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Albanian Lahuta on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Father Gjegj Fishta
Written by Mark Gjoka* 20 Shtator 2021
It is said that when Father Gjergji was born, his father Ndoka welcomed him, playing the lute. The verbal information that comes to us through the song, tells us that the Lezha lahuta for centuries has calmed the waves of the Shengjin sea, as well as the storms and tragedies that came from beyond the Alps. It has healed the wounds of our people for more than about 5 thousand years.
"I am here the ancient tribe / Since the time of King Lis", says the song of the ancient Lezha lahuta. It is small as a structure, but very large in function, it was born in Malësia e Madhe and laid its roots in the entire territory of Upper Albania. The Albanian lahuta is one of the first musical instruments, which was born as a result of the need of the inhabitants of these lands to survive the glorious, heroic historical wars that the Albanians faced against the invaders who came from the sea and beyond the mountains.
Why? Because the invading world wondered what keeps this people so closely connected with these seas, plains, mountains, Drini, Lis forts, these lands. And this was the magic with the Albanian name Lahuta, where at the core of its name is the Illyrian-Lavde appellation, the song of the fairies dedicated to myths, heroes in defense of life and homeland. Today Lezha has become very beautiful, becoming a visitable destination for about 2 million visitors. In its center has erected the monument of the myth of the Lezha fairy, the monument of the lute, which Father Gjergj Fishta scientifically protected as the symbol of the identity of our people, one of the oldest in the Balkans. And this lute says to everyone today: "Welcome to the new magic of the kingdom of ancient Lis". The Greeks came, tried to destroy us and stole our history, the deities, our myths and cultural heritage, even changed our name from Lis to Lisos. They flee, but taking with them our whole civilization. We were conquered by the Romans, they destroyed the civilization we had built, the gymnasiums and institutions, they changed our name by writing it to us in Lysus. They leave leaving us their religion, but taking with us our gods, faith, deities, mythology and our cultural heritage. We were conquered by the Byzantines and left to destroy everything we rebuilt after the Roman conquest. They banned by law every Albanian heritage, all the folk instruments of the ethnocultural region of Lezha, in order to eradicate the song, our history. But the lahuta survived there in the mountains of the Great Highlands. The Slavs came and conquered us around the 6th century, which was the most vandalized conquest so far because, from this century the Slavs and later, after the Slavs came the Turkish occupation of our country, the process of assimilation as a nation began. By attacking our language, culture, writing, thought, history and cultural heritage, our entire civilization. In Lezha, the Slavs alienated the names of people, places, cities, everything that was Arbnorian and Illyrian. And when they failed to assimilate Lezha, they did their best to "abandon" its history, to make it their history. On the model of the Albanian lute, they created their lute by making it Slavic gusla (they are cheeky, but tireless for their face). They set up their cultural circles in Lezha, forcibly introducing the name and form of their gusle in the cultural life of Lezha, to show the world that there is no Albanian lute, but only Slavic gusel. They changed the name of Lis to Ljes. The Venetians came and named Alesio Lis. During the Turkish occupation, in the process of forcibly assimilating the nation, the name Lis became Les-Lesh. Everyone tried to get the lahuta. When the oral information of the Albanian song proved that Lisi was very early, the legend says that the songs of the Iliad, the Illyrian star who was separated ... were sung for the first time with the Albanian lute in Lezha long before these brothers conquered Lezha . We say song, because every other document on the history of Albania written by Albanians, all the invaders from that gal and Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and especially Slavic, Venetian and Turkish, burned, destroyed, took away, i they disappeared and when they could not take them with them, they were buried underground. Or they alienated it by making it their property. As is happening today with the Albanian lute, that Serbs are listed in UNESCO as Serbian guslen. That some Albanian scholars are aging with the lute of Malësia e Madhe and still mingling with the Greek-Turkish-Slavic theses, that the lute came to Albania very late. And some younger scholars, who have defended their doctorates in Slavic, Greek, Turkish universities, or "visited" their doors, have come up with the theory that we have nothing to do with the lute. But with singing under the accompaniment of the lute as a form of ancient art, which is simultaneous for the whole Balkans. And they add at the end - as a form of historical memory and cultural identity. Which means that Serbs have taken the history of our lahuta, making it part of their national identity. But that can not happen. The song of the Albanian lute does not forget the tragedies that the Slavs brought to the Albanians. Although today we respect the Serbs, we love them well, but the history of our relationship remains engraved in the Songs of the Kreshniks, that they did their best to eliminate or change their characters. It can not happen because it is Lahuta of Malësia e Madhe, which was taken from us by Montenegrins, Bosnians, Croats and so on, just as it revived the glory of the history of our people and today it speaks in its scientific and artistic language through the word and the song of Father Gjergj Fishta. "Even in the time before Illyria / Place here Arbnori and his son". That tell the story, that in the prehistoric kingdom of Lis, before the kings Agron, Teuta, Genti were the Illyrian-Pelasgian kings Arbni, Ar-ben, those who became the first goldsmiths in Europe, the Pirusts where Lisi was part. And the sons. And at a later time, thanks to the archeological studies of Lezha, the ancient coat of arms of the kingdom of Lis was discovered, the coin with the head of Zana, the head of the goat, which was the symbol of the kingdom of Lis. A symbol that the inhabitants of Lis place in the myth of the Albanian resistance, they place in their lute, close to the heart. The symbol of the goat head that through the lahuta lived about 2000 years of invasions and wars, without being able to destroy it, until our national hero Gjergj Kastrioti-Skënderbeu came and reborn once again our nation and its symbols, placing the symbol of the head of Lis's lah goat, in his helmet, which today is known all over the world as the Helmet of Gjergj Kastriot-Skënderbeu. And neither the Serbs, nor the Greeks, nor the Turks have the problem with the lute. They have their historic failure in the extinction of our nation and even used war, poisoning and assimilation. And with a tireless and very devilish hysteria, they try to remove the identity of being Albanian from the founder of the Albanian state, Gjergj Kastrioti-Skënderbeu. Without Gjergj Kastriot there is no Albanian history, cultural heritage, identity and state. At a time when today the world of globalization has states and their cultural heritage identities. And we, the workers of art and of our historical and cultural heritage, must study and work more and more scientifically and with patriotism, (not to sell our history), that lahuta fishtiane with its unique elements-Albanian identity, with the way of its construction and its melo rhythmic expression, of the theme from the prehistory that it grasps, to take the copyright of those who created it - the Albanians. Because it is the right of our identity as Albanians, within our state borders as part of the formative culture of European and world civilization. It is never too late to do good deeds in the service of our nation and world culture. Lezha, with all its capacities, associations, boards and operators, continues to produce forms and projects that help preserve and develop this heritage left to us by the teacher, writer, translator, poet, painter, playwright, prose writer , critic, historian, essayist, who for about half a century became the central figure of Albanian literature (since he was alive he was crowned poet of the nation), but also the chairman of the commission for drafting the alphabet in the Congress of Bitola, member of the Delegation of to the Albanian government at the Versailles Conference and deputy speaker of the Albanian legislature in 1921, the national lahutar At 'Gjergj Fishta. In this 150th anniversary, the Municipality of Lezha has set up the "Father Gjergj Fishta" Award Festival, so that both children and young people have their assets to be part of these cultural developments. But we also need the support of the Ministry of Culture for the projects of the Municipality of Lezha, so that October 23 becomes a national holiday. The father of the Lezha cultural heritage, Father Gjergj Fishta, is the blessing of the material and non-material cultural heritage of our nation. It is the Gjergj Fishta pantheon that in this 150th anniversary, creates new artistic and cultural dimensions for Lezha and the Albanian nation. But we also need the support of the Ministry of Culture for the projects of the Municipality of Lezha, so that October 23 becomes a national holiday. The father of the Lezha cultural heritage, Father Gjergj Fishta, is the blessing of the material and non-material cultural heritage of our nation. It is the Gjergj Fishta pantheon that in this 150th anniversary, creates new artistic and cultural dimensions for Lezha and the Albanian nation. But we also need the support of the Ministry of Culture for the projects of the Municipality of Lezha, so that October 23 becomes a national holiday. The father of the Lezha cultural heritage, Father Gjergj Fishta, is the blessing of the material and non-material cultural heritage of our nation. It is the Gjergj Fishta pantheon that in this 150th anniversary, creates new artistic and cultural dimensions for Lezha and the Albanian nation.
* Grand Master / [email protected]