Aug 27, 2013

Burrneshat | The Sworn Virgins of Albania

Photographer Jill Peters traveled to Northern Albania to meet the “Sworn virgins” (Burrneshat) and capture a glimpse of their chosen life. 
‘‘ These women have decided to ignore their female identity and live as men in the Balkans. The decision to live as men is more related to gender roles in the Albanian culture rather than a statement of sexuality; these women live their lives appearing as men.
Sworn virgins have existed for centuries. According to tradition dating back to the 15th century developed out of the Kanun, a tribal code of law, tribal clans from the Balkans considered families without a male presence as pariahs. When blood feuds decimated all the men in a family, the only way to salvage their honor was for a woman to become the patriarch of the clan and start acting like a man.’’ via slate

Photo credit Jill Peters

tags: Kanun - Blood and Honour, The Forgiveness of Blood



Unknown said...

incredible!! what a sacrifice for a child to live like a man..want to go and hear their stories. pics are great, in which villages do they live?

irsiB said...

They're from the northern region of Albania. I am not sure of the specific villages, but you're right they're incredible.