International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

E- ISSN: 2349-4182
P- ISSN: 2349-5979

Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2017)

The totem of buffalo in Albanian literature

Author(s): Elida Begaj
Abstract: The figure of a bull and buffalo have been of great importance to the Albanian speaking people, not only as land working animals and ploughing it, but also as a carrier of supernatural traits inherited from ancient times in a considerable number of rituals and beliefs. According to the researcher Mark Tirta, “in popular beliefs, cursing a bull was considered a great sin, even when it misbehaved at work. What is more, in certain areas where a bull was bought as a sign of good luck, he had to enter one’s house with his right foot first. In Labëria, especially in the Kardhiqi and Zhulat areas, an old bull was left to roam freely in the forest. Once he was dead, he was buried with full honours. In some areas where a working bull was slaughtered for its meat, it was more of a sacrifice ritual out of those religious holidays, retaining certain tribal traits. In some regions of northern Albania and rarely in the south, it was even given supernatural traits similar to those of a Dragon’s, regarded even as a tribe’s protector. In the village of Kelmend, at the turn of the 20-th century, a story has been told about a bull being lost in a village for a few days after a storm. It was believed he had set off to fight the Dragons as they wanted to wipe out and flood the place. And when they had slaughtered him, they found two or three hearts, or even discovered a cross in his heart.” Buffalo’s totem gives its title to a complete cycle of poems by Martin Camaj/tsamay/. Its intention for this work is renewing this cycle as a Camaj – reader journey, as a form of reading that nears “buffalo’s” symbolism beyond superficial reading, beginning with its biological meaning, linguistic notion and up to its symbolic affinity to that of North American native Indians. In that piece of work the word “buffalo” (Buall) is also written in a dialect form as (Buell), when cited in poetry or even various interpretations. As a motivation for this work there is Anton Berisha’s interpretation of Camaj and its poetry. He is more than “convinced that the world of legends and anecdotes intertwined with that of myths offered an extraordinary artistic approach.”
Pages: 246-249  |  905 Views  239 Downloads
library subscription