Saturday, 13 October 2012

Warding off evil – The Albanian way

As we drove through towns and small villages throughout Albania, there are always some sort of construction going on. Quite a number of houses being built, though not many of them had people working on site. Most often, work seemed to have stopped halfway. These houses goes up a couple of floors and sometimes only the ground floor are ready and occupied whilst some ground work for the top floor lay ready for some time in the future when construction could resume.

One thing all these buildings that are under construction had in common was that they always had a doll or a teddy bear on a stick at the top of the houses. A few guesses comes immediately to mind – these might be the local belief / custom to ward off evil whilst the place is being constructed. Here are some photos:

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A quick Google search and here's what I found out: it's called a Dordolec. "The dordolec is used to protect against a look of envy that is believed to cause real and sudden damage to valued possessions including the home, livestock, and even children." It's an Albanian folk tradition that become popular again only recently.

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