The sworn virgins of Albania: women that live as men
In northern Albania, there is an old custom that allows women to live as men. It requires great sacrifice: they must take a vow of lifelong celibacy. In return, they are granted all the rights of a man. If you want to learn more about these amazing women, keep on reading the article!
In northern Albania, which is largely Islamic region, if the men in a family have all perished due to war or famine, it is a socially acceptable option for a woman in the family to present in society and live as a man. So to be without a man in the family is incredibly disadvantageous.
Some women took the oath so they could provide for their families, other women took it to be free.
#1 A 47-year-old Sworn Virgin from Albania, 16 May 1908
#2 Tringe Smajili was an Albanian “sworn virgin” who took a vow of chastity & wore male clothing in order to live as a man. She is known as one of the greatest Balkan female warriors & fought against Ottoman occupation. She’s named as a People’s Hero of Albania.
#3 Pashke, a ‘Sworn Virgin’ from Albania, fulfills the social role of ‘man’ in her village
#4 The sworn virgins of Albania spend their lives as men
#5 They change their name and present as masculine to society
What do you think about this tradition? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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