Albania Population and Languages

Albania Population and Languages

The anthropological characters of the Albanians are so far known only through a very limited number of observations and systematic measurements. The most constant characters are the extreme brachycephaly, the small head, the elongated shape of the face, the straight nose, often aquiline, the eyes and black hair, the above average stature. These characters bring together the Albanians – like the neighboring Montenegrins, Bosnians, etc. – to the so-called Dinaric type. Notable is the appearance of shorter stature in the south of the country, as well as the increase in the percentage of blond types (which for the whole territory does not exceed perhaps 20%) as we proceed towards the east.

According to ANDYEDUCATION.COM, the Albanian language has a fund of words of its own, which is reconnected according to most with Illyrian, according to others with Tracian; however, a large number of words are imported.

A profound distinction is usually made between the dialects of the north or gheghi, and those of the south or toschi; the border is marked close to the course of the Shkumbî river; cf. below paragraph language. The differences between Toschi and Gheghi are not only dialectal, but also manifest themselves in some ethnographic elements, as will be mentioned shortly.

Among the foreign colonies within the borders of Albania the most numerous are those of the Aromuni (v.). They are usually shepherds, sometimes even large owners of flocks, and form a compact group on the Pindus around Metzovo, in the mountains to the West of Còrizza (where the center of Moskopolje was, now almost destroyed), in the Tomorr group, etc..; they live in villages that are sometimes very high and well built, or in isolated temporary huts (kolibe), such as the so-called Farsalioti del Tomorr. They have partly nomadic habits, migrating, in winter, sometimes to entire villages, with their flocks towards the plains, both in Thessaly and Macedonia, and in Musacchia; but in recent times some have taken on sedentary habits exercising the trades of weaver, tailor, etc.

Of the Bulgarians, who invaded Albania, as well as a part of Greece in the century. IX, leaving numerous traces in the toponymy, there are no remains, except in the two villages of Magellarë and Dovolarci in the district of Dibra (less than 200 residents in total) and perhaps also in the two villages of Drenovë and Boboshticë in the plain south of Corizza where, according to Bourcart, the old people still speak a Bulgarian dialect, which seems to have archaic imprints; the villages of the Opari, of Orthodox religion, cited as Slavs by some old chroniclers, no longer exist, since Albanian is spoken everywhere there. Small Bosnian villages, zealous Muslims, are found around Shkodra and in the plain of Shijak, between Durres and Tirana; there are immigrants recently, after the annexation of Bosnia to the Austria and are losing their distinctive characteristics; a colony of Bosnians is also in the city of Shkodra; in all, there are about 2200 people. The nuclei of Turks transported by the Ottoman government, especially from the Qōniah plain (Asia Minor), around Dibra and Ochrida seem to have disappeared. Scattered everywhere are the Gypsies, partly nomads, practicing all the small trades and also horse breeding (especially in Musacchia), partly sedentary in some suburbs of the major centers, such as in Tirana, Elbasan and Còrizza. It is difficult to calculate the total number of these foreigners, some of whom, like the Aromuni, periodically migrate even outside the borders of Albania; they probably do not add up, taken together, to more than 5% of the total population.

The feeling of honor, patriotic pride, courage, absolute honesty, fidelity above all to the leaders, the scrupulous observance of the sworn faith, of the besa, of which one will say later; finally the open, gay character, and in general also the very frugal tenor of life, the modesty of needs and aspirations, which however also corresponds to the tendency to avoid jobs that may seem superfluous.

Albania Population and Languages

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