Women living as men–The sworn virgins of Albania

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PostFri Dec 28, 2012 2:10 pm » by Edgar 2.0


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– a woman can choose to become a man in a Kanun society, by simply dressing like one. So an Albanian woman who dresses like a man, is a man. A change in dress is all that’s needed for a change in gender. Born out of a social necessity, women who become men in Albania are called Virgjinesha (the sworn virgins)


The tradition of the sworn virgin can be traced to the Kanun of Leke Dukagjini, a code of conduct that has been passed on orally among the clans of northern Albania for more than five centuries. Under the Kanun, the role of women is severely circumscribed: Take care of children and maintain the home. While a woman's life is worth half that of a man, a virgin's value is the same - 12 oxen.

The sworn virgin was born of social necessity in an agrarian region plagued by war and death. If the patriarch of the family died with no male heirs, unmarried women in the family could find themselves alone and powerless. By taking an oath of virginity, women could take on the role of men as head of the family, carry a weapon, own property and move freely.

They dress like men, adopt a male swagger and spend their lives in the company of other men.


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/world/europe/23iht-virgins.4.13927949.html


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PostFri Dec 28, 2012 7:10 pm » by Cwmman


Being the man of the house also made her responsible for avenging her father's death, she said, including the Kanun's edict that spilled blood must be met with spilled blood. When her father's killer was released from prison five years ago, by then a man of 80, Keqi said she ordered her 15 year-old nephew to shoot him. Then the family of the man took revenge and killed her nephew.

"I always dreamed of avenging my father's death. My brothers tried to, but did not succeed. Of course, I have regrets my nephew was killed. But if you kill me, I have to kill you." In Albania, a majority Muslim country, the Kanun is adhered to by both Muslims and Christians, though the Ottoman Turks and successive governments have all tried to limit its influence.


Wonder why he could`nt have pulled the triger himself. strange
You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—
after they’ve tried everything else.
Winston Churchill.

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PostFri Dec 28, 2012 7:14 pm » by Poooooot


An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
Matthew 7
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

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PostFri Dec 28, 2012 9:04 pm » by Edgar 2.0


Cwmman wrote:Being the man of the house also made her responsible for avenging her father's death, she said, including the Kanun's edict that spilled blood must be met with spilled blood. When her father's killer was released from prison five years ago, by then a man of 80, Keqi said she ordered her 15 year-old nephew to shoot him. Then the family of the man took revenge and killed her nephew.

"I always dreamed of avenging my father's death. My brothers tried to, but did not succeed. Of course, I have regrets my nephew was killed. But if you kill me, I have to kill you." In Albania, a majority Muslim country, the Kanun is adhered to by both Muslims and Christians, though the Ottoman Turks and successive governments have all tried to limit its influence.


Wonder why he could`nt have pulled the triger himself. strange


It's Besa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Besa_%28Albanian_culture%29
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