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Thread: Shestani-Kraja

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    Shestani-Kraja

    Shestani is a small region in southeastern Montenegro, populated mostly by Albanians and some Montenegrins. I myself am from this region.

    I am unsure as to whether or not migrations were made here by slavs (most likely), or if the Montenegrin people's here are assimilated Albanians (of which many are), but nonetheless I thought it would be a good idea to open a thread to discuss and delve into this region more.
    Last edited by gjenetiks; 03-17-2020 at 11:34 PM.

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    Albanian documentary on Kraja region


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    It seems that during the Medieval there was a coexistence between an Albanian speaking population and a Slavic speaking population. The defter of 1485 shows that a little over half of the anthroponyms recorded in the nahiya of Shestani are Albanian (Gjon, Deda, Pal, Kola etc), with the remainder being Slavic (Vuk, Branko, Stoja, Pop etc). Though, given that the adoption of Slavic names was common by Albanians during the time period, and that some of the individuals recorded with Slavic names had Albanian patronyms, it's likely that the majority of the inhabitants of these villages were Albanian. Though there was without a doubt also Slavic speakers, for example in the village of Svaa/Seoa nearly all the inhabitants had Slavic anthroponyms and patronyms. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3ma...VXMXV1NFE/edit

    In later years, there was a migration of more Albanians into the region from Malsi. Many of the families from the region today can trace their ancestry back to tribes such as the Shkreli and Kelmendi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelmendasi View Post
    It seems that during the Medieval there was a coexistence between an Albanian speaking population and a Slavic speaking population. The defter of 1485 shows that a little over half of the anthroponyms recorded in the nahiya of Shestani are Albanian (Gjon, Deda, Pal, Kola etc), with the remainder being Slavic (Vuk, Branko, Stoja, Pop etc). Though, given that the adoption of Slavic names was common by Albanians during the time period, and that some of the individuals recorded with Slavic names had Albanian patronyms, it's likely that the majority of the inhabitants of these villages were Albanian. Though there was without a doubt also Slavic speakers, for example in the village of Svaa/Seoa nearly all the inhabitants had Slavic anthroponyms and patronyms. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3ma...VXMXV1NFE/edit

    In later years, there was a migration of more Albanians into the region from Malsi. Many of the families from the region today can trace their ancestry back to tribes such as the Shkreli and Kelmendi.
    Yeah in later years more families from Malesi migrated to the region and can trace their origin to the Malesor tribes, but most of the Shestani inhabitants have forgotten this completely.

    There is a whole linguistic dissertation from a person from Ohio State University, discussing Slavic-Albanian language contact and coexistence. In the shestani dialect we often use borrowed words from serbo-croatian. This isn't something special, many places in Kosovo and Albania do the same, but it's possible we use more.

    The dissertation also discusses a theory of Albanian-Montenegrin tribe mingling in the Scutari / Liqeni i Shkodres area.

    Of all of the areas of Slavic-Albanian language contact, the area around Lake Scutari (Sr Skadarsko jezero, Alb Liqeni i Shkodrs) and in the mountain villages in eastern Montenegro has seen the greatest amount of reciprocal bilingualism. Part of this may be due to the area’s peripheral location to many of the political states that had influence in the western Balkans. More likely, however, is the relatively equal social standing between Albanian and Montenegrin tribes from their origins in the 14th and 15th centuries at least until the reorganization of society under Communism (von Šufflay 1925/2004: 75–78; Omari 1989: 45). This was promoted by the common cultural values held by highland Montenegrins and Albanians (abej 1975, cited in Omari 1989: 45), especially regarding traditions of marriage and descent. Both the Albanians and the

    (Page 53).


    continued...

    Montenegrins considered marriage within the male bloodline to be unacceptable. In order to work around this limitation, brides were often sought from other communities, and some Montenegrin and Albanian tribes had traditions of seeking wives from one another’s communities (Durham 1928: 15; Curtis 2007: 19). One obvious result of these arrangements was an effective bilingualism and intimate cultural contact between Albanians and Montenegrins in this area. Some lexical items (addressed in the next chapter) attest to both the practice of exogamous marriage and the shared cultural values found among the Albanian and Montenegrin tribes in the area. Second, in the time of close cultural contact, it is known that certain clans (e.g. Piperi and Kuči) have switched from having a mixed composition of Albanian and Slavic speakers to being only Slavic (Omari 1989: 45; von Šufflay 1924). In addition, several tribes that are now monolingual Albanian or Slavic maintain identical stories of ethnogenesis (Omari 1989: 45; Barjaktarević 1962). According to Stanišić, the influence of contact with Albanian can be seen throughout Old Montenegro, and in practically every Montenegrin tribe (1995: 24).

    (Page 54).


    The bold is an indication that Montenegrins are heavily albanian admixed, and this can be seen in their autosomal DNA.
    Last edited by gjenetiks; 03-17-2020 at 11:35 PM.

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    continued...Two fairly recent cases of population shifts have occurred in Montenegro where many linguistic convergences between Slavic and Albanian are also found. First is the Mrković (also Mrkojević) community in the highlands above Bar/Tivar. Although it is certain that some of the Mrkovići were historically Albanian (and some continue to identify themselves as such), scholars disagree whether linguistic and other cultural similarities to Slavic dialects in Kosovo and Macedonia are the result of Albanian speakers shifting to Slavic or simply from their location historically. Most scholars believe that they lived in northern Albania and thus, geographically, connected Slavic dialects in Montenegro, southern Serbia (including Kosovo) and northern Macedonia (Stanišić 1995: 17). Although this opinion is widely accepted as an explanation of the linguistic similarities of the Mrković with Albanian (Popović 1958; Pešikan 1982, Pižurica 1984: 84–85), the influence of Albanian is also quite strong; this perhaps indicates that many of the Mrkovići descend from Albanians, as was noted in a Turkish census (defter) from the 15th century (Pižurica 1981: 420–421). This is certainly not the origin of all Mrković speakers, but it is certain that the influence of Albanian comes from the multilingual composition of the ethnic group in addition to a possible influence from an earlier historic setting in present-day northeastern Albania. It is likely that both the population shifts and bilingualism with surrounding Albanian speakers are responsible for the penetration of Albanian features on the Slavic dialect spoken by the Mrkovići.

    (Page 54-55).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenetiks View Post
    Yeah in later years more families from Malesi migrated to the region and can trace their origin to the Malesor tribes, but most of the Shestani inhabitants have forgotten this completely.

    There is a whole linguistic dissertation from a person from Ohio State University, discussing Slavic-Albanian language contact and coexistence. In the shestani dialect we often use borrowed words from serbo-croatian. This isn't something special, many places in Kosovo and Albania do the same, but it's possible we use more.

    The dissertation also discusses a theory of Albanian-Montenegrin tribe mingling in the Scutari / Liqeni i Shkodres area.

    Of all of the areas of Slavic-Albanian language contact, the area around Lake Scutari (Sr Skadarsko jezero, Alb Liqeni i Shkodrës) and in the mountain villages in eastern Montenegro has seen the greatest amount of reciprocal bilingualism. Part of this may be due to the area’s peripheral location to many of the political states that had influence in the western Balkans. More likely, however, is the relatively equal social standing between Albanian and Montenegrin tribes from their origins in the 14th and 15th centuries at least until the reorganization of society under Communism (von Šufflay 1925/2004: 75–78; Omari 1989: 45). This was promoted by the common cultural values held by highland Montenegrins and Albanians (Çabej 1975, cited in Omari 1989: 45), especially regarding traditions of marriage and descent. Both the Albanians and the

    (Page 53).


    continued...

    Montenegrins considered marriage within the male bloodline to be unacceptable. In order to work around this limitation, brides were often sought from other communities, and some Montenegrin and Albanian tribes had traditions of seeking wives from one another’s communities (Durham 1928: 15; Curtis 2007: 19). One obvious result of these arrangements was an effective bilingualism and intimate cultural contact between Albanians and Montenegrins in this area. Some lexical items (addressed in the next chapter) attest to both the practice of exogamous marriage and the shared cultural values found among the Albanian and Montenegrin tribes in the area. Second, in the time of close cultural contact, it is known that certain clans (e.g. Piperi and Kuči) have switched from having a mixed composition of Albanian and Slavic speakers to being only Slavic (Omari 1989: 45; von Šufflay 1924). In addition, several tribes that are now monolingual Albanian or Slavic maintain identical stories of ethnogenesis (Omari 1989: 45; Barjaktarević 1962). According to Stanišić, the influence of contact with Albanian can be seen throughout Old Montenegro, and in practically every Montenegrin tribe (1995: 24).

    (Page 54).


    The bold is an indication that Montenegrins are heavily albanian admixed, and this can be seen in their autosomal DNA.
    Yeah, I have read this dissertation before. It is logical for the dialects spoken around the border of Montenegro to have a number of Serbo-Croatian loans, as we know that this region was a place of contact and in some cases coexistence between Albanians and Slavs.

    I think that only the Serbo-Montenegrins and Montenegrins from eastern and southeastern Montenegro have Albanian genetic input. Historically it was in these regions that Albanians and Serbo-Montenegrins had the the most contact with each other. As far as I know, the Montenegrins from northwestern Montenegro are pretty similar to Serbs when it comes to auDNA.
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    I just finished an article about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryethi in wikipedia. This is related to Ana e Malit region and Ulqin, but I think it can give information in this situation too as it reveals that we still don't know a lot about the Albanian tribes and brotherhoods in modern Montenegro. In this context, the village Seoca to the north of Kraja appears as headed by Gjon Krytha (Gion Crutta).

    I wrote the article because Kryethi is a pretty much uncovered subject to genealogical research, so I hope this sparks some conversation. Given the fact that the northernmost Albanian tribe we know so far lived in ...Herzegovina https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmazi I think that there's much work to do to get a proper account of Albanians in those areas.

    There are many tribes in that area that gradually became part of the Slavic Orthodox milieu. So for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrkojevi%C4%87i Mrkojevici in 1485 appears to have a small Catholic Albanian minority, but what does that mean? It doesn't mean that in their area some Catholic Albanians lived. These people were part of the same community, they had kinship ties to each other, shared the same land etc. More probably, these people who appear with Albanian names in 1485 are basically the few that remained Albanian-speaking over the centuries of cultural contect.

    Also, now a sidebar exists for quicker navigation to articles about Albanian tribes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templa...tribes_sidebar
    Last edited by Maleschreiber; 03-18-2020 at 02:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleschreiber View Post
    I just finished an article about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryethi in wikipedia. This is related to Ana e Malit region and Ulqin, but I think it can give information in this situation too as it reveals that we still don't know a lot about the Albanian tribes and brotherhoods in modern Montenegro. In this context, the village Seoca to the north of Kraja appears as headed by Gjon Krytha (Gion Crutta).

    I wrote the article because Kryethi is a pretty much uncovered subject to genealogical research, so I hope this sparks some conversation. Given the fact that the northernmost Albanian tribe we know so far lived in ...Herzegovina https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmazi I think that there's much work to do to get a proper account of Albanians in those areas.

    There are many tribes in that area that gradually became part of the Slavic Orthodox milieu. So for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrkojevi%C4%87i Mrkojevici in 1485 appears to have a small Catholic Albanian minority, but what does that mean? It doesn't mean that in their area some Catholic Albanians lived. These people were part of the same community, they had kinship ties to each other, shared the same land etc. More probably, these people who appear with Albanian names in 1485 are basically the few that remained Albanian-speaking over the centuries of cultural contect.

    Also, now a sidebar exists for quicker navigation to articles about Albanian tribes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templa...tribes_sidebar
    I just read that article, nice work. Was wondering about the etymology of the name Kryethi or Krythi. In the article you wrote that it comes from the word krye (head) with the suffix -thi, I agree that the first part of the name comes from krye but I think that maybe thi could be related the the word thi (pig) which is used in NW Gheg speaking areas (and maybe other regions as well). From where I am from and Shkodr, the saying kry thi (literally, pig-headed) is used to describe someone that is stubborn or big-headed.
    Perhaps I'm overlooking this lol as the name is also recorded as Krytha.
    Last edited by Kelmendasi; 03-18-2020 at 02:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelmendasi View Post
    I just read that article, nice work. Was wondering about the etymology of the name Kryethi or Krythi. In the article you wrote that it comes from the word krye (head) with the suffix -thi, I agree that the first part of the name comes from krye but I think that maybe thi could be related the the word thi (pig) which is used in NW Gheg speaking areas (and maybe other regions as well). From where I am from and Shkodr, the saying kry thi (literally, pig-headed) is used to describe someone that is stubborn or big-headed.
    Perhaps I'm overlooking this lol as the name is also recorded as Krytha.
    No you're not!!! It's exactly what the source I'm using says (Gjurmime Albanologjike). I just hadn't added the whole thing because I was in the process of expanding some stuff when I sent the link hahaha. So, the form Sfinodol near Vushtrria may come from an intermediate "Svinoglav" (swine head, literally). One of the most complete dictionaries of Albanian also has the same definition (Mehmet Elezi, 2006)

    I think that the form Krytha as a surname may come from a demonym Kryethan>Krythan>Krytha.

    content.png
    Last edited by Maleschreiber; 03-18-2020 at 03:25 PM.

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    Well, also Selami Pulaha has explained the Onomastic peculiarity regarding the Merkoja\Merkojevic, his conclusion was that in the case of the ethnicity we are dealing with a majority Albanian-speaking community, religiously; Generally Orthodox Serbian. The suffix, - eza\ -ez of the Anthroponymy - which does not exist in any Slavic tongue, it's typically Albanian -, and that phenomena constitute a Albanian adaptation of the typical Slavic names, which is also a sufficient prove of their Albanophonie !!
    Merkoja, Pulaha's Explanation..jpg

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