23 July 2020     Championships  UNESCO 

Emsemble “Shqiponja” (Tuzi, Montenegro) is winner of the golden medal in category “Folklore ensembles – authentic folklore” and the nomination for Grand Prix in the frames of VIII World Championship of Folklore “World folk” 2018. Artistic director of the group is Mr. Agron Pllumaj.

Members of the formation are Albanians from Montenegro, who perform Albanian authentic folklore. Their repertoire includes old songs, traditional games, dances and instrumental  works.

The costume, known as "xhubleta", with which some of the performers were dressed, is recognized and preserved by UNESCO, as traditional clothing of this type is about 4,000 years old and is preserved to this day in the territories from Albania to Montenegro. There is information only for the female version of the costume, which is characteristic of the northern regions of Albania. The components of the dress are a wide skirt in the shape of a bell, a corsage, sleeves and shoulder straps. The "xhubleta" has been made mainly of woolen cloth, but for the costumes of this type are used linen, silk and cotton fabrics.

Components of folk clothing are: "tirk" (horizontal lines, sewn row by row), "brezi" (belt made of old silver), "aymale" (ornament around the woman's neck), "kapitsa" (hat), "opintsi" (socks with various old Illyrian symbols and embroideries depicting ancient mythological figures).

On the heads of the men, there is “marama”.  The white traditional hat represents the people of Rugova (a mountain range in Prokletije, located near the town of Pec (Kosovo)), which emigrated to southern Albania during the war against the Ottomans, and red - the people of Malesja (historical and geographic area in southwestern North Macedonia).

White, black and red are the traditional colors of Albanian folk clothing.

In the video, the orchestra members of the ensemble show the instruments typical for their people: "gusla", "frudu", "gayda", as well as "chifteli".

The participants in the Championship are descendants of the Illyrians (Indo-European tribes, who inhabited the western part of the Balkan Peninsula in Antiquity) and recreate the old Illyrian custom restored by them, which presents the grief of mourning a dead person.