economic Unit 3. CONJECTURING ABOUT AN ETHNOGRAPHIC PAST Ashtu është ligji – Such are the Rules   The So-Called Albanian Tribal Society   The fis   The bajrak   Economic Conditions   Land, Labour and Surplus in Isniq   The Political Economy of the Patriarchal Family   or the Patriarchal Mode of Reproduction 4. RELATIONS OF BLOOD, MILK AND PARTY MEMBERSHIP The Traditional Social Structure: Blood   The Branch of Milk – the Female Negative of Male Positive Structure   Crossing Family Boundaries – Male and Female Interaction   Dajet - Mother’s Brother in Kosovo   The Formal Political Organization   Pleqësia Again   Division of Power between partia and pleqësia   The Patriarchal Triangle 5. A LOAF ONCE BROKEN CANNOT BE PUT TOGETHER The Process of the Split   Reactions to Division in the Family   Love and Marriage   The Phenomenon of Sworn Virgins and the Future of Sex Roles Glossary of Albanian Terms Used in this Book Bibliography Isniq – a Picture Story. Photographs from the Village of Isniq (Kosovo) in 1976, by Ann Christine Eek Buy this Book on AMAZON
Robert Elsie