ISSN (online) 2544-1272
The cult of masculinity. The sworn virgin tradition in the zadruga community in Albania with respect to the Kanun law
Sworn Virgin is a girl that becomes a boy. In the zadruga community in Albania it is a phenomenon that dates 500 years back. A woman decides to live like a man (fulfills his duties), wears man’s clothes and cuts her hair short. The fact that she smokes cigarettes meets social acceptability. The zadruga community members treat her equally to other men, despite the fact that they know her sex. She resigns from her own femininity, changes her physical appearance and behaviour in order to fulfill a new social role. The purposes may vary: it may be her rebellion against arranged marriage (tradition adhering to the Kanun law), accepting the role of the head of a family when the oldest, most experienced male figure in the family dies leaving no male descendants. The status of a woman in the zadruga community is much lower than that of a man – this is a common reason for swearing-in. The Balkan Virdżina phenomenon of an anatomical woman who assimilates her physical appearance to that of a man is the example of living tradition in Albania and the reason for my deliberations on the cult of the body.
Keywords: sworn virgin, the zadruga community, Albania, social role, the Kanun law, living tradition, cult of masculinity
Słowa kluczowe: zaprzysiężona dziewica, społeczność zadrugi, Albania, rola społeczna, prawo Kanun, żywa tradycja, kult męskości