Gora and Goranis as last Torbeshs of Bogumilism in Balkans

AuthorMr. Sc. Qafleshi, Muharrem Ph d (c)
PositionHigh School 'Ruzhdi Berisha' ? Dragash
ISSN 2410-759X Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research Vol 1 No 1
Acces online at www.iipccl.org IIPCCL Publishing, Tirana-Albania May 2015
Gora and Goranis as last Torbeshs of Bogumilism in Balkans
Mr. Sc. Qaeshi, Muharrem Ph d (c)
High School “Ruzhdi Berisha” – Dragash
In times of political crisis and inter-ethnic tensions, the layer that isolates other layers of identity,
is the national identity. Being a social and political construction, national identity performs in
various ways, by being changed and shaped in dierent periods of time. Nation-states are very
important to further enhance national identities, as one of the main principles of rst modernity.
Nevertheless, globalization trends, immediacy of technological communication, have brought
distances nearer and opened isolated mountain spaces. An important aspect in this regard, is
analyzing ethnicities, which live in mountain areas that were surrounded with dierent political
turbulences and cultural dynamics. In my view, such is the ethnographic region of Gora in Kosovo.
A Slavic speaking population, surrounded with fully inhabited Albanian territories, Gora, together
with Opoja region, make the municipality of Dragash town. Gora is located in the highlands of
Sharri Mountains, which has plenty of pastures, comfortable areas for farming, and the entire
region (Opoja included), is known for its brand of “Sharri” cheese. Gora is surrounded by Kosovo
– Albania – Macedonia, and according to the rst written document (1348), this slavophonic
population was settled in the region during XIV century. One can notice that Gorani people have
a particular identity dierent from all other Slavic nations, especially if we take into account their
language, which is of a mixed Slavic dialect. Although the language spoken by Goranis is similar
to Macedonian, Serbian and Bulgarian, they cannot easily understand Serbian and Bulgarian if
they do not perfectly speak Serbian, Macedonian and Bulgarian. is made Serbs, Macedonians
and Bulgarians treat Goranis as members of their ethnicities. One of the versions of Gorani ethnic
identity is also their connection with the Torbeshs as last remains of Bogumils, which is also a topic
subject of our research. Upon the occupation of Albanian land by the Ottoman Empire, Goranis as
well were converted into Muslims, from their previous Christian orthodox religion.
Keywords: Gorani, identity, ethnic, culture, Kosovo, Gora.
Gora is one of the geographical and ethnographical areas of Kosovo located in the most
southern part of Kosovo, with an area exceeding state boundaries in Macedonia and
Albania. It is a mountanous area belonging to Sharri Mountains, situated (Qaeshi, 2011,
25) in the eastern side of Kukes, Xerxa’s Mountain (1347 m) north, Kacina Glava (2407
m) east, Gemitas (2204) (2181) south, Kallabak (2174 m) south-west, Gjallica (2886
m) west and Koritnik north-west, mark its natural and traditional border, though these
points can not be considered as sharp ones. In the south-west, west and north-west its
local boundaries are Luma, in the north-east, Opoja in the east, Tetovo in the south-east
(Dokle, 1999, 50).
Gora area encompasses these villages: Baçkë, Brod, Dikanci, Dragash (the former name
Krakojshte), Glloboçicë, Kukolan, Lubovishtë, Mlikë, Orçushë, Radesh, Rapçë, Restelicë,
Vranisht e Zlipotok. Administratively, all those villages belong to Dragash municipality
(Gashi, 2011, 26) while the villages of: Borje, Cërnalevë, Kosharisht, Orçikël, Orgosht,

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