Pepa Hristova


Sworn Virgins
Albania 2008 and 2010

In Northern Albania, in the Cursed Mountains, said to have been created by the devil himself, to this day the tradition of the sworn virgins is still alive, the last man-women of Europe. The Kannun, a collection of laws from the Middle Ages, passed on for generations by word-of-mouth, permits families to replace the male head of the household with a woman in the case of the patriarch’s death, often brought about by clan-related blood feuds. Yet the woman’s new status requires her to make an irrevocable vow to preserve her virginity for the rest of her life…