“Kulla e Pal Binoshit “

Laumentation of men is one of the most indigenous rites of the people of the Albanian Alps, which according to scholars is not found in other Balkan cultures. According to them, this ritual has its origins since the death of Gjergj Kastriot – Skanderbeg, the National Hero of the Albanians. However, ritual has been characterized as profoundly pagan. The men’s laumentation is performed by a group of not less than 10 men. As a ritual, laumentation is concentrated in the heart of the Albanian Alps (Dukagjin), less in Gjakova and  Ibalas of Puka. The dead man’s closest friend begins the game. Like Lekë Dukagjini struck his chest and tore his hair out of pain when Skanderbeg died, the friend of the laument  also publicly expressed the pain to the dead friend in an open environment. He associates mourning with bodily mischief, and even lashes his face with nails to express pain. The Canon of Leke Dukagjini, which codifies this ritual, stipulates that the laumentation is developed in three acts and that each act includes the formula / miserable me / Nine times in a row. Ten or more men are needed to perform this ritual. During the ritual, men chop off their breasts and scratch their faces, repeating: ” infelicitous me, my son / nephew / friend, depending on the deceased.” Laumentation serves not only to express the pain, but also to spread the bad news in the neighboring villages to those who come and greet the deceased’s family. This ritual was banned during the communist regime, but it has been revived  after 1990.