Sworn Virgins

We watched the following 20-minute video as part of Peace Corps training the other day.

The following is a practice found in northern Albania (and not in Kosovo). It’s not widely practiced today, but some burrnesha still exist.

What is a burrnesha? A burrnesha is a woman who pledges life-long celibacy and adopts a male identity, thus inheriting the rights and property of a man. This was done in the past in families that did not have a male heir. Because women were unable to own property, families would lose what they had unless a female member of the family became a burrnesha.

We had an interesting discussion following our viewing of the film. Rather than repeat what was said, I’ll just post the link and let you form your own opinion.

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