The Albanian in His Own Habitat. A Dated Portrait
Viorel Stănilă
 

Burileanu sees barbarian manners in what may have in reality be connected to manifestations of hospitality. However, from his text we can grasp that not all the Albanians had such table manners, but we can also understand that at least part of the Aromanians did. The inhabitants of Moscopole certainly did not, since they were familiar to the European fashion: high stools, plates, knives, and forks. Their wardrobe was Turkish, though: large shirts, belts and Turkish slippers. Other Aromanians certainly adopted the Albanian costume, while dressing their wives as harem wives:

?Because of the bandits, these Romanians dress like the Muslim Albanians do, so they should be no different from these and so that they should not be recognized while traveling; and for fearing them, they would learn all the salutes of Turkish etiquette, and should a Turk come their way, they pass for Turks, by their costume, by their language, their salutes and their conduct.? (Burileanu, 1906, p.121; see also pp. 211, 217, 220)

?They acknowledge that it is not without fear that they travel, yet they are sure to arrive home safely. (?) As soon as they leave Gradvo behind, they freshen up in the attire of harem wives, veiling their faces as is the way with the Turkish women, and they can safely arrive home. Thieves and killers usually cross their path, but be they Turkish, be they Bulgarian, or be they Albanian, no one would harm them, because the Muslim woman is respected; had they not been dressed as such, they would have had a hard time.? (Neniţescu, 1897, p.25)

We would not want one to believe, however, that all Aromanians would dress as Turks or Albanians, just as not all Aromanians had the Albanians? table manners and not all Aromanians banqueted their weddings in the manner of Albanians. It is only the case of the inhabitants of Moscopole, Burileanu affirmswho were also more likely to become relatives with the Albanians, yet they were not the only ones. The most reluctant to exogamy ties, as was always the case when it came to respecting tradition, were the fărşerot people. Yet, and this is a strange fact, it is precisely the fărşerot people that were most effortlessly mistaken for the Albanians, despite this attitude of total segregation. Their polyglossia must have played an important part, but not an exclusive one, in this confusion. Songs, played in a different manner than that of the inhabitants of Moscopole, yet similar to the Albanian way of singing, must have contributed as well:

?The songs of the inhabitants of Moscopole differ from those of the fărşerots both by melody and by the fact that the former sing of one voice, in choir, in the fashion of the Gheg Albanians form the North; while the fărşerot people, as already shown, sing in the fashion of the Albanians from the region of Berat. The same fashion is adopted by men as well as women.? (Burileanu, 1906, p.118)

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