Parallel Worlds in the South Albanian Ballads on Nizams Cover Image
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Botët paralele në Baladat e Nizamëve të Shqipërisë së Jugut
Parallel Worlds in the South Albanian Ballads on Nizams

Author(s): Lumnije Kadriu
Subject(s): Customs / Folklore, Music
Published by: Instituti Albanologjik i Prishtinës
Keywords: Parallel Worlds ; South Albanian Ballads ;Nizam

Summary/Abstract: Nizams were ordinary soldiers in the regular army of the Ottoman Empire who were taken from different places to mandatorily serve the empire in distant countries, such as Yemen and Arabistan. As a result, a ballad subgenre was created: Ballads on Nizams. From the Middle Ages, the Ottoman Empire led numerous periodic battles with Yemen and thus ballads were produced over a long timespan. Because of the nature of ab-sence and the long distances involved, as well as difficult environmental conditions there, men often had little possibility of returning alive. Thus, in these songs, mostly in the oldest versions from the oldest times, we see the communication of Nizams with beloved people realized metaphorically and supernaturally. This communication was not only between people in different distant countries but also of different worlds, of the dead and the living. In this paper, beside analyzis of two popular ballads on nizams sung in polyphony that is a charachteristic singing in Southern Albania, will also be analysed their re-use and recontextalization through time and space. Analyzis will include also contemporary re-contextualization the prominent writer Kadare made to one of them, in interpreting a painful contemporary phenomenon, in this case that of women who were, in a time of crises in Albania, forced to leave the country and become prostitutes. Their ‘world’ be-came very distant and difficult and most probably impossible to return from, because of social stigma and because it is considered an ‘underworld’

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 45
  • Page Range: 067-083
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Albanian