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

In 1967, in the folklore anthology he issued, Tache Papahagi slightly mitigated Pericle?s affirmation: ?Historically speaking, good and normal interconnections bound the Aromanians and the Christian Albanians, interconnections that were discontinued with the islamicized Albanians. And were we to take into account that the reprobate becomes more fierce and more perilous than his conquerer, one can better understand the havoc that these islamicized Albanians caused among the Aromanians, especially with beasts like Ali Pasha as their leader.?

It is nonetheless clear that the entire scale of delinquency regulated the connection of the Aromanians and the Albanians, especially the islamicized ones; some were the victims, while some others were the perpetrators. Vallachian mentality as to conational Albanians wavered between revolt quenched by a sense of futility and the despair exhibited in ego-boosting:

?The Turk?s only business is to steal the outcome of your work. (?)?

?Well, Sir, not that we have any consideration for the Turk, but there is nothing we can do, as he is the one that sways over this country, he is the Lord, while we are his meager slaves! Poverty gets at us, or otherwise we could not stand their oppression, yet poverty desists us! (?)?

?It is here,? and he pointed to a spot, ?that Ismail and sixteen of his kin waylaid us and after discharging their guns into some of our mules, they took from us so many thousands of piastres??

?And isn?t there a cure for this thieving??

?What can we do, Sir, because it is not that we are afraid of one or two, but twenty, thirty or more of them can waylay us, all armed, and they will see the end of us all. And if they prowl from a blind side, we can?t even see where the shooting comes from! Yet none of these has happened so far. If they want to harm us, they simply kill our mules, but they won?t seize us.?

?And why is that??

?Well, they well know who we are,? some fărşerot answered, frowning the brow. ?Should they harm one of us, they would have a difficult time surviving, because we cannot let them live after having harmed one of us.? (Burileanu, 1906, p. 128)

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