“Here I am respected as a man.” It is with these words that Duné finishes to explain what it means to be Burnesha.

In the north of Albania, a tradition persists. In the families without son, a woman can woman can, by making a vow of virginity, become man. By changing gender, she escapes arranged marriages, accesses the inheritance of her father, normally reserved for boys, can stay in her house, and take up arms to avenge the blood spilled during the to avenge the blood shed during the vendettas.

The Kanun, a code of laws compiled by Lekë Dukagjini in the 15th century, still governs a part of of Albanian life: marriage, inheritance, personal honor, personal honor. Thus, the “blood feud”, an ancestral form of vendetta, still prevails still rages in the north of Albania, forcing hundreds of families to live cloistered for fear of fear of assassinations.The tradition of the Burneshas also testifies to a of the rules of the Kanun. However, the profiles and stories of these extraordinary women who have decided to become men attest to the evolution of Albanian society.




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