ZONA

Hajriz Meleqi & Demir Reshiti

Some Geographical Characteristics of Gora region

Physical-geographical characteristics and position of Gora

Gora is one of the ethnographical and geographical regions of Kosova. It is situated in the southern part of Kosova. A part of its territory is stretched across the border with Albania. This is a highland region of Sharr Mountain, which is stretched between Kaçina Gllava in the east, Gemitash in the south, Gjallica in the west, Koritnik in north-western part, and Xerxa hills in the north.
The region is bordered on with Opoja in the east and north-east, in the south-west, west, and north-west with Luma, and with Macedonia in the southeastern part. As a highland region further remained far away from the main roads. Gora region is bordered on with Luma region through unqualified roads through Vanas’ canyon and the canyon of Bad Rate. It is bounded with Macedonia through some saddlebacks of Sharr. It is bounded with Dibra through Qaja’s canyon. The best link of Gora with Prizren is through Opoja.
There are no exact data about the general area of Gora region. Only a part of Gora which is situated in Kosova has an area of 308 km2. The Municipality of Sharr (Dragash) consists on Opoja and Gora regions. Gora as a part of Sharr Municipality (434 km2) takes part with 71 %.
Gora area is situated in the north-western part of mountain Sharr. Therefore, its physic – geographical area belongs to the mountain’s chains of Sharr, by interconnect geotechnical, geomorphologic, hydrographical, climatologic, bio-geographic, and some other elements, which entice scientific researchers.
The first morphological contour of Gora derived from the Mesozoic tectonic movements. Such first structure established in Mesozoic by the orogenic movements of oligomiocen is divided, where some of Sharr parts are heightened on the apparent mountains peaks as following: Korintik, Cvilen, Oshlak, Koxha Ballkan, Korab, etc. In the meantime, during such heights is also done tectonic flattening, where some highland lower fields were established as: Gora, Opoja, Srecka, Siriniq, etc. These lower fields are divided from each other through brinks, which do not break their dislocated line. Of course, parallel to the inner powers, outside powers have also influenced in establishing of such relievo, which has been dependent from a geological structure, dynamic of relievo, climate, vegetation, and by the human impact. Thus, visible fluvial, par glacial, glacial, carstic, and laky forms have been established in Gora region.
Gora is a region which has a mountainous relievo in its morphostructure.
Gora’ settlements are located from the altitude of 950m (Orqusha and Mlik) up to the altitude of 1.440 m (Restelica). All settlements of Gora belong to agglomerate type of houses. The main factors which influenced on establishing such type of settlements are the natural predisposition and social-political conditions. Gorans historically have a tradition to work outside their homelands, due to this they felt safe by building their houses close to their brothers or relations.
There are two climate types in Gora: the sub-highland type, in the lower zones (in the zones of settlements), and the alpic highland type in the higher mountainous parts. Summer is relatively short and cool, winter is long and snowy; the vegetation period is short; spring and autumn are discerned seasons. However, the spring is colder than the autumn because a mass of hotness is consumed for melting the snow until the late spring. In general, the combination of climate conditions creates a bioclimatic comfort, which has probably influenced on the good health of Gorans. A relatively great mass of snowfall and a long durance of snow had an impact that Gora has a densely system of water flow in the form of streams and rivers.
The main rivers are: River of Restelica, River of Brod, River of Borja, River of Topojan, River of Orgjosh, etc. All these water flows form Luma or Vana, which is a branch of Drini i Bardhe. All the rivers of Gora have nivalo-pluvial regime, with a stable flow and a hydro energetic potential.
Their fast flows through these highland areas have formed deep mountainous valleys.
The great property of Gora are its pastures, which are the most qualitative in Balkan. They are a natural potential which influenced on Gora’s population being historically engaged on farming. In such pastures were identified above 100 sorts of aromatic and medicinal plants which are a potential on developing cosmetic and pharmaceutics’ industry. Forest areas are limitable as a result of deforest in order to open agricultural lands. Such deforests are done especially on the part of Gora in the border line with Albania. Field areas are symbolic and as such they cannot provide the bread to this population.

Some socio-geographical characteristics of Gora

In the past times, the population of Gora except the farming was also engaged on the handicraft of weapons producing. There are a lot of data which show about the quality of such weapons made in Gora, and such weapons have been demanded by many places of the world. Concerning the gunsmith handicraft we will specify a detail: a Goran goldsmith craftsman, to open the hole in a barrel of a gun has used 12 borers of different calibres. During natality of Gora’s population, a part of its existence is assured by working outside the country. Wherever Gorans peregrines have gone, they have shown their capabilities, especially on the craftsmanship of producing desserts.
The sweet-shops of Gorans are mostly found in Kosova, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even in most European countries and in some of Asia’s countries. Here we would also mention a psychological aspect: peregrines Gorans have shown a nostalgia to their homeland, and they never dissociate their ties with homeland. Based on last registering data of population (1981), the number of Gora’s population was around 23 thousand inhabitants. All of them belong to Muslim religion. The inscription found in the mosque of Mlik village, which is the oldest building of this religion in Kosova and Albania, shows that missioners on spreading Islam in Gora have come in 1353, much earlier than the time when in Gora and Opoja was spread the Islam religion. Uttermost Islam was spread in Gora in the second half of XIX century.
Gorans are distinguished by a specific ethnography. They have preserved many customs and traditions, which do not differ much to those of its neighbours Opoja and Luma people. It is mostly a result of a joint long life. There were mutual exchanges during the times in this point of view.
The first document with the name of Gora in it is found in 1384. Such word no doubts means mountain (highland), and it has a Slav origin. The name Goran (Highlander) has also derived from the name of Gora. Many written sources show that Gora region during 1429-1438 was a part of Dukagjin region. During the Ottoman reign, the territory of both Gora and Opoja was called “Hasllër”, “Gora ve Havasi Prizren”, ”Havasi Prizren” etc., that means Has of Prizren (a Prizren’s territory). Gora was historically dependent on Prizren, and it kept ties more with Prizren and less with Tetova. On the other side, Kukës was a rural and small area with no influence to Gora.
Gora’s area has been inhabited even before the Goranis came here. This area with its name “Iliri e Shkretëruar”(Deserted Iliria) was mentioned by the ancient authors Tit Liv and Polib, in the description of travelling of delegates sent by the king of Macedonia (Perseu) from Oanea (Tetova) to Gent. They had travelled through the road Tetova-Gora-Kulla e Lumes and the Vanas’ canyon, which was a branch off the road Lissus Naissus. Here it is seen that Macedonia has been linked with Illyria through Gora that time.

What are Gorans?

Beyond many attempts there is no complete scientific answer so far about the question how this isle (enclave) was established within the Albanian ethnic sea, or which is ethno genesis of this population. As researchers of area where Gorans live, we do not pretend to make a conclusion about this issue, but we only emphasise a political opinion. The history since their settlements in these areas should be analyzed in order to make a scientific conclusion regarding the origin of Gorans, including the people surrounding this enclave, language, customs, culture, ethnography, clothes, folklore, psychical constitution, etc.
A lot of data evidence that Gorans live here since XIII century. It is also sure that Albanians have lived here before the Gorans came. This is evidenced by the preserved toponymy and anthroponomy. Gorans’ speech preserved many Albanian words. In its language accent is present the sound ë and x from the Albanian language. Gora’s clothing is almost identical with those of its neighbours including Opoja and Luma. In Gora are celebrated the same fests and with the same rituals as in Opoja and Luma, the rituals of birth, marriage, death, etc., and are identical. The manifestation of pagan celebration; dances have also the identical elements to those of Albanians; a part of its toponymy and anthroponomy is an Albanian one; at many official registrations, even after the World War II, a considerable percentage of the population in Gora’s villages declared themselves as Albanians, etc. Therefore, we express our opinion that Gorans in this region are located in an anticipatory stratification iliro-albanian. Their people call themselves “Gorani”. They often call themselves “Nashinci” and “Torbesh”.
As long as the ethnonym Goran is related only with Gora area, the Torbesh one goes beyond Gora area and includes also Zhupa of Prizren, and then it is spread in Reke of Dibra and in Tikvesh of Macedonia as well. As a patronymic the word Torbesh is also found in Gjakova, and as a toponymy in Gollobordë and Vlora.
The etymology Torbesh is related with the Turkish language “dort besh” (four five) and it has two meanings: four or five per day abandoned the religion, or four- five times give their trust to Turkish people and they did not keep it. A Macedonian researcher, Palikrusheva relates such etymology with bag; allegedly that only for a bag with flour and cottage cheese they abandoned the religion faith, but also by their peregrination as merchants worldwide carrying a bag with them. In Persian language, the word ‘torbekesh’ means bag.
According to a Turkish historian called Uzunqarshil, Torbesh are called all children gathered for janissary, whose names were kept in special bags. Shuteriqi considers such name as a damn word of the Orthodox Church to Bogomil heretics of XII century, persecuted from Bulgaria, where a part of them could find shelter even in Gora and other parts already inhabited by Torbeshs. As far as the Goran words do not open the paths for research whereof this ethnic group came, because such word is related on with the area where they live. The word Torbesh is the best potential address to think that they have come from Bulgarian (Macedonian) areas. Such version which relates this name with Bogmil movement seems to be the most trusted one. Such opinion is strengthened also by other arguments, including the language which is more identical with those of Bulgarian-Macedonian one, the language accent, songs’ tune, etc.
Therefore, we have an approximate thought with N. Dokle considering the Gorans language as a Slav one which is almost identical with Bulgarian and Macedonian language, and far from Serbian language. Vllah elements are also preserved in the area of Gora. A hypothesis which is closer to the scientific truth is that Gorans are an enclave with Slav population (Bulgarian-Macedonian) peregrines and set in the ethnical Albanian area, at a symbiosis on an Albanian stratification, with a small cultivation of Vlleh element, but it preserved the characteristics of its origin. The language of Gorans is also a Slav language almost identical with Bulgarian and Macedonian ones with a little impact from Albanian and Turkish language, but conserved and saved in the area where groans –Torbeshs live today. There were many speculations, but never had any authentically scientific approaches about the ethno genesis of Gorans so far.
All efforts had a political background. There is not a conclusion yet about such issue, and it is expected an authentic scientific approach.
So far as there were non-scientific efforts concerning this, it always brought up problems to the Gorans population and also to the Albanian population living in neighbourhood, especially to Opoja’s population. Here we will mention the ‘arnautash’ theory about the Albanians of Opoja, such theory was launched many times by ASA of Serbia, and for the last time, it was launched by GOS project, which was also initiated by the same academy, and had a great influence to fade the good traditional relations between Gora and Opoja’s people. Even the Macedonian approaches, especially those by Limanovski have been political and territorial pretending ones. Bulgarian media have recently launched a thesis that in Albania (in Prespa, Shishtavec and Golloborde) lives a Bulgarian minority. 100 thousand is the number of such community, and allegedly that their language is Old Bulgarian language. We think that a good research of Gorans language would probably find out the origin of Gorans.
Nobody has the right to treat politically the national identity of Gorans or anyone else. There is no doubt that their predecessors were set here, sometimes, because any oppression or any other cause. However there’s no doubt that this enclave set inside Albanians was saved from the Albanians themselves, not misusing anytime. Gora’s area was divided into three parts in the borders of 1923. The hostility of Albanian and Yugoslav relations in 1948, hermetically closed such divided borders, and absolutely divided the parts of Gora. Thus, 9 villages of Gora left inside Albania: (Shishtavec, Oroshek, Crnolevo, Borje, Orgjost, Kosharishta, Pakisha, Zapod dhe Orçikle), and 18 villages of Gora remained in Kosova: 18 Gora’s villages remained inside Kosova: (Gorna Rapça, Dolna Rapça, Krstac, Orçusha, Vranishte, Mlike, Krusha, Zlipotok, Restelica, Lubovishte, Kukajan, Dikance, Baçka, Brod, Radesha, Leshtan, Krakoshte dhe Glloboçica), and 2 border edging villages left under the jurisdiction of Macedonia: (Jellovjane dhe Urviç).
In the vicinity of Prizren along the river of Prizren is situated Srecka region with its Torbesh settlements. This region is parted from Gora by Opoja region which covers pure Albanians population. Villages of Srecka where its majority population are Torbesh includes: Reçane, Pllanjane, Srecka, Drajçiqi, Mishnikova, Gorno Sello, Nebrogoshte, Manastrec, Gorna Lubinja dhe Dolna Lubinja.
The set of frontier not only divided the Gora’s area, but also interrupted all physical and spiritual relations. Many parents died without meeting their daughters married on this or other side of the border. Three parts of Gora experienced various experiments. The Albanian policy proclaimed an ‘idyllic’ life living in the ‘Albanian paradise’, and on the other side only the population of Gora could scarcely feed themselves, working in agricultural cooperatives. In this side of the border, the Serbian regime declared continuously a romantic patriotism to Gorans of Gora, but not investing at all. Through blackmail and oppression reached the servile of a group of intellectuals to act under the directives of Serbian hegemonic policies. Thus, according to the politics in power, registration after registration, the population of Gora changed its ethnical identity.
Sometimes it was registers as Gorans ethnicity, sometimes as indefinite, Yugoslav, Serbian, Macedonian, Muslim, Bosnian, etc. After a half century by the democratization of Albania, and ruined Yugoslavia was broken even the blockade among Gora’s separated parts. Actually the borders among them are not any more a hermetic ones, and the population of Gora are moving on both sides of the border.
Gora historically shared the same destiny with Albanian neighbours in the aspect of natural mechanical movements of people, and in the respect of socio-economic general development. The population of Gora has a high natality, dominated by young people. Bad conditions, over labour power, etc have influenced on constant economic migration of people. Such migration, especially recently are very disturbing, which will influence negatively on the demographic trend. Such trend of emigration should be disturbing even to two governments of states. The adequate measures are required in order to prevent an entire migration.

Conclusion

Gora is a highland geographical and ethnographical region of Sharr among Macedonia, Opoja and Luma. Its first morphological contour Gora as Sharri Mountain has formed during the tectonically movements of the Mesozoic. Gora’ settlements are located from the altitude of 950m (Orqusha and Mlik) up to the altitude of 1.440 m (Restelica). All settlements of Gora belong to agglomerate type of houses. There are two climate types in Gora: the sub-highland type, in the lower zones (in the zones of settlements), and the alpic highland type in the highland parts. A relatively great mass of snowfall and a long durance of snow had an impact that Gora has a densely system of water flow in the form of streams and rivers.
The great property of Gora are its pastures, which are the most qualitative in Balkan. They are a natural potential which influenced on Gora’s population being historically engaged on farming.
Groans are distinguished by a specific ethnography. They have preserved many customs and traditions, which do not differ much to those of its neighbours Opoja and Luma people. Gora’s area has been inhabited even before the Goranis came here. This area with its name “Iliri e Shkretëruar”(Deserted Illyria) was mentioned by the ancient authors Tit Liv and Polib.
A lot of data evidence that Gorans live here since XIII century. It is also sure that Albanians have lived here before the Gorans came. Scientific arguments show that Gorans are an enclave with Slav population (Bulgarian-Macedonian) peregrines and set in the ethnical Albanian area, at a symbiosis on an Albanian stratification, with a small cultivation of Vlleh element, but it preserved the characteristics of its origin. The language of Gorans is also a Slav language almost identical with Bulgarian and Macedonian ones with a little impact from Albanian and Turkish language, but conserved and saved in the area where groans –Torbeshs live today.

Bibliography:
1. A. Stojanovski, Po prashanjeto za proteklloto na imeto Torbeshi i za negovoto përviçno
spomenavanje vo pishuanite izvori, ”Istoria, folklor i etnologia na islamiziranite makedonci”, Skopje 1987b
2. G. Bojkoviq, Strukturne promene stanovnishtva u Gori, Opolji i Sredskoj, SANU, knjiga
40/II, 1995 Beograd.
3. H. Meleqi, Opoja dhe Gora, vështrim gjeografik, Sharr, 1994.
4. N. Dokle, Për Gorën dhe Goranët (artikuj e studime), Prizren, 2002.
5. S. Anamali, Nga ilirët tek arbrit, “shqiptarët dhe trojet e tyre”, Tiranë 1982.
6. D. Angelov, :Bogomilstvo v’Bëllgaria”, Sofje 1962.
7. Faqj
a “Youtube” në internet me titullin 100 mijë bullgarë në Shqipëri.


Kuptim i qartë i gjeorgafisë si përmasë e shpirtërimit

Nga përvoja që kam në fushë të gjeologjisë, të historisë dhe të gjeografisë, qoftë edhe si i diplomuar në fakultetet që mbulojnë drejtimet e sapopërmendura, kam vënë re se “ndryrja” Brenda caqeve të një zone apo të një treve të caktuar, në përgjithësi nuk ka qënë fort e parapëlqyer nga studiuesit dhe hulumtuesit. Përjashtim bën në këtë aspekt ndërmarrja e kërkimeve të natyrës etnografike apo folklorike, të fjalëve të urta e të frazelogjisë popullore. Kjo e fundit mund të shpjegohej me faktin se mbledhja e “mjaltit” nuk është kushedisa e vështirë, përderisa janë të gatshëm ta “derdhin” nga goja dhjetra rapsodë apo amatorë të mënçurisë popullore, që ndodhen në trevat përkatëse. Madje, në kësi rastesh, as literature dokumentare ( e shkruar, e incizuar, e regjistruar, e filmuar) nuk mungon, madje është e bollshme, ëka të jep mundësinë të përzgjedhësh e të përdorësh çka të pëlqen.
Some Geographical Characteristics of Gora region. Physical-geographical characteristics and position of Gora (Disa veçori gjeografike të regjioniit të Gorës) i autorëve Hajriz Meleqi dhe Demir Reshiti, është një punim shkencor i mirëfilltë, që i ka të pakët “shokët”, si për nga tematika, ashtu edhe për nga shtjellimi. Ai ka shtrirje e frymëmarrje të gjerë dhe thellësi mendimi. Sipas mendimit tim, tema si kjo që po analizojmë, janë udhëçelëse në thellimin e veprimtarisë hulumtuese në aspekte që paraqitin jo vetëm interes shkencor, por edhe praktik. Në rastin konkret, Freskia dhe risia e punimit të Hajriz Meleqit dhe Demir Reshitit, qëndron në radhë të parë në konceptimin e saj e më pas, gjithaq, në krijimin e një përfytyrimi gjithëpërfshirës për reliefin e për botën shpirtërore të krejt Kosovës, pjesë përbërëse e së cilës është edhe Gora.
Paraqitur me gjuhë lakonike, të zhdërvjelltë e sidomos profesionale, materiali i lartpërmendur ka vlera njohëse të ngritura dhe vërtetësi. Gora, krahinë e ndodhur në Kosovën Jugore, është dhënë në kontekstin përkatës gjeografik.
Të tre nënkapitujt Some socio-geographical characteristics of Gora, What are Gorans? dhe Conclusion janë emërtuar në varësi të përmbajtjes që kumtojnë dhe kanë mëvehtësi të plotë. Në nënkapitullin e parë, Gora është këqyrur jo vetëm nga pikëpamja gjeografike dhe etnografike, por edhe si njësi gjeomorfologjike. Bie në sy njohja e gjeomorfologjisë dhe e strukturave përkatëse, që trajtohen me përparësi në lëndë si gjeomorfologjia dhe gjeologjia historike. Në këtë këndvështrim, përshkrimi me imtësi dhe saktësi edhe i elementëve të tjerë të sferës së oronimeve, sidomos nga ana hipsometrike dhe të hidronimeve, klimës, lindshmërisë, zejeve, florës e faunës, etj, ndihmon të plotësimin dhe diversifikimin e pejsazhit e të krejt tablosë së Gorës. Më tej ende: jepen mendime për origjinën e formacioneve shkëmbore dhe të strukturave gjeologjike në përgjithësi.
Nga ana tjetër, përveç të dhënave që lidhen me sipërfaqen e krahinës, gjejmë edhe informacione të vlefshme me karakter demografik, administrativ e sidomos historik.
Në nënkapitullin e dytë, banorët e Gorës janë paraqitur si objekt dhe njëherazi si subjekt aktiv i jetës së kësaj treve gjatë shekujve. Nuk janë anashkaluar as çështjet sociale, përfshi ato të emigracionit.
Nënkapitulli Conclusion nuk përfaqëson vetëm rimarrjen e çka është thënë gjatë shtjellimit të materialit, por përbën një pasurim të mëtejshëm të tij, duke sjellë elementë të tjerë të dobishëm.
I këqyrur në tërësinë e vet, punimi shkencor Disa veçori gjeografike të regjioniit të Gorës mund të cilësohet edhe si një domethënie e qartë e gjeografisë si përmasë e botës shpirtërore.
Prof.univ.dr.ing.Kopi Kyçyku

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