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Piperi (tribe)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Piperi (Montenegrin/Serbian Cyrillic: Пипери) is a historical tribe (pleme) and region in northeastern Montenegro. Piperi is located between the Morača and Zeta rivers up to the northern suburbs of the Montenegrin capital Podgorica.



Oral traditions and fragmentary stories were collected by writers, who traveled in the region, about the early history of Piperi. An interdisciplinary and comparative approach of those stories with recorded historical material has yielded more historically-grounded accounts in 20th and 21st centuries.

Ethnologist Jovan Erdeljanović traveled to the region in the 19th century and made multiple surveys of the tribe in which he recorded many customs and traditions its members. He also recorded oral tradition from the members of the tribe itself, which regarded origins of the tribe and its brotherhoods. According to the oral tradition, after the fall of the Serbian Despotate in the 15th century, one nobleman called Gojko or Gojak, with his family, left southern Serbia and came to the Morača region. In the time after, four major brotherhoods of the Piperi originated from his family: Đurkovići, Lazarevići, Petrovići and Vukotići. Erdeljanović identified that the oral tradition originated from the part of the Piperi called Lutovci, who are majority in the tribe and concluded that they are newcomers who appeared in the tribe during the mentioned period, after the fall of the Despotate.[1] Later research from the Ottoman surveys in the 1485. and 1497. of the region, conducted by researcher Branislav Đurđev, confirmed his conclusions, as the tribe has seen substantial growth in the population which was from the newcomers who were Orthodox and had in majority Slavic names. Erdeljanović also recorded some older oral traditions from the tribes, which tied the tribe to the Lužani, for which he concluded that they originated from the parts of the Piperi, such as Mrke, which were there before have Lutovci arrived.[1][2]

Johann Georg von Hahn in the mid 19th century recorded oral tradition originated from the Albanians in the neighboring region of Triepshi, which also regarded Piperi's origins. According to it, the first direct male ancestor of the Triepshi was Ban Keqi son of Keq, a Catholic Albanian who fled from Ottoman conquest and settled in a Slavic-speaking area that would become the historical Piperi region. His sons, Lazër Keqi (ancestor of Hoti)), Ban Keqi (ancestor of Triepshi), Merkota Keqi, Kaster Keqi (ancestor of Krasniqi) and Vas Keqi (ancestor of Vasojevići) had to abandon the village after committing murder against the locals, but Keq and his younger son Piper Keqi remained there and Piper Keqi became the direct ancestor of the Piperi tribe.[3] The name of the first ancestor, Keq, which means bad in Albanian, is given in Malësia to only children or to children from families with very few children (due to infant mortality). In those families, an "ugly" name (i çudun) was given as a spoken talisman to protect the child from the "evil eye.[4]

Historical research has shown that Piperi is not a tribe (pleme) of common patrilineal ancestry.[5][2] It formed in the period between the mid 15th century and the 16th century by communities that settled in different periods in Piperi, where they also found an already settled population. Piperi appears in the defter of the Sanjak of Scutari in 1485 and in 1497. The population of Piperi more than doubled from 167 to 347 households from 1485 to 1497. 121 of those households were of unmarried men and 38 of widows. According to the researcher Selami Pulaha, this indicates that many of the newcomers were refugees from areas conquered in Montenegro and northern Albania. In the supplementary defter of 1497, there are several kin groups in the region of Piperi, which appears as a distinct nahiya divided in three timars under local Christian Ottoman spahis.[6] Many communities of the villages of Piperi were categorized as already settled or newcomers from other areas. In the villages, the communities formed clusters of households according to their kinship tries. This separation of settlements by kinship persisted even in the early 20th century. The villages of Piperi in 1497 were Luškožupa, Drezga, Strahalić, Belica, Moračica, Dug, Miračnica, Dobrico, Radučev do, Brestica, Dirnovica, Mrke.[2] The biggest distinct tribal communities that inhabited Piperi at the time were Lužani, Bukumiri, Bushati and others.[6] The Slavic anthroponymy at that time in Piperi is mainly attributed to the Lužani while the Albanian anthroponymy to Bukumiri, Bushati and some smaller communities.[6] Other communities like the Macure and the Mataruge had also settled in Piperi. Their traces can be identified mainly within the Lužani whom they had joined by that time in historical record. The toponym Macur jama (pit of Macura) in today's Piperi is linked to them.[7]


Piperi was first mentioned in Venetian documents at the beginning of the 15th century. Mariano Bolizza recorded in 1614 that the Piperi had a total of 270 houses, of Serbian Orthodox faith.[8] The 700 men in arms were commanded by Radoslav Božidarov. Giovanni Bembo, the Doge of Venice (1615–1618), had defeated the Serb pirates (Uskoks), whom the Austrians had employed against the Republic of Venice; they were forced to take refuge at Nikšić and Piperi, and established themselves in the villages and tribes, under the later leadership of the Petrović-Njegoš family that held the office of Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Cetinje (later Vladika, Prince-Bishop) after 1694.[9] They fought Osman Pasha in 1732, and Mahmut Pasha in 1788. They are mentioned as a "Serbian Orthodox clan" in a historical and geographical survey from 1757 and a letter sent by the Clan federation to Russia from 1789.[10] Documents, especially the letter of Ivan Radonjić from 1789, show that the Montenegrins were identified as Serbs, and that the Banjani, Kuči, Piperi, Bjelopavlići, Zećani, Vasojevići, Bratonožići were not identified as "Montenegrins" but only as Serb tribes. They were all mentioned only in a regional, geographical, and tribal manner, and never as an ethnic category.[11] In 1796 they fought Mahmut Pasha again, in the Battle of Martinići (in modern Danilovgrad). They fought Tahir Pasha around 1810.

Prince-Bishop Petar I (r. 1782-1830) waged a successful campaign against the bey of Bosnia in 1819; the repulse of an Ottoman invasion from Albania during the Russo-Turkish War led to the recognition of Montenegrin sovereignty over Piperi.[12] Petar I had managed to unite the Piperi and Bjelopavlići with Old Montenegro.[12] A civil war broke out in 1847, in which the Piperi, Kuci, Bjelopavlici and Crmnica sought to confront the growing centralized power of new prince of Montenegro; the secessionists were subdued and their ringleaders shot.[13] Amid the Crimean War, there was a political problem in Montenegro; Danilo I's uncle, George, urged for yet another war against the Ottomans, but the Austrians advised Danilo not to take arms.[14] A conspiracy was formed against Danilo, led by his uncles George and Pero, the situation came to its height when the Ottomans stationed troops along the Herzegovinian frontier, provoking the mountaineers.[14] Some urged an attack on Bar, others raided into Herzegovina, and the discontent of Danilo's subjects grew so much that the Piperi, Kuči and Bjelopavlići, the recent and still unamalgamated acquisitions, proclaimed themselves an independent state in July, 1854.[14] Danilo was forced to take measurement against the rebels in Brda, some crossed into Turkish territory and some submitted and were to pay for the civil war they had caused.[14]

Petar II Petrović-Njegoš founded the police force (gvardija) throughout the Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro, as part of his transformation from a tribal federation to a proper state; 26 existed in Piperi.[15]

Jovan Erdeljanović, a renowned Serbian ethnographer, stated that the four main bratstva (clans) of Rogami (a region corresponding to ancient Duklja), the Rajkovići, Stamatovići, Vučinići and Vukanovići, had become pobratim (blood brothers) and that they all venerated Archangel Michael as their patron saint (the Serbian Orthodox tradition of slava).[16]


Piperi was one of the tribes that constituted the "Greens" (Zelenaši), a political faction that saw the unification of Montenegro to Serbia in 1918, as the annexation of Montenegro, and instead supported an independent Montenegro. The Greens instigated the Christmas Uprising on January 7, 1919, which was crushed by Serbian troops.

During World War II the majority of the tribe supported the Yugoslav Partisans.[17] The Montenegrin committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party was dominated by Piperi clansmen prior to the war, and they were instigators of the July 1941 uprising. One of the most famous Piperi communists was Dr. Vukasin Markovic, a personal associate to Lenin, who came back after the October revolution from Russia to Montenegro, planning to stage a Soviet revolution. After its failure and his arrest, he fled to the USSR, where he assumed party duties.

Brotherhoods and families

  • Alagić
  • Aćimić
  • Božarić
  • Banović
  • Bašanović*
  • Bešević
  • Becić
  • Boljević
  • Bošković*
  • Božović
  • Bracanović
  • Brković
  • Žujović
  • Dakić
  • Dragićević
  • Dragišić
  • Đukić
  • Đurašević*
  • Đurović
  • Filipović
  • Gegić*
  • Gligorović
  • Goričan*
  • Grubeljić*
  • Ivanović
  • Ivančević
  • Jelenić
  • Jovanović
  • Jovović
  • Kaluđerović
  • Lakićević
  • Lakočević
  • Lačković
  • Lalić*
  • Ljumović
  • Makočević
  • Maudić
  • Marković
  • Matanović
  • Matović
  • Mijović
  • Miličković
  • Milićević
  • Milunović
  • Nikolić
  • Novaković
  • Hot
  • Otović
  • Hotović
  • Olević
  • Pajić
  • Petrović
  • Piletić
  • Popović
  • Pulević
  • Radević
  • Radonjić
  • Radovanović
  • Radunović*
  • Rajković
  • Raslović*
  • Ristović
  • Savović
  • Simović
  • Stanić*
  • Stojanović
  • Todorović
  • Tiodorović
  • Šćepanović
  • Šušović
  • Šujak
  • Vučinić
  • Vujović*
  • Vukanović
  • Vukotić
  • Šćekić
  • Vuletić*
  • Vuljević*
  • Vulikić
  • Vušutović*
  • Ćetković
  • Ćosić

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b Erdeljanović, Jovan (1907). Kuči, Bratonožići and Piperi. Belgrade: Serbian State Royal Printing house. pp. 244–332. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Đurđev, Branislav (1984). Postanak i razvoj brdskih, crnogorskih i hercegovačkih plemena (PDF). Podgorica, Montenegro: Montenegrin Academy of Science and Arts. pp. 21–45, 170–201. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  3. ^ Hahn 2015, p. 125-35.
  4. ^ Shkurtaj 2009, p. 390.
  5. ^ Zlatar 1990, p. 55.
  6. ^ a b c Pulaha, Selami (1974). Defter i Sanxhakut të Shkodrës 1485. Academy of Sciences of Albania. pp. 404, 430. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  7. ^ Palavestra, Vlajko (1971). "Folk traditions of the ancient populations of the dinaric regions". Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Bosnisch-Herzegowinischen Landesmuseums: Volkskunde. 1: 73. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  8. ^ Bolizza, Mariano. "Report and Description of the Sanjak of Shkodra". Retrieved 28 January 2020.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  9. ^ Ranke 1853, p. 422
  10. ^ Vujovic 1987, p. 172
  11. ^ Vukčević 1981, p. 46

    ... да Бан>ани, Дробн>аци, Кучи, Пи- пери, Б)елопавлићи, Зепани, Васо^евићи, Братоножићи нијесу Црно- горци. Они су сви поменути само као регионални односно географски и племенски појмови а никако као етничка категорща, при чему се ш^му Црна Гора не даје никакво преимућство над другима, осим што ^е Црна Гора ставлена на прво мјесто.

  12. ^ a b Miller, p. 142
  13. ^ Miller, p. 144
  14. ^ a b c d Miller, p. 218
  15. ^ Zlatar, p. 465
  16. ^ Zlatar, p. 575
  17. ^ Banac 1988, With Stalin against Tito, p. 171
  18. ^


This page was last edited on 22 September 2020, at 03:05
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