Sworn Virgins: Photos of Women Living as Men in the Balkans

More

Jill Peters's portraits provide hints as to what life is like for women evading oppressive Albanian gender laws.

banner_balkans.jpg
Jill Peters

They cut off their hair, wear masculine clothing, and may even take a new name. Spotted by Feature Shoot, Jill Peters's Sworn Virgins of Albania project looks at women in the Balkans who have chosen a life of celibacy in order to avoid the oppressive laws of the Kanun, which forbids them from everything from voting and doing business to swearing and drinking.

"This practice continues today but as modernization inches toward the small villages nestled in the Alps, this archaic tradition is increasingly seen as obsolete," explains Peters, who is currently working on a documentary on the subject. "Only a few aging Sworn Virgins remain."


This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Caroline Stanley is managing editor at Flavorwire.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in The Sexes

Just In