Clan Structures

One of my ongoing research projects concerns the provenance, history, structure, and present-day saliency or just mere survival (if any) of clans and other traditional kinship groups among Chechens, Albanians and other often stereotyped ‘archaic’ peoples and communities; this research project already has brought its first distinct publications (book reviews, research notes and essays, etc.) as shown in page ‘Publications’. 

elsietribesalbaniaThus in some publications of mine, I use and refer to an extensive table that shows half a dozen major characteristics of 74 discrete and 3 composite Albanian tribes in Robert Elsie’s Tribes of Albania (I.B. Tauris, 2015): see for the original table robertelsietribesalbaniafeatureslist2018.

The explanation of the table’s categories and columns can be found in C. ten Dam, ‘What (Little) We Know about Albanian Tribes: Reflections and Tabulations’  Forum of EthnoGeoPolitics Vol.6 No.3, Winter 2018, pp.23-65.

This extensive table – and a simplified table shown in some of my publications – is constructed by me, not by Robert Elsie, though it closely follows Elsie’s sections and headings on:

Location of Tribal Territory; Population; Tribal Legendry, Ancestry and History; Travel Impressions (by foreign visitors); and (domestic, native) Figures of Note.

The characteristics of the better-known and documented tribes are described under all or most of these sections and headings in Elsie’s book, the lesser-known and documented ones only under some of these. Yet the table includes some more separate categories I have distinguished myself, on e.g. saliency of blood-feuds and miscellaneous facts, and some more intricate or nuanced information within the cells of the columns.

Reviewed and discussed source: Robert Elsie,  The Tribes of Albania: History, Society and Culture  London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2015