Burnesha - Albanian women who voluntarily decided to become men
• Burnesha - Albanian women who voluntarily decide to become male
When you first look at these people there is nothing surprising. However, it is worth saying that the photographs are not men and women are in doubt, and it seems that this transformation simply can not be. In fact, it really is a resident of Albania, those who, because of good reasons to have chosen a male role in society, regardless of biological sex.
These women are called burnesha. They are not transsexuals and transvestites, the reasons for which they have chosen for themselves a different gender roles are rooted in the history of their people. These women are more likely to smoke and drink, make a short haircut, wearing baggy pants and even take yourself male names. They are shepherds or truck drivers, often with them have weapons, and prefer the company of men, and not talk to women.
The behavior of women is no different from that of men, but the right to lead the kind of lifestyle gets them dearly. All my life they are obliged to keep a vow of chastity and are not allowed to have children.
So far, women in northern Albania are deprived of many rights that seem natural in the modern world. They have no voting rights, may not hold certain positions, to buy land, and even go to many places. They do not come into the inheritance rights, can not start a business or make money, they are not allowed to smoke, wear a watch, and even to raise his voice. All these norms are defined Eve, the old set of rules, which still adhere to the residents of mountain settlements.
According to Eve, the woman belongs to her husband. Marriages are made at birth or in early childhood. As soon as she grows up, she moved from her father's house to her husband's house, and devotes his whole life taking care of her husband and children, as well as domestic affairs.
Burneshi were not accidental. Due to the widespread in Albania custom of blood vengeance, many families were left without men. According to the tradition of the crime is not only in the one who committed it, but the entire family of this man, so sooner or later and the offender, and all his loved ones die. To save the family, head of the family could offer victims to atone with his own blood. That is why many families remain without men over time. If it happens to be one of the unmarried daughters could take on the male function. She had to give an oath of celibacy before the 12 elders of the settlement, "withdraw" a solution can not be to the death.
The grandmother with a grandson.
Over the years, the reasons for which women decide to give up the opportunity to be a woman, I was. Some swore not to dishonor the family's refusal of the groom, who was chosen for them with birth parents. For others, such a vow was a form of protest and an opportunity to gain independence. This oath has become for many women the only possible way to survive in a world ruled by men.
Women imitate men around: in the clothes and even the poses.
Despite the fact that in recent decades took root in Albania many initiatives aimed at fighting for the rights of women in the mountainous areas still position virtually unchanged. American photographer Jill Peters went on a journey to Albania, photographing burneshi. According to him, today remained still about a hundred of these women, although the tradition is gradually dying out.
Some women are indistinguishable from men.