Kastrati (tribe)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 42°17′N 19°26′E / 42.283°N 19.433°E / 42.283; 19.433

"Boy of Kastrati", 1909.
Albanian bayraks as of 1918. Kastrati covers section 30.
Head-shaves in Kastrati and Shkreli, drawing made by Edith Durham

The Kastrati is a northern Albanian tribe and region in Albania.[1] The Kastrati, together with Hoti, Kelmend and Shkreli are considered highland clans in the region of Malësia.[2] The region is in the Malësi e Madhe District, east and north-east of Bajzë, a small town in Kastrat Municipality.[3] The Kastrati were a fis, a community that is aware of common blood ties and of common history reaching back to one male ancestor, and consisted of one bajrak.


According to a local legend they are descendants of Dedli[4] who was a brother of Grča, the ancestor of Kuči.[5] It was also recorded that Alexius[6] Kastrati, a lord of three villages, had in 1403 received a gift from the governor of Scutari.[7][8] In a work of Jovan Cvijić it was recorded that in one of the villages (Kamenicë) of the Kastrati region the majority of the population were Orthodox Serbs.[9] Cvijić also recorded that the Kastrati themselves have a story about their mixed Albanian and Serbian origin.[9] The region had 300 Catholic and 200 Muslim households.[10] According to the founding legend of the clan, 300 houses descend from a Delti or Dedli Bratoshi [11] from Drekalovići of Kuči, while 200 houses descend from Slavs, Totović, Petrović and Pelović family who were living on the territory before arrival of Delti.[12][13] The Petrović family is said to be related to the Petrović-Njegoš dynasty.[14]


  • People from Kastrati who have tested their YDNA are either J2b2, E-V13 and R1b,[15] all three of these haplogroups are most common among Albanians and not among Slavs.


The Kastrati clan was recorded for the first time in 1416.[16] The clan's centre was once at the ruins of a Roman castra on the Scutari-Orosh road.[17]

In Mariano Bolizza's 1614 report, Kastrati had 50 households and 130 men-in-arms led by Prenk Bitti.[18]

Theories of name origin[edit]

According to Edith Durham the name Kastrati derives from the Latin Castrum, for the main road from Shkodër to Dioclea must have passed through lower Kastrati and would have needed to have guards to protect it. According to local legend, the name comes from Gjergj Kastrioti.[19]


Johann Georg von Hahn registered 408 families with 3,157 people living in two groups of families: highland and lowland. Highland families were Martinaj, Gjokaj, Theresi, Bradosoi, Budischia, Kurtaj, Goraj and Pjetroviç while lowland families were Puta, Copani, Hikuzzaj, Skandsehi, Pjetrosçinaj, Moxetti, Dobrovoda and Aliaj. All of them were Catholics except the Aliaj, who were Muslims.[20]

Religion and economy[edit]

The predominant religion in Kastrati is Roman Catholicism.[21][22] The Kastrati celebrate the feast of St. Mark.[23] They have traditionally supported themselves with livestock and agriculture.[24]

Relations with Montenegro[edit]

In 1831, during the Ottoman attack against Montenegro, the Kastrati and other clans of Northern Albania expressed their support of Montenegro and refused to participate on the Ottoman side.[25] In 1832 they joined Montenegrin forces and defeated Ottoman forces on Hoti mountain.[26] According to the Treaty of San Stefano the region of Kastrati (together with Hoti, Kelmendi and Grudë) was to be annexed to Montenegro, but after the Treaty of Berlin was signed in 1878 this decision was changed and Kastrati remained in the Ottoman Empire.[27] However, as other Albanian-inhabited areas were formally annexed to Montenegro the delimitation process was not concluded. In 1883 Kastrati, Hoti, Gruda and Shkreli formed another pact to prevent the delimitation of the expanded Montenegrin borders.[28]

During the Albanian Revolt of 1911, Kastrati sent five delegates to Gerče (a village in Montenegro) as signatories of the Gerçë memorandum that demanded, inter alia, the recognition of Albanians as a separate nation in the Ottoman Empire and the use of Albanian in state and private schools.[10] Kastrati was a battleground area during the Balkan Wars. During the Siege of Scutari in 1912/1913 Catholics from Kastrati, Hoti and Grude, joined the forces of Kingdom of Montenegro and robbed and burned houses of Muslim members of their clans who retreated to the Ottoman-controlled fortress of Scutari.[29][30]

On May 26, 1913, a delegation from the chief families of Hoti, Gruda, Klemendi, Shkreli and Kastrati met Admiral Cecil Burney of the international fleet and petitioned against the annexation of Hoti and Gruda by Montenegro. The delegation warned that hostilities would resume if those areas didn't remain "entirely Albanian".[31] Eventually, due to the influence of Austria, the region of Kastrati was incorporated into the newly formed Kingdom of Albania, although it was agreed with some of the Great Powers that it should be annexed to Montenegro.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010) [2004], Historical Dictionary Of Albania (PDF) (2 ed.), Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, p. 226, ISBN 9781282521926, OCLC 816372706, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-06, KASTRATI. Northern Albanian clan and traditional clannish region. 
  2. ^ Istorijski glasnik. Naučna knjiga. 1960. p. 189. Retrieved 9 May 2013. У "брђане" у Малесији спадају.... 
  3. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010) [2004], Historical Dictionary Of Albania (PDF) (2 ed.), Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, p. 226, ISBN 9781282521926, OCLC 816372706, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-06, The Kastrati region is situated in the District of Malësia e Madhe east and northeast of Bajza. 
  4. ^ Robert Elsie. p. 70. 
  5. ^ Konstantin Jireček (1923). Istorija Srba. Izdavačka knjižarnica G. Kona. p. 58. Retrieved 17 May 2013. По предању, родоначелник Куча био је Грча Ненадин, од чијих пет синова, Петра, Ђурђа, Тиха, Леша и Мара потичу њихова братства. Праотац Кастрата је Крсто, а Шаљана Шако; обојица су тобоже били браћа нареченог Грчина, док би Берише били потомци баш самога Грче. 
  6. ^ Mary Edith Durham (1928). Some clannish origins, laws and customs of the Balkans. George Allen & Unwin. p. 22. Retrieved 14 May 2013. The Kastrati were evidently a powerful clan, for in 1403 we find Alexius Kastrati headman in a list of Albanian chiefs who are rewarded by the Venetians with gifts of cloth. 
  7. ^ Marko Miljanov; Milorad Stojović (1963). Sjaj legende. Grafički zavod. p. 261. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Кастрати су од Крста 
  8. ^ Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti (1983). Glas. p. 109. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Почетком XV века сусрећу се и клице данашњег племена Кастрати, чији је праотац био неки Крсто. Алекса Кастрати добио је 1403... 
  9. ^ a b Jovan Cvijić (1987). Sabrana dela: pt. 1. Govori i c̆lanci. Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti. p. 130. Retrieved 9 May 2013. У најновије време сам сазнао од мог ученика Ј. Мајића да у арбанашком племену Кастрати, у селу Каменици, превлаћују православни Срби.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Cviji.C4.871987" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b Gawrych, George (2006-12-26). The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman Rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913. I.B.Tauris. pp. 31, 186–7. ISBN 9781845112875. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  11. ^ The Tribes of Albania:History, Society and Culture. Robert Elsie. p. 70. 
  12. ^ M. Edith Durham (30 June 2009). High Albania. ECHO LIB. p. 466. ISBN 978-1-4068-2855-9. Retrieved 13 May 2013. Kastrati. — Consisting also of about 500 houses, lies between the Licheni Hotit and the Skreli clan. 300 houses trace descent from one Delti or Dedli, who came with his seven sons from the hariak of Drekalovich of the Kuchi. This in turn traces origin from Berisha (see below). The other 200 houses trace from people already on the spot when Delti arrived. They are said to have been Slavs. All are now Albanophone and the majority Catholic, the rest Moslems. 
  13. ^ Carl Coleman Seltzer; Carleton Stevens Coon; Joseph Franklin Ewing (1950). The mountains of giants: a racial and cultural study of the north Albanian mountain Ghegs. The Museum. p. 45. Retrieved 14 May 2013. Two hundred out of the 500 houses of Kastrati are pre-invasion, and are said to be of Slavic origin. 
  14. ^ Robert Elsie. p. 70. 
  15. ^ "Family Tree DNA - Genetic Testing for Ancestry, Family History & Genealogy". www.familytreedna.com. 
  16. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010) [2004], Historical Dictionary Of Albania (PDF) (2 ed.), Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, p. 226, ISBN 9781282521926, OCLC 816372706, archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-06 
  17. ^ Milan Šufflay (2000). Izabrani politički spisi. Matica hrvatska. p. 136. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Kastrati, kojima je embrio sjedio kod ruševina rimskog "Kastra" (tabora, Iminacium?) viđenih još g. 1559. na cesti Skadar - Oroši 
  18. ^ The Tribes of Albania; History, Society and Culture. Robert Elsie. p. 69. 
  19. ^ Edith Durham. p. 43. 
  20. ^ Johann Georg Hahn (1854). Heft. Geographisch-ethnographische Uebersicht. Reiseskizzen. Sittenschilderungen. Sind die Albanesen Autochthonen? Das albanische Alphabet. Historisches. Verlag von Friedrich Mauke. p. 192. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Milorad Ekmečić (1989). Stvaranje Jugoslavije 1790-1918. Prosveta. p. 121. Retrieved 9 May 2013. ...кастрати били су католици.. 
  22. ^ Istorijski glasnik. Naučna knjiga. 1960. p. 189. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Кастрати су одреда католичке вере 
  23. ^ Modern Greek Studies Yearbook. University of Minnesota. 1992. p. 26. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  24. ^ Glasnik Jugoslovenskog Profesorskog Drustva. 1924. p. 37. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Кастрати су земљорадници и сточари 
  25. ^ Vladimir Stojančević (1990). Srbija i oslobodilački pokret na Balkanskom poluostrvu u XIX veku. Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva. p. 103. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Овога пута, северноалбанска племена Клементи, Хоти, Груди и Кастрати солидарисали су 
  26. ^ Sadulla Brestovci (1983). Marrëdhëniet shqiptare--serbo-malazeze (1830-1878). Instituti Albanologjik i Prishtinës. p. 260. Retrieved 9 May 2013. A sledece godine albanska plemena (Hoti, Kastrati, Grude, Kelmendi) pomogle su crnogorskim plemenima da poraze turksu vojsku na Hotskoj Gori. 
  27. ^ Љубодраг Димић; Đorđe Borozan (1999). Југословенска држава и Албанци. Службени лист СРЈ. p. 123. ISBN 978-86-355-0440-7. Retrieved 9 May 2013. ...тако да су племена Кастрати, Климеити, Хоти, Груде била припо]ена Црно] Гори. Али, на Берлинском конгресу 
  28. ^ Miller, William (2012-10-12). The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors 1801-1927. Routledge. p. 356. ISBN 9781136260469. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  29. ^ Dragoslav Srejović; Slavko Gavrilović; Sima M. Ćirković (1983). Istorija srpskog naroda: knj. Od Berlinskog kongresa do Ujedinjenja 1878-1918 (2 v.). Srpska književna zadruga. p. 248. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Пут до пред сам Скадар био је слободан. Црногорској војсци придружила су се албанска католичка племена Груди, Хоти и Кастрати, преко чијег је земљишта пролазила војска, и тако је њена позадина Оила обезбеђена. 
  30. ^ Nikola P. Škerović (1964). Crna Gora na osvitku xx [i.e. dvadesetog] vijeka. Naučno delo. p. 581. Retrieved 12 May 2013. Албанска католичка племена Груди, Хоти, Кастрати, преко чијег земљишта су прелазиле црногорске трупе у правцу Скадра, пристала су уз црногорске трупе и испред њих, све до српског насеља Враке, испред самог Скадра, попалила и опљачкала куће оних својих муслиманских саплеменика који су напустили своје домове и одлучили да се ставе под заштиту турских трупа у Скадру. 
  31. ^ Vickers, Miranda (1999). The Albanians: A Modern History. I.B.Tauris. p. 73. ISBN 9781860645419. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  32. ^ Lambert Ehrlich; Marija Vrečar (2002). Pariška mirovna konferencia in Slovenci 1919/20. Inštitut za zgodovino Cerkve pri Teološki fakulteti Univerze v Ljubljani. p. 201. Retrieved 9 May 2013. Vsled vpliva Avstrije se albanski plemeni Klementi in Kastrati nista priključili Črni gori, in tudi ob Bojani seji je odreklo na...