Burnesha 11

Qamile Stema is a Burnesha, one of the last «Sworn Virgins» of Albania. The strongly atavic and patriarchal Albanian rural world still pays attention to the ancient laws of the «Kanun», an ancestral code which rules from the feared Blood Feuds to the possibilty of pushing a girl in whose family there are no males left, the young Qamile, to swear a vow of chastity which to the eyes of the society, will transform her in a man for the rest of her life. Since then, she has always dressed, worked and lived as one more man in the community and become the head of her family. As a kind of kind of Family Tree, a mosaic of photographs at her house´s entrance tells her story and how the shortage of men pushed her to take the oath.

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