ISBN 978-1-78453-401-1I.B. Tauris, London 2015386 pp. A tribal society in Europe? Yes, there is one, or at least there are still noticeable traces of one, in the mountains of northern Albania. This unique society and culture thrived until the early years of the twentieth century and was still largely intact when the communist regime seized power in Albania in 1944. It is regarded as the only true example of a tribal society surviving in Europe up to the mid-twentieth century. Many of the structures of this traditional society were weakened or indeed eradicated in the half century of Stalinist rule in Albania (1944-1990), but the north of the country still remains a very different place from more advanced south of Albania, and from the rest of the world. Why this relic, and what do we know about it? Up to the present, there has been a glaring lack of knowledge and scholarly information about the tribes of northern Albania. This volume endeavours to fill the gap and provide basic information about all the major Albanian tribes, at least as much information as can be found in source material and as can still be gleaned from the collective memory of the people of the region. A short chapter has thus been provided for each of the identified tribes (69 of them included here in all) which typically includes information on its geographical location, on the earliest historical references to it, on its religious affiliations over time, and on population statistics. A second part of each chapter aims to provide information, where available, on tribal legendry and ancestry, in particular for the monophyletic tribes, as well as notes – certainly not complete – on the history of the tribe in question. This is often followed by a section containing travel impressions, i.e. texts by nineteenth and early twentieth-century travellers and explorers from abroad who ventured into the northern Albanian mountains and recorded what they saw. The chapters conclude, in many cases, with a brief presentation of noted historical representatives of the tribes. The main corpus of the book is then followed by information on a number of minor tribes (some are classed here as minor simply for a lack of extensive information and not necessarily for reasons of size or prestige), as well as a glossary and bibliography to assist the interested reader in pursuing further research. The Tribes of Northern Albania is, admittedly, a motley collection of information and texts with many lacunae of which the author is painfully aware. Nonetheless, it is to be hoped that this presentation will stimulate further interest in this very particular, indeed unique European society and in northern Albanian history and culture in general.
Table of Contents
IntroductionEditorial noteThe Tribes of the Northern Albanian Alps (Malësia e Madhe)The Kelmendi tribeThe Gruda tribeThe Hoti tribeThe Triepshi tribeThe Kastrati tribeThe Boga tribeThe Shkreli tribeThe Lohja tribeThe Reçi tribe of Malësia e MadheThe Rrjolli tribe The Tribes of the Pulat RegionThe Plani tribeThe Xhani tribeThe Kiri tribeThe Suma tribeThe Drishti tribeThe Tribes of the Dukagjin RegionThe Shala tribeThe Shoshi tribeThe Shllaku tribeThe Mazreku tribeThe Dushmani tribeThe Toplana tribeThe Tribes of the Gjakova Highlands (Malësia e Gjakovës)The Nikaj tribeThe Mërturi tribeThe Krasniqja tribeThe Gashi tribeThe Bytyçi tribe The Tribes of the Puka RegionThe Qerreti tribeThe Puka tribeThe Kabashi tribeThe Berisha tribeThe Thaçi tribe (Bugjoni and Iballja)The Mali i Zi tribeThe Tribes of the Lezha Highlands (Malësia e Lezhës)The Bulgëri tribeThe Kryezezi tribeThe Manatia tribeThe Vela tribeThe Tribes of the Kruja Highlands (Malësia e Krujës)The Kurbini tribeThe Rranza tribeThe Benda tribeThe Tribes of MirditaThe composite Mirdita tribeThe Dibrri tribeThe Kushneni tribeThe Spaçi tribeThe Fani tribeThe Oroshi tribeThe Kthella tribeThe Selita tribeThe Tribes of the Mat RegionThe Bushkashi tribeThe composite Mati tribeThe Tribes of the Upper Drin BasinThe Hasi tribeThe Luma tribeThe Lura tribeThe Arrëni tribeThe composite Dibra tribeMinor TribesThe Bobi tribeThe Boksi tribeThe Buza e Ujit tribeThe Çidhna tribeThe Dardha tribeThe Dervishaj tribeThe Dushi tribeThe Gimaj tribeThe Grizha tribeThe Kastrioti tribeThe Komani tribeThe Kopliku tribeThe Luznia tribeThe Mëgulla tribeThe Morina tribeThe Muhurri tribeThe Ploshtani tribeThe Reçi tribe of DibraThe Sheh Hysenaj tribeThe Skandëri tribeThe Trojaku tribeThe Ura e Shtejtë tribeThe Zogjaj tribeGlossaryBibliographyBuy this Book via I.B. Tauris