Gorani People
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Gorani People

Gorani inhabited area (green) in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia
Total population
60,000 (estimate)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Kosovo10,265 (2011 census)[2]
 Serbia7,767 (2011 census)[3]
 North MacedoniaUnknown
 Croatia428 (2011 census)[4]
 Hungary418 (2001 census)[5]
 Montenegro197 (2011 census)[6]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina24 (2013 census)[7]
Goranski (Na?inski)


Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Bosniaks, Pomaks, Torbe?i[8][9][10][11]

The Gorani ([rani], Cyrillic: ) or Goranci ([r?:ntsi], Cyrillic: ?), are a Slavic Muslim ethnic group inhabiting the Gora region--the triangle between Kosovo,[a] Albania, and North Macedonia. They number an estimated 60,000 people, and speak a transitional South Slavic dialect, called Goranski. The vast majority of the Gorani people adhere to Sunni Islam.[12]


The ethnonym Goranci, meaning "highlanders", is derived from the Slavic toponym gora, which means "hill, mountain".[13][14] Another autonym of this people is Na?inci,[15] which literally means "our people, our ones".

In Macedonian sources, the Gorani are sometimes called Torbe?i,[14] a term used for Muslim Macedonians.

In the Albanian language, they are known as Goranët[16] and sometimes by other exonyms, such as Bulgareci ("Bulgarians"),[17] Torbesh[13] ("bag carriers") and Poturë ("turkified", from po-tur, literally not Turk but, "turkified", used for Islamized Slavs).[18]


Former Gora municipality in AP Kosovo and Metohija, SR Serbia, marked in blue.

Some of the local Gorani people have over time also self declared themselves as Albanians, Macedonians, Bosniaks, Muslim Bulgarians, Serbs, Turks, or just as Muslims, due to geopolitical circumstances and in censuses.[19][14]

In Kosovo, the Gorani number 10,265 inhabitants,[2] which is drastically lower than before the Kosovo War. In 1998, it was estimated that their total population number was at least 50,000.[20]


In Albania, there are nine [13] Gorani-inhabited villages: Zapod, Pakisht, Orçikël, Kosharisht, Cernalevë, Orgjost, Oreshkë, Borje and Shishtavec.[21][22]

In Kosovo, there are 18[13] Gorani-inhabited villages: Ba?ka, Brod, Vrani?te, Globo?ice, Gornja Rap?a, Gornji Krstac, Dikance, Donja Rap?a, Donji Krstac, Zli Potok, Kru?evo, Kukaljane, Lje?tane, Ljubo?ta, Mlike, Or?u?a, Rade?a, Restelica and the town of Draga?.[23][24] Following 1999, Draga? has a mixed population of Gorani, whom live in the lower neighbourhood and Albanians in the upper neighbourhood that constitute the majority of inhabitants.[24]

In North Macedonia, there are two Gorani inhabited villages located in the Polog region: Jelovjane and Urvi?.[25][26][27][28]



The Gora municipality and Opoja region remained separated during the Milo?evi? period.[24] After the war, the Gorani-majority Gora municipality was merged with the Albanian inhabited Opoja region to form the municipality of Draga? by the United Nations Mission (UNMIK) and the new administrative unit has an Albanian majority.[24][13][29]

In 2007 the Kosovar provisional institutions opened a school in Gora to teach the Bosnian language, which sparked minor consternation amongst the Gorani population. Many Gorani refuse to send their children to school due to societal prejudices, and threats of assimilation to Bosniaks or Albanians. Consequently, Gorani organized education per Serbia's curriculum.

Gorani activists in Serbia's proper stated they want Gora (a former municipality) to join the Association of Serb Municipalities, causing added pressure on the Gorani Community in Kosovo.[30]

In 2018 Bulgarian activists among Gorani have filed a petition in the country's parliament demanding their official recognition as a separate minority.[31]

Most Gorani state that the unstable situation and economic issues drive them to leave Kosovo. There is also some mention of threats and discrimination by ethnic Albanians.[32]

Apart from the multiethnic town of Dragash, the Gorani of Kosovo continue to live in villages primarily inhabited by their community and relations with Albanians remain tense.[24] Mixed marriage between both communities do not occur with the exception of a few Gorani families that have migrated to Prizren.[24]



Mosque in Restelica

In the 18th century, a wave of Islamization began in Gora.[12] The Ottoman abolition of the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid and Serbian Patriarchate of Pe? in 1766/1767 is thought to have prompted the Islamization of Gora as was the trend of many Balkan communities.[33] The last Christian Gorani, Bo?ana, died in the 19th century – she has received a cult, signifying the Gorani's Christian heritage, collected by Russian consuls Anastasiev and Yastrebov in the second half of the 19th century.[12]


The Gorani are known for being "the best confectioners and bakers" in former Yugoslavia.[34]

The Slavs of Gora were Christianized after 864 when Bulgaria adopted Christianity. The Ottomans conquered the region in the 14th century, which started the process of Islamization of the Gorani and neighbouring Albanians. However, the Gorani still tangentially observe some Orthodox Christian traditions, such as Slavas and Djurdjevden, and like Serbs they know their Onomastik or saint's days. Although most Gorani are Sunni Muslims, Sufism and in particular the Halveti and Bektashi Sufi orders are widespread.

Traditional Gorani folk music includes a two-beat dance called "oro" ('circle'), which is a circle dance focused on the foot movements: it always starts on the right foot and moves in an anti-clockwise direction. The Oro is usually accompanied by instruments such as curlje, kaval, ?iftelija or tapan, and singing is used less frequently in the dances than in those of the Albanians and Serbs.

The "national" sport of Pelivona is a form of Oil wrestling popular among Gorani with regular tournaments being held in the outdoors to the accompaniment of Curlje and Tapan with associated ritualized hand gestures and dances, with origins in the Middle East through the Ottoman Empire's conquest of Balkans.

The "national" drink of the Gorani is Rakija which is commonly distilled at home by elderly people. Another popular drink is Turkish Coffee which is drunk in small cups accompanied by a glass of water. Tasseography is popular among all Gorani using the residue of Turkish Coffee.


A geographical distribution of the Torlakian dialect with marked Gora area

The Gorani people speak South Slavic, a local dialect known as "Na?inski"[21] or "Goranski", which is part of a wider Torlakian dialect,[35] spoken in Southern Serbia, Western Bulgaria and part of North Macedonia. The Slavic dialect of the Gorani community is known as Gorançe by Albanians.[21] Within the Gorani community there is a recognition of their dialects being closer to the Macedonian language, than to Serbian.[36] The Torlakian dialect is a transitional dialect of Serbian and Bulgarian whilst also sharing features with Macedonian. The Gorani speech is classified as an Old-Shtokavian dialect of Serbian (Old Serbian), the Prizren-Timok dialect. Bulgarian linguists classify the Gorani dialect as part of a Bulgarian dialectal area.[37] Within scholarship the Goran dialects previously classified as belonging to Serbian have been reassigned as belonging to Macedonian in the 21 century.[36] Gorani speech has numerous loan words, being greatly influenced by Turkish and Arabic due to the influence of Islam, as well as Albanian areally. It is similar to the Bosnian language because of the numerous Turkish loanwords. Gorani speak Serbo-Croatian in school.[14]

According to the last 1991 Yugoslav census, 54.8% of the inhabitants of the Gora municipality said that they spoke the Gorani language, while the remainder had called it Serbian.[38] Some Gorani scholars define their language as Bulgarian, similar to the Bulgarian dialects spoken in the northwestern region of North Macedonia.[39] Some linguists, including Vidoeski, Brozovic and Ivic, identify the Slavic-dialect of the Gora region as Macedonian.[40] There are assertions that Macedonian is spoken in 50 to 75 villages in the Gora region (Albania and Kosovo).[41] According to some unverified sources in 2003 the Kosovo government acquired Macedonian language and grammar books for Gorani school.[42]

Albanian-Gorani scholar Nazif Dokle compiled the first Gorani-Albanian dictionary (with 43,000 words and phrases) in 2007, sponsored and printed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.[39] In 2008 the first issue of a Macedonian language newspaper, (Gorocvet) was published.[43]

Example of a traditional Gorani song
Verno libe
Gledaj me gledaj libe, abe verno libe,
nagledaj mi se dur ti som ovde.
Utre ke odim abe verno libe dalek-dalek
na pusti Gurbet.
Racaj poracaj libe ?o da ti kupim.
Ti da mi kupi?
abe gledaniku cerna ?amija, ja da ga nosim
abe gledaniku i da ga ?elam.
Racaj poracaj abe verno
libe ?o da ti pratim
Ti da mi prati? abe
gledaniku ?arena knjiga
Ja da ga pujem abe

gledaniku i da ga ?elam


Notable Gorani

See also


  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently (this note self-updates) recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. ^ "Progam politi?ke stranke GIG". Do Nato intervencije na Srbiju, 24.03.1999.godine, u Gori je ?ivelo oko 18.000 Goranaca. U Srbiji i biv?im jugoslovenskim republikama nalazi se oko 40.000 Goranaca, a zna?ajan broj Goranaca ?ivi i radi u zemljama Evropske unije i u drugim zemljama. Po na?im procenama ukupan broj Goranaca, u Gori i u rasejanju iznosi oko 60.000.
  2. ^ a b "Population by gender, ethnicity and settlement level" (PDF). p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Population by ethnicity". Serbian Statistical Office (in Serbian). Serbian Statistical Office. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "1. Population by ethnicity - detailed classification, 2011 census". Statistics of Croatia. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "2.39 Factors of the nationality of the population based on affiliation with cultural values, knowledge of languages". Statistics of Hungary. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Table CG5. Population by ethnicity and religion". Montenegrin Office of Statistics. Montenegrin Office of Statistics. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "1. Stanovni?tvo prema etni?koj/nacionalnoj pripadnosti - detaljna klasifikacija". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ The Palgrave Handbook of Slavic Languages, Identities and Borders. Palgrave. 29 April 2016. ISBN 9781137348395. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ "Goranis want to join community of Serb municipalities". B92. B92. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Gorani decide against forming minority council". B92. B92. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Slow exodus threatens Kosovo's mountain Gorani". Reuters. Reuters. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ a b c 2000, pp. 71-73 ( )
  13. ^ a b c d e Bardhoshi 2016, p. 83.
  14. ^ a b c d Duijzings 2000, p. 27.
  15. ^ Xhelal Ylli, Erlangen: "Sprache und Identität bei den Gorani in Albanien: 'Nie sme nasinci'."[page needed]
  16. ^ Murati, Qemal (2016). "E tashmja dhe e shkuara e Kosovës përmes fjalorit: Shtresimet leksikore". Gjurmime Albanologjike (46): 179. "Goranët jetojnë në krahinën e Gorës, që sot ndahet mes shteteve të Shqipërisë, të Kosovës etë Maqedonisë, krahinë nga ku e marrin edhe emrin."
  17. ^ Miranda Vickers; James Pettifer (1997). Albania: From Anarchy to a Balkan Identity. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 205-. ISBN 978-1-85065-279-3.
  18. ^ Dokle, Nazif. Reçnik Goransko (Nashinski) -albanski, Sofia 2007, Peçatnica Naukini akademiji "Prof. Marin Drinov", s. 5, 11
  19. ^ Bardhoshi, Nebi (2016). "Small Numbers, Big issues: The Border areas as Social Arena of Legal Systems". In Schüler, Sonja (ed.). Exchange, Dialogue, New Divisions?: Ethnic Groups and Political Cultures in Eastern Europe. LIT Verlag. p. 85. ISBN 9783643802095.
  20. ^ Eastern Europe: Newsletter. 12-13. Eastern Europe. 1998. p. 22.
  21. ^ a b c Steinke, Klaus; Ylli, Xhelal (2010). Die slavischen Minderheiten in Albanien (SMA). 3. Gora. Munich: Verlag Otto Sagner. p. 11. ISBN 978-3-86688-112-9. "In den 17 Dörfern des Kosovo wird Na?inski/Goran?e gesprochen, und sie gehören zu einer Gemeinde mit dem Verwaltungszentrum in Draga?. Die 19 Dörfer in Albanien sind hingegen auf drei Gemeinden des Bezirks Kukës aufgeteilt, und zwar auf Shishtavec, Zapod und Topojan. Slavophone findet man freilich nur in den ersten beiden Gemeinden. Zur Gemeinde Shishtavec gehören sieben Dörfer und in den folgenden vier wird Na?inski/Goran?e gesprochen: Shishtavec (?i?taec/?i?teec), Borja (Borje), Cërnaleva (C?rnolevo/C?rneleve) und Oreshka (Ore?ek). Zur Gemeinde Zapod gehören ebenfalls sieben Dörfer, und in den folgenden fünf wird Na?inski/Goran?e gesprochen: Orgjost (Orgosta), Kosharisht (Ko?ari?ta), Pakisht (Paki?a/Pakia) Zapod (Zapod) und Orçikla (Or?ikl'e/O?ikl'e)'. In der Gemeinde Topojan gibt es inzwischen keine slavophone Bevölkerung mehr. Die Einwohner selbst bezeichnen sich gewöhnlich als Goranen 'Einwohner von Gora oder Na?inci Unsrige, und ihre Sprache wird von ihnen als Na?inski und von den Albanern als Gorançe bezeichnet."
  22. ^ Schmidinger 2013, pp. 98-99 [1]
  23. ^ Schmidinger, Thomas (2018). "Forced return to empty villages: A case study of the Gorani in Kosovo". In Hornstein Tomi?, Caroline; Scholl-Schneider, Sarah; Pichler, Robert (eds.). Remigration to Post-Socialist Europe. Hopes and Realities of Return. Lit Verlag. p. 265. ISBN 9783643910257.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Schmidinger, Thomas (2013). Gora: Slawischsprachige Muslime zwischen Kosovo, Albanien, Mazedonien und Diaspora. Wiener Verlag. p. 65. ISBN 9783944690049.
  25. ^ ? ? ? (1947). Volumes 27-30. Srpsko geografsko dru?tvo. p. 107. "? ? ? , -?, . ? ? ?, ? 1912 . ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ? . ? , ? , ? ? ? ."
  26. ^ Vidoeski, Bo?idar (1998). Dijalektite na makedonskiot jazik. Vol. 1. Makedonska akademija na naukite i umetnostite. pp. 309, 315. ISBN 9789989649509. ? ? ? ? ? ? ?-? ?:... (, )." " ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?.
  27. ^ Rexhepi, Besnik; Mustafa, Behxhet; Hajdari, Avni; Rushidi-Rexhepi, Jehona; Quave, Cassandra L.; Pieroni, Andrea (2014). "Cross-cultural ethnobotany of the Sharr Mountains (northwestern Macedonia)". In Pieroni, Andrea; Quave, Cassandra L. (eds.). Ethnobotany and Biocultural Diversities in the Balkans. Springer. p. 70. ISBN 9781493914920.
  28. ^ Koleva, Krasimira (2012). "Balkanisms today: The dialect of ?upa (Kosovo)". In Kahl, Thede; Metzeltin, Michael; Schaller, Helmut (eds.). Balkanismen heute - Balkanisms today - ? ?. LIT Verlag. p. 351. ISBN 9783643503886.
  29. ^ Krasniqi, Elife (2016). "Social Change in Relation to Patriarchy after 1999 war in Opoja, Kosovo". In Roth, Klaus; Kartari, Asker (eds.). Culture of Crisis in Southeast Europe, Part I: Crises Related to Migration, Transformation, Politics, Religion, and Labour. LIT Verlag. p. 191. ISBN 9783643907639.
  30. ^ "Goranci: Ne ?elimo u Draga? ve? u Zajednicu srpskih op?tina" (in Serbian). Blic. 8 November 2013.
  31. ^ Bulgarian National Radio, Ethnic Bulgarians in Kosovo demand recognition of their community. Published on 5/30/18.
  32. ^ Update on the Kosovo Roma, Ashkaelia, Egyptian, Serb, Bosniak, Gorani and Albanian communities in a minority situation, UNHCR Kosovo, June 2004
  33. ^ Religion and the Politics of Identity in Kosovo[page needed]
  34. ^ Sini?a Ljepojevi?; Milica Radovanovi? (2006). Kosovo and Metohija: reality, economy and prejudices. TANJUG. p. 124. ISBN 9788680981161.
  35. ^ Browne, Wayles (2002): Serbo-Croat. In: Bernard Comrie, Greville G. Corbett (eds.), The Slavonic Languages. London: Taylor & Francis. [2]. p. 383
  36. ^ a b Friedman, Victor (2006). "Albania/Albanien". In Ammon, Ulrich (ed.). Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society, Volume 3. Walter de Gruyte. p. 1879. ISBN 9783110184181. "The Gorans, who are also Muslim, have a separate identity. The Goran dialects used to be classed with Serbian, but have more recently been assigned to Macedonian, and Gorans themselves recognize that their dialects are closer to Macedonian than to Serbian."
  37. ^ , . ? , ?: ? ? ? 1916, 1993, ?. 184. (Mladenov, Stefan. Journey through Macedonia and Pomoraviya, in: Scientific expeditions in Macedonia and Pomoraviya 1916, Sofia 1993, p. 184) ?, ?. ? ? ? ? (? ?, ?), ? ?, "" ? ". ? ", ?, , 17-19 2004 (Assenova, Petya. Archaisms and Balkanisms in an isolated Bulgarian dialect (Kukas Gora, Albania), Balkan studies readings on the tenth anniversary of the major Balkan studies in Sofia University, 17-19 May 2004)
  38. ^ "Gorani speech by dr. Radivoje Mladenovic" (PDF). rastko.org.rs (in Serbian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2014.
  39. ^ a b Dokle, Nazif. Reçnik Goransko (Nashinski) - Albanski, Sofia 2007, Peçatnica Naukini akademiji "Prof. Marin Drinov", s. 5, 11, 19 (Nazif Dokle. Goranian (Nashinski) - Albanian Dictionary, Sofia 2007, Published by Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, p. 5, 11, 19)
  40. ^ "Macedonian by Victor Friedman, pg 4 (footnote)". seelrc.org.
  41. ^ "Macedonian by Victor Friedman, pg 6". seelrc.org.
  42. ^ Focus News (4 July 2003) Kosovo Government Acquires Macedonian language and grammar books for Gorani Minority Schools
  43. ^ " ?".
  44. ^ "Goranac sam. Ako to uop?te nekog i interesuje" (in Serbo-Croatian) (1338). Tempo (Serbia magazine). 16 October 1991. p. 14.
  45. ^ a b "Li?nost Danas: Miralem Sulejmani". 2009.


  • Bursa?, Milan, ed. (2000), ?, ? ? ? ? ? " " 19. 2000. ? ? ? , Belgrade: SANU
    • Antonijevi?, Dragoslav (2000), ? (PDF), pp. 23-29
    • Draga?, Orhan (2000), ? (PDF), pp. 71-73
  • Antonijevi?, Dragoslav (1995), "Identitet Goranaca", Me?unarodna konferencija Polo?aj manjina u Saveznoj Republici Jugoslaviji, zbornik radova, Belgrade: SANU

External links

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Music Scenes