Friday, August 24, 2007

Albanian Blood Feuds

The Seattle Times has a good article on the tragic Albanian tradition of blood feuds which still remains in many villages and remote areas of the country. According to The Committee of Nationwide Reconciliation "more than 800 families are locked in cycles of tit-for-tat killings". This archaic system of justice is rooted in the Kanun, an ancient pagan code of law, which has seen a revival since the fall of communism in the early 90's. The Italian Mafia vendetta system is very similar to the blood feuds of Albania, in which justice is taken very seriously and very literally. According to Wikipedia, the concept of blood feuds has returned because the local people feel that the authorities are powerless and and unable to protect them.
The tradition will remain unless the justice system becomes a truly respectable institution in all of Albania. And that is the biggest challenge of all.

1 comment:

Ginnie said...

Man! That sounds like our Hatfield-McCoy feud from Appalachia back in the late 1800's!