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Vuno is a village on the Albanian Riviera. It is located in the Vlorë County, Albania, along the road between Himarë and Dhërmi. Since 2014 Vuno is part of the municipality Himarë. The village is known for its many World War II heroes.
In 1720, the villages of Himara, Palasa, Ilias, Vuno, Pilur and Qeparo refused to submit to the Pasha of Delvina.
In 1873 a Greek school with 80 pupils was already operating in the village. Greek education was expanded the following years and in the 1898-1899 school season three schools were opeating in Vuno: a primary, a secondary (Hellenic) and a girls' school. Education was sponsored by various distinguished personalities and the diaposra members who originated from Vuno, as well as from adjucent settlements. These schools appear to have ceased their operation in 1913. An old school building of Vuno is still standing to this day. Vuno also has a more recent school and nowadays is also used an a hostel during the summer months.
During the First Balkan War, on November 18, 1912, Himara revolted under Spyros Spyromilios and expelled the Ottoman forces. After the Albanian Declaration of Independence in Vlorë, on November 28, Himarë was constantly attacked by Albanian units without success and the area remained under Greek control until the end of the Balkan Wars. Upon the Greek Army evacuation from Himara,[when?] the locals undertook the defense of the region. The Himariotes rebels were joined by volunteers from neighbouring villages and defectors of the army, that set up points on the roads leading to Himara and continued the resistance. Athanasios Liampou Kotsou commanded a volunteer band and the residents in Vuno. The rebel bands in Vuno were assisted by a Greek revolutionary band numbering 55 fighters commanded by guerrilla leader Georgios Tsolakes. The Vuno troops were unable to enter Vranisht on 30 June due to strong Albanian resistance. Tsolakes and other Himariote leaders were later killed in action.
The Himara region came under the control of the Albanian state. The Himara question in 1921, regarding the rights of "Himariots" and their villages Dhërmi, Vuno, Himarë, Pilur, Kudhës and Qeparo, was supervised by Albanian government representative Spiro Jorgo Koleka. The government concluded that Albanian was obligatory in school, as the official language, while Greek was free to be taught as a second language, as desired by the people. Spiro Koleka, a native of Vuno and a local leader of the Albanian national movement opposed the Himara area and wider region around Vlora being annexed by foreign powers. To that effect Koleka was a organiser of the Vlora War, where other local Himariots participated.
During the Greco-Italian War on 30 December 1940, the Italians stopped a Greek attack on Bënçë, Vuno and Bolenë. On 15 January 1941, the Italians stopped a Greek attack on Vuno, while the Greeks attacked the Dishnicë region.
The village gave many partisans to the National Liberation Army, during World War II. Three of them were posthumously awarded with the People's Hero of Albania decoration. The most well known of them is Zaho Koka. These names of the fallen, as engraved on the village memorial are: Kozma Nushi (People's Hero), Llambro Andoni (People's Hero), Zaho Koka (People's Hero), Arqile Vjero, Amali Andoni, Eftihi Baka, Foto Goxho, Herkole Koleka, Irakli Thani, Llambro Sheti, Kleomen A. Ndrenika, Niqita Andoni, Naço Koço, Pano Dhimegjoka, Pilo Varfi, Stefo Cura, Thoma Simo.
Architecture and churches
The village has many churches, but they are not operational as currently there are no priests in the village.
The church located at the Jali beach, dating to the 14th century, of Venetian architectural style. Two other churches, dedicated respectively to St. Spyridon's Church (Albanian: Kisha e Shën Spiridhonit) (1778) and to St. Mary (1783) are still relatively well preserved. Local legend holds that the inhabitants of the village hail from the city of Shkodër and moved to Vuno, where they built the church of St. Mary. The church is still well preserved at a salient point of the village, called Scutara. This church was originally Catholic but was subsequently converted into Orthodox.
The beaches of Vuno together with the ones of Himara represent the main tourist attraction of the municipality during the summer months. The beach of Jaliskari (or Jali), between Vuno and Dhërmi, has become a well-known summer resort attracting tourists all over the world.
Identity and language
The village of Vuno is inhabited by Orthodox Albanians. As with other villages in the wider region, Albanian is the main language of communication in Vuno. The Albanian local dialect is a southern Tosk one, more precisely a Labërisht sub-dialect. Labërisht itself is composed of non-unical language groups. In contemporary times the village elderly are monolingual Albanian speakers, whereas due to migration to Greece, some of the younger people also speak Greek. Villagers in Vuno are proud of their strong Orthodox Christian identity. As such, friendly feelings exist toward Greece due to the provision of employment opportunities and the elderly being recipients of the Greek pension. As such, villagers are both careful and ambiguous when mentioning their identity and have at times referred to themselves as Northern Epiriotes while avoiding discussion of their true identity.
- Dhimitër Anagnosti, People's Artist of Albania, cineast, and former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports;
- Odhise Grillo, writer,
- Sofokli Lazri, counselor of Enver Hoxha and writer
- Odhise Kasneci, League of Prizren leader
- Spiro Jorgo (Gogo) Koleka (1879 or 1880–1940) - prominent Albanian politician and activist.
- Zaho Koka, World War II fighter.
- Gogo Nushi, Albanian political figure and World War II hero
- Spiro Koleka, communist politician and a partizan
- Robert Ndrenika, actor (People's Artist of Albania)
- Athanasios Pipis (−1821), revolutionary of the Greek War of Independence.
- Law nr. 115/2014
- Gregorič p. 46
- Frédéric Guillaume de Vaudoncourt (1816). Memoirs on the Ionian islands: considered in a commercial, political, and military, point of view : in which their advantages of position are described, as well as their relations with the Greek continent ; including the life and character of Ali Pacha, the present ruler of Greece ; together with a comparative display of the ancient and modern geography of the Epirus, Thessaly, Morea, Part of Macedonia, etc. etc. Baldwin, Cradock. pp. 120–.
- Etnografia shqiptare 15. Akademia e Shkencave e RPSH, Instituti i Historisë, Sektori i Etnografisë. 1987. p. 199.
- Koltsida, Athina. Η Εκπαίδευση στη Βόρεια Ήπειρο κατά την Ύστερη Περίοδο της Οθωμανικής Αυτοκρατορίας (PDF) (in Greek). University of Thessaloniki. pp. 173–174. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- Kondis, Basil (1978). Greece and Albania, 1908-1914. Institute for Balkan Studies. p. 93.
- M. V. Sakellariou (1 January 1997). Ηπειρος: 4000 χρόνια ελληνικής ιστορίας και πολιτισμού. Εκδοτική Αθηνών. p. 367. ISBN 978-960-213-371-2.
- Kaphetzopoulos; Flokas; Dima-Dimitriou (2000). The struggle for Northern Epirus. Hellenic Army General Staff. p. 162–163, 264.
Athanasios Liampou Kotsou ... volunteer band and of the residents of Vouno village ... The band of Guerrilla Leader Georgios Tsolakes (55 men), to the bands in Vouno ... the Vouno troops ... Vranishte
- Basil Kondis (1994). The Greek minority in Albania: a documentary record (1921-1993). Institute for Balkan Studies. ISBN 978-960-7387-02-8.
THE PROTOCOL OF HIMARRA, 1921 We, Spiros Kolekas, Deputy of Valone, General Representative of the Albanian Government for the settlement of the question of the Himarra district, i.e. the villages of Drymades, Vouno, Himarra, Piliouri, Koundessi and Kyparou, which have sent their representatives, Mr G. Bolanos, M. Karas, D. Lekkas and Mr A. Simonides as their Secretary, have agreed upon the following: a) Privileges: The Albanian ...
- Meta, Beqir (2008). "Ballafaqimi shqiptaro-grek për Himarën (1920-1924) [Greek-Albanian confrontation in Himara (1920-1924)]." Studime Historike. 1-2: 43: “Pas mbarimit të Luftës I Botërore lëvizja atdhetare shqiptare në Himarë u rigjallërua. Një vend të veçantë luajti Spiro Gogo Koleka, i cili ndihmoi për mbledhjen e Kongresit të Lushnjës dhe zbatimin e vendimeve të tij. Ai bashkë me patriotë të tjerë ishte nënshkruesi i mjaft dokumenteve dërguar përfaqësuesve të Fuqive të Mëdha në Konferencën e Paqes, në të cilat kundërshtohej çdo përpjekje për aneksimin e Vlorës dhe Himarës1. Në maj të vitit 1920 Spiro G. Koleka u caktua anëtar i qeverisë kombëtare. Ai më vonë u bë njëri nga organizatorët e Luftës së Vlorës kundër italianëve, në të cilën morën pjesë edhe himarjotë të tjerë.” “[After the end of World War One, the Albanian patriotic movement in Himarë was revived. A special place Spiro Gogo Koleka played, who assisted at the gathering of the Congress of Lushnja and implementation of its decisions. He and other patriots were signatory to many documents sent to the representatives of the Great Powers during the Peace Conference, that opposed any attempt to annex Vlora and Himarë. In May 1920 Spiro G. Koleka was appointed member of the national government. He later became one of the organizers of the Vlora War against the Italians, where other Himariots participated.]”
- Donald A Bertke; Gordon Smith; Don Kindell (15 May 2012). World War II Sea War, Volume 3: The Royal Navy is Bloodied in the Mediterranean. Lulu.com. pp. 128, 179. ISBN 978-1-937470-01-2.
- Dede, Alqiviadh (15 shtator 2009). "Bregu i detit – Vunoi dhe Jali si perlat e tij". Gazeta Shqip (in Albanian). Retrieved 15 September 2009. Check date values in:
- "Holidays in Albania - Part 1, 1997". libcom. October 26, 2006.
- Gregorič p. 45
- Kallivretakis, Leonidas (1995). "Η ελληνική κοινότητα της Αλβανίας υπό το πρίσμα της ιστορικής γεωγραφίας και δημογραφίας [The Greek Community of Albania in terms of historical geography and demography." In Nikolakopoulos, Ilias, Kouloubis Theodoros A. & Thanos M. Veremis (eds). Ο Ελληνισμός της Αλβανίας [The Greeks of Albania]. University of Athens. p. 51. "ΑΧ Αλβανοί Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί"; p.53. "VUNOS ΒΟΥΝΟΣ 555 ΑΧ"
- Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010). On the border: Transborder mobility, ethnic groups and boundaries along the Albanian-Greek frontier. LIT Verlag. p. 99. "According to the latest census in the area, the Greek-speaking population is larger but not necessarily continuous and concentrated. The exclusively Greek-speaking villages, apart from Himarë, are Queparo Siperme, Dhërmi and Palasë. The rest are inhabited by Albanian-speaking Orthodox Christians (Kallivretakis 1995:25-58)."
- Gregorič, Nataša. "Contested Spaces and Negotiated Identities in Dhermi/Drimades of Himare/Himara area, Southern Albania" (PDF). University of Nova Gorica. p. 63. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
In their day-to-day conversations locals of Dhermi, Palase, and Himara mainly use a Greek dialect and partly a southern Albanian (Tosk) dialect, while the locals of Ilias, Vuno, Qeparo, Kudhes, and Pilur mainly speak the Albanian tosk dialect
- Gjinari, Jorgji (1989). Dialektet e gjuhës shqipe (in Albanian). Academy of Sciences of Albania, Institute of Linguistics. p. 57.
- Totoni, M (1971). Dialektologjia shqiptare I, Vëzhgime rreth të folmeve të Kurveleshit (English: Albanian dialectology I, Observations on the Language of Kurvelesh) (in Albanian). p. 85.
- Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010). On the border: Transborder mobility, ethnic groups and boundaries along the Albanian-Greek frontier. LIT Verlag. p. 466. "I can mention the village Vuno, where I conversed several times with the villagers. Quite a few of the young people in the village speak Greek, because they have worked in Greece. The older ones speak only Albanian. They talk proudly about their Orthodox Christian identity and their friendly feelings towards Greece; they are thankful to Greece, for both letting the young people of the village work there and for giving out to them agricultural pensions as “Hellenes”. When they mention their national identity they are very careful. They never define themselves directly as Greek and use the terms “Northern Epirote” or “Orthodox” instead. The term “Northern Epirote” is particularly convenient in its ambiguity, but they prefer it because they know it means “Greek” to the Greeks. This way they both appear honest and achieve their goal without falling into the trap of denying the true national identity. This is actually the case with the majority of the Orthodox Christians of the Albanian south."
- Gregorič, Nataša. "Contested Spaces and Negotiated Identities in Dhermi/Drimades of Himare/Himara area, Southern Albania" (PDF). University of Nova Gorica. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- Nitsiakos, Vassilis (2010). On the Border: Transborder Mobility, Ethnic Groups and Boundaries Along the Albanian-Greek Frontier. LIT Verlag Münster. ISBN 978-3-643-10793-0. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
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