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Lake Skadar. View from Ceklin

Ceklin (Serbian Cyrillic: Цеклин; pronounced [tsɛ̌kliːn]) or Ceklinjani (Цеклињани) is a historical tribe and region of Old Montenegro.


The tribe seat is at the village of Ceklin, which comprises thirteen clans. Other villages in the tribal region are: Strugari, Ulici, Bokovo, Jankovići, Đalci, Drušići, Rvaši, Zagora, Bobija, Vranjina, Dujeva (with smaller villages/subsections: Mihaljevići, Trnovi Do and Riječani), town of Žabljak Crnojevića (with many brotherhoods) and at the end of the territory known as Riječka Okolina and Varošica Rijeka in which there are other tribes present.[1]


During the reign of the Crnojević family in Zeta, old Ceklin was named Donje Dobro, while neighbouring Gornje Dobro later received the name Dobrsko Selo.[2] These names are attested in Ottoman defters from the beginning of the 16th century and in Mariano Bolizza's 1614 work.[2] At the time of Ivan Crnojević, Ceklin was only the name of a settlement.[2] A. Jovićević derives Ceklin from Tekla, from St. Thecla, to whom a church is dedicated to, according to folklore by the native Mihaljevići in the 15th century.[2] In the charters of Ivan Crnojević from 1485 and 1489, the village of Ceklin is named Cvetlin (Цвѣтлин) and Cetlin (Цѣтлин), which are the first mentions of the village with this name.[2] The 1489 charters mentions the "nobility of Cetlin", Radič Rašković, Radelja Mirujević, Sćepan Nikolić and Vuk Piperović.[2]

In the Ottoman defters of 1521 and 1523, Ceklin (Cjetlin) and Donje Dobro are mentioned parallelly, and according to order, Donje Dobro was used for Donji Ceklin (Mihaljeviće and Strugare).[2]


The "old" or "real" Ceklinjani (стари, прави Цеклињани)[3] inhabited the original Ceklin, a small area beneath the Ceklinštak mountain, divided into Gornji kraj (Upper area) and Donji kraj (Lower area). All older clans of the tribe were formed in this area.[2] The tribe expanded its borders in the 17th century, pushing the Bjelice tribe out from what is now Ceklin.[4][5] They further expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries.[2][6] The "old" Ceklinjani (Gornjaci and Donjaci) did not allow the immigrant families in Ceklin to take part in the settlement of conquered territory.[3]


The vojvodas and serdars of the tribe were up to mid-19th century members of the Đurašković clan. During the reign of Prince Danilo, the title of vojvoda was passed to the Strugari clan, and the title of serdar to the Jovićević clan.

It once belonged to the Riječka nahija ("River district").


The "old" or "real" Ceklinjani (стари, прави Цеклињани)[3] inhabited the original Ceklin, a small area beneath the Ceklinštak mountain, divided into Gornjak or Gornji kraj (Upper area) and Donjak or Donji kraj (Lower area). All older clans of the tribe were formed in this Old Ceklin (Stari Ceklin). The tribe expanded its borders in the 18th and 19th centuries.[6]

The Gornjaci clans, according to their folklore, trace their origin to Leka, who migrated from Klimenti (in northern Albania) to first Piperi and then Ceklin in ca. 1485. Leka had married the widow of chieftain Radivoj Liješević in Piperi, with whom he had a son, Krstić. The widow's son from her first marriage, Vukosav, was adopted by Leka and given part of Ceklin. According to Donjaci folklore, Liješ was a Drobnjak-Novljanin that settled Piperi in ca. 1385. The Gornjaci clans originate from two brothers that lived in the 17th century, Lješ and Vulič, and were descendants of Krstić. The Donjaci clans originate from two of Vukosav's sons, Bajo and Grujica.[2]


  • The Gornjaci all have the slava (feast day) of Nikoljdan (St. Nicholas), and include the local clans of Đuraškovići, Jankovići, Kostići, Tatari (earlier Radovanovići and Vodičani), Zarlije, Jovićevići, Pejovići, Šofranci, Ražnatovići.
  • The Donjaci all have the slava of Đurđevdan (St. George), and include the local clans of Vujanovići (Vujanovići, Kovači, Markovići, Mašanovići and Petričevići), Strugari (Mihailovići, Pavićevići, Ćirakovići, Petrovići, Nikolići, Todorovići and Dragićevići), Vukmirovići, Kraljevići, Dragojevići and Loličići.
  • The Bokovljani is made up of three clans, the Mudreše-Margetići (slava of Spasovdan), Radivojevići or Borozani-Lompari (slava of Spasovdan) and Buškovići (slava of Nikoljdan), of different origins.
  • The immigrant families, including the Ulići clan that settled in the 16th century and other smaller families that settled since the 18th century.


  • Đuraškovići, descending from Đuraš Lješević
  • Jankovići, descending from Janko Lješević
  • Kostići, descending from Kosta Lješević
  • Tatari (earlier Radovanovići and Vodičani), descending from Radovan Lješević
  • Zarlije, descending from Novak Lješević
  • Jovićevići, descending from Jović Vuković
  • Pejovići, descending from Pejo Vuković
  • Šofranci, descending from Šako Vuković
  • Ražnatovići, descending from Ražnat Vuličević
  • Vujanovići, descending from Vujan Bajović[7]
    • Vujanovići
    • Kovači
    • Markovići
    • Mašanovići
    • Petričevići
  • Strugari, descending from Mijat Bajović[7]
    • Mihailovići
    • Pavićevići
    • Ćirakovići
    • Petrovići
    • Nikolići
    • Todorovići
    • Dragićevići
  • Vukmirovići, descending from Vukmir Grujičić
    • Vukmirovići
    • Kraljevići
    • Dragojevići
  • Lopičići, descending from Boriša Grujičić
  • Mudreše and Maretići, in Bokovo: hailing from Spuž, slava of Spasovdan (earlier Đurđic; Sv. Stefan)
  • Radivojevići, divided into Borozani and Lompari, in Bokovo: descending from Radivoje from Crmnica, slava of Spasovdan (earlier Đurđic)
  • Buškovići, in Vranjina: descending from Bojovići from Nikšić
Later immigrants
  • Ulići, divided into Đikanovići and Vuksanovići, in Gornji Ulići: descending from Mrke from Piperi, slava of Aranđelovdan (earlier Petrovdan)
  • Gazivode: descending from Drugovići from Old Njeguši, slava of Nikoljdan
  • Pavišići, in Rijeka Crnojevića: descending from Paviša Gvozdenović from Ćeklići, slava of Đurđevdan (earlier Ilindan)
  • Cijanovići, in Rijeka Crnojevića: settled from Žabljak in ca. 1750.
  • Various smaller clans, settled since the 18th century mostly in conquered territory.[a]

There are many families in other tribes that emigrated from Ceklin.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Such as Bajkovići, Banovići, Bjelice, Božovići, Borišići, Brnovići, Vojvodići, Vujovići, Vukaševići, Vukićevići, Vukotići, Vukčevići, Vuletići, Generalovići, Dapčevići, Draškovići, Đurišići, Jablani, Jokmanovići, Kažije, Kaluđerovići, Klikovci, Klimovići, Kneževići, Kojičići, Kolini, Krstovići, Lađići, Lepetići, Maraši, Markovići, Mikilji, Milanovići, Milaševići, Milonjići, Nikići, Nikolići, Pavlićevići, Pajovići, Pejovići, Perovići, Petrovići, Popovići, Počeci, Radanovići, Radomani, Radunovići, Radusini, Rađenovići, Sjekloće, Terzići, Đeletići, Ulićevići, Heraci, Cmolovići, Čelebići, Šanovići.


  1. ^ Nikola V. Popović
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Babić 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Erdeljanović 1926, p. 176.
  4. ^ Stanojević & Vasić 1975, p. 475

    Цеклињани су тек у XVII стољећу успјели да истисну Бјелице са своје данашње територије.

  5. ^ Vojislav Đurić (1972). Naučnici. Matica srpska. p. 125. Retrieved 7 May 2013. На исти начин су истерани... из Цеклина Бјелице 
  6. ^ a b Jovićević 1911.
  7. ^ a b Lopičić 1973, p. 10.