Lale Drekalov

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Lale Drekalov
voivode of Kuči
Noble family Drekalović
Father Drekale
Religion Roman Catholic
Orthodox Christianity [1]

Lale Drekalov (Serbian Cyrillic: Лале Дрекалов, fl. 1608-1614) was a chieftain of the Kuči tribe in the Zeta nahija. His father was chieftain Drekale and his mother, the daughter of a local chieftain.[2] Raised Catholic, he converted to Serbian Orthodoxy following an agreement with Ruvim III, Metropolitan of Cetinje.[3][4] Soon afterward, the majority of his clansmen in Kuči followed suit. He participated in the two councils of Serbian Patriarch Jovan II Kantul, in which the Serbian clan chiefs met and planned war on the Ottoman Empire; in the Morača monastery (1608), and in Kuči (1613). According to Mariano Bolizza (1614), he and Niko Raičkov held 490 houses of the Chuzzi Albanesi ("Albanian Kuči", a village of predominantly Roman Catholic religion), with 1,500 soldiers, described as "very war-like and courageous". They were among the 11 highland villages that actively fought against the Ottoman Empire; others included Vasojevići, Bjelopavlići, Kelmendi and Hoti. He was first married to unnamed wife from Kastrati with whom he had a son Vuko. He then married a daughter or sister of a Bratonožići voivode, Pejo Stanojev Balević,[2] with whom he had four sons: Vujoš, Iliko, Čejo and Mijo, progenitors of dominant Kuči brotherhoods Vujoševići, Čejovići and Mijovići. Brotherhood of Ilikovići was further diversified thus the surname disappeared, whilst Vuko because of the dispute with his half-brothers left for Podgorica and converted to Islam, his descendants being known as Turkovići. He was first succeeded by his oldest son Vujoš as Voivode, but the title was later transferred to Iliko[3][4] His father Drekale is the eponymous founder of the Drekalovići, a brotherhood of the Kuči clan.


There is some dispute as to wheter he was converted back to Orthodox religion by Rufim Boljević. Many authors claim so, most notably Marko Miljanov. However, Lale is mentioned in sources from 1608 and 1614, while Boljević was ordinated as Vladika in 1660's. It is quite possible that this was in fact Rufim Njeguš, who matches the dates with Lale, and is credited with massively bringing back Kuči and Bratonožići to orthodoxy by Sima Milutinović Sarajlija. The first to point out timelapse was famed Serbian ethnologist and antrhopologist Jovan Erdeljanović who, in his work "Tribe of Bratonožići", brought up the fact that even Vojvode of Bratonožići Pejo Stanojev is first mentioned in 1658. He thus concluded that it is safe to say that Lale's conversion came in the first half of 17th century, while Vojvode of Bratonožići was Pejo's father Stanoje Radonjin Balević. This would make a theory that Lale married Pejo's sister (and Stanoje's daughter), more plausible. The legendary event of the wedding also has a metaphorical segment of Pejo presenting Lale with his famous mace as a gift, only to be later warned by his kinsmen that with the mace he handed over all the prosperity of the Bratonožići tribe to Lale as well. The story illustrates the exploits od Lale, since under him and his sons Kuči became the largest and most powerful tribe in Montenegrin Highlands.[5]


  1. ^ Early Albania: A Reader of Historical texts, 11th-17th Centuries. Robert Elsie. 2003. p. 155. 
  2. ^ a b Kulišić, Špiro (1980). O etnogenezi Crnogoraca. Pobjeda. p. 70. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Rastoder, Šerbo; Andrijašević, Živko; Popović, Dragutin; Folić, Zvezdan; Šabotić, Sait; Drobnjak, Slobodan; Selhanović, Jadranka; Drinčić, Željko; Prekić, Adnan (2006). Istorijski Leksikon Crne Gore. Volume IV: K - Per. Podgorica: Daily Press - Vijesti. p. 826. ISBN 86-7706-168-1. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^žići/
Preceded by
Voivode of Kuči
c. early 1600s
Succeeded by
Vujoš Lalev