Open Access

Resilience at the border: traditional botanical knowledge among Macedonians and Albanians living in Gollobordo, Eastern Albania

  • Andrea Pieroni1Email author,
  • Kevin Cianfaglione2,
  • Anely Nedelcheva3,
  • Avni Hajdari4,
  • Behxhet Mustafa4 and
  • Cassandra L Quave5, 6
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine201410:31

DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-10-31

Received: 18 January 2014

Accepted: 18 February 2014

Published: 31 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Ethnobotany in South-Eastern Europe is gaining the interest of several scholars and stakeholders, since it is increasingly considered a key point for the re-evaluation of local bio-cultural heritage. The region of Gollobordo, located in Eastern Albania and bordering the Republic of Macedonia, is of particular interest for conducting ethnobiological studies, since it remained relatively isolated for the larger part of the 20th Century and is traditionally inhabited by a majority of ethnic Macedonians and a minority of Albanians (nowadays both sharing the Muslim faith).

Methods

An ethnobotanical survey focused on local food, medicinal, and veterinary plant uses was conducted with 58 participants using open and semi-structured interviews and via participant observation.

Results

We recorded and identified 115 taxa of vascular plants, which are locally used for food, medicinal, and veterinary purposes (representing 268 total plant reports). The Macedonian Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) was greater than the Albanian TEK, especially in the herbal and ritual domains. This phenomenon may be linked to the long socio-cultural and linguistic isolation of this group during the time when the borders between Albania and the former Yugoslavia were completely closed. Moreover, the unusual current food utilisation of cooked potatoes leaves, still in use nowadays among Macedonians, could represent the side effect of an extreme adaptation that locals underwent over the past century when the introduction of the potato crop made new strategies available for establishing stable settlements around the highest pastures. Additionally, the difference in use of Helichrysum plicatum, which is popular in the local Macedonian folk medicine but absent among Albanians, confirms the particular significance of this taxon as it relates to the yellow colour of its flowers in South Slavic folklore.

Conclusion

Botanical studies with an ethnographic approach are crucial for understanding patterns of use of plants within given cultures. Importantly, such studies can also allow for analysis of the dynamics of change in these TEK patterns over the time. The results of this study may be important as baseline data set to be used in rural development programs in Gollobordo, aimed at fostering community-based strategies of management of natural resources.

Keywords

Ethnobotany Albania Gollobordo Macedonians Potato leaves

Background

Ethnobiological studies conducted in recent years in Eastern Europe have highlighted complex, dynamic systems of folk botanical, mycological, and ecological knowledge [128].

This heritage is known in the ethnobiological literature as Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), which has been defined as a "cumulative body of knowledge, practice and belief evolving by adaptive processes and handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of living beings (including humans) with one another and with their environment” [29].

In particular, the portion of TEK concerning plants is nowadays increasingly considered crucial in South and South-Eastern Europe for fostering community-based strategies of management of natural resources. It may also represent the starting point for initiatives aimed at the reevaluation of local plants devoted to both small scale food and herbal markets and eco-touristic initiatives [3037]. Additionally, studies focused on plant uses that have been conducted in Eastern Europe with an in-depth historical or ethno-historical approach [38, 39] or via archival research and/or contemporary surveys conducted among botanists remembering their childhood [4044] have demonstrated how plant perceptions change over time, in response to a complex interplay of socio-cultural, environmental, and economic dynamics.

In the past few years, we have concentrated our research on the botanical knowledge overlaps and exchanges between South Slavs and Albanians in multi-cultural or bordering areas in South-Eastern Europe [26, 39] and on the resilience of TEK [45] among diasporas in the same area [46]. In these studies, we observed phenomena of hybridization of botanical knowledge, as well as a more “herbophilic” [47] attitude of the Slavs in comparison to the Albanians. In the current study, we wanted to further analyze the local botanical knowledge systems among Macedonians and Albanians living in the Gollobordo region, in Eastern Albania.

We could postulate that ethnic Macedonians in this area in Albania preserved much of their original folk botanical heritage because of their isolation in the past decades. This isolation was especially evident during the Communist period (1945–1991), both from the Albanian neighbors and also from those Macedonians, who remained after the creation of the Albanian state (1912) on the other side of the border (at the time within the territory of the Kingdom of Serbia, later Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and then Yugoslavia, nowadays Republic of Macedonia). Nevertheless, the fact that both the Albanian and Macedonian communities of Gollobordo share the same faith (Islam) for the most part, with some intermarriage in the past decades, there may have been some exchange of botanical knowledge. In order to assess all of this, we designed the objectives of this study to: 1) record traditional uses of local botanicals (both cultivated and wild) for food, medicine, and veterinary purposes among Macedonians and Albanians; 2) verify the occurrence of an expected richer, “more conservative” Macedonian ethnobotany; and 3) analyze differences and commonalities in the traditional plant knowledge between the two communities and to propose some explanatory models.

Methods

Study area

The current study was conducted in eight villages of the mountain of the Gollobordo area, in Eastern Albania, bordering the Republic of Macedonia (Figure 1); the focus was on three villages inhabited by ethnic Macedonians: Klenje (1,203 m.a.s.l), Gjinovec (1,252 m.a.s.l.), and Steblevë (1,200 m.a.s.l.) – this last village included within the newly established Shebenik–Jabllanice National Park, with an overall permanent population of approx. 300 inhabitants (while Gjinovec is only inhabited nowadays during the late spring and summer months); and three villages inhabited by Albanians: Sebisht (915 m.a.s.l.), Borovë (940 m.a.s.l.), and Zabzun (1,028 m.a.s.l.), with an overall permanent population of approx. 300 inhabitants as well. Additionally, in order to have a sample more adherent to the ethnic proportion of Gollobordo (for which more than two-thirds is inhabited by Macedonians), a few additional interviews were also conducted in the larger Macedonian villages of Ostren i madh (948 m.a.s.l., approx. 1000 inhabitants) and Trebisht (782 m.a.s.l., approx. 1,000 inhabitants).
Figure 1

The study area.

The local economy is based on small-scale farming and pastoralist activities, with a significant portion of the population that migrates to Tirana and/or other city centers and sometimes back for a few months in their villages only during the late spring and summer months (Figure 2). According to the Albanian Institute of Statistics data, Gollobordo and the entire Eastern and North-Eastern region of Albania (covering Peshkopia and Kukës counties) are among the economically poorest areas of not only the country, but also all of Europe [48]. All of the villages in the Gollobordo are nowadays permanently inhabited only by families of Islamic faith, while until the 1990s, most of the Macedonian villages also had an important Christian Orthodox component. The local dialect of the Macedonian minority, now spoken by less than 3,000 inhabitants, has been the focus of a number of studies conducted by Slavic linguists in the past Century. Two remarkable field ethnolinguistic and ethnographic studies have also been conducted in Gollobordo in recent years [49, 50].
Figure 2

Typical Macedonian house inhabited nowadays only in the late spring and summer season in Gjinovec (1,252 m.a.s.l.).

The climate of this area is continental, with very harsh temperatures and snowfall during the winter season. The landscape around these villages is dominated by low mountains covered by the Quercus frainetto woodland belt, and by the Fagus sylvatica woodland belt at higher elevations. Sometimes it is possible to find some woodland fragments of Quercus cerris (in soil containing more clay) and Castanea sativa (in more acidic soil); in addition, there is some reforestation by Pinus nigra, probably carried out during the Communist period (1945–1991). The landscape is also covered by large extensions of secondary patches of semi-natural dry and humid grassland. A riparian marshy vegetation is found along the valleys, which is frequently fragmented and residual, dominated by some species of Salix, such as S. alba, S. eleagnos (sometimes really large) and, less frequently, S. purpurea. In the secondary succession, it is easy to find some different shrub species such as Corylus avellana, Cornus mas, Juniperus communis, Crataegus monogyna, Crataegus sericea and Juniperus oxycedrus. Up to the village of Klenje, within a high plateau, we could observe a large population of Prunus cocomilia.

The main herbal vegetation in the villages is anthropogenic, with ruderal/nitrophylic species and cultivars like Vitis labrusca, some fruit trees (esp. Prunus species) and some vegetables; Vitis labrusca is traditionally cultivated climbing on trees with light pruning.

The main trees are situated in a gradient between wild and domesticated conditions: Fraxinus excelsior, Quercus cerris, Q. frainetto (mostly as totem trees), Prunus avium, P. domestica, P. cerasus, P. cerasifera, Juglans nigra, Cydonia oblonga, Malus domestica, Pyrus communis, Robinia pseudoacacia, Populus nigra, Ailanthus altissima, Syringa vulgaris, Acer campestre, while the most common shrubs are Rosa canina s.l. and Rubus hirtus, R. caesius, R. ulmifolius, and Clematis vitalba.

Field study

In May 2013, in-depth open and semi-structured interviews were conducted with community members (n = 58, 43 Macedonians and 15 Albanians; age between 9 and 87 years old), which were selected using snowball sampling techniques. Study participants were asked about traditional uses of food, medicinal, veterinary, and ritual plants (in use until a few decades ago or still in use nowadays) via semi-structured and open interviews, walks in the natural environment in the proximity of the villages together with informants, and participant observation within the households. Specifically, local name(s) of each quoted taxon, the plant part(s) used, in-depth details about its/their manipulation/preparation and actual medicinal or food use(s) were recorded. Interviews were conducted in Albanian or Macedonian languages with the help a bilingual simultaneous translator. Prior informed consent was always verbally obtained prior to conducting interviews and researchers adhered to the ethical guidelines of the American Anthropological Association [51]. During the interviews, informants were always asked to show the quoted plants. Voucher specimens were taken for the wild taxa, when available, and are deposited at the herbarium of the School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Camerino, Italy (Herbarium Universitatis Camerinensis; acronym: CAME).

Taxonomic identification was conducted according to the official Flora of Albania [5255] and the previous Albanian Excursion Flora [56]. For Crataegus spp. we referred to the Rosaceae’s taxonomy in Euro + Med PlantBase [57]. Family assignations follow the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III system [58]. Local plant names were transcribed following the rules of the standard Ghegh Albanian and Macedonian languages.

Results and discussion

Overall, we recorded the local uses of 116 taxa of vascular plants; we documented 268 plant reports, 105 for food, 87 for human medicine, and 76 for veterinary applications.

Given the variety of means through which data were elicited in the field, detailed cultural importance, frequency and consensus indexes, which do always require consistently performed interviews, were not considered in the data analysis.

However, in the tables and in the data used for the comparison we included only plant uses reported by at least two informants, as well as those uses, which were quoted by the majority of the interviewees.

Food plants

The food use of 55 taxa were recorded, 25 of which are wild or semi-domesticated (Table 1).
Table 1

Local food plant uses recorded in the study area

Taxon, family and voucher specimen code

Recorded Albanian folk name(s)

Recorded Macedonian folk name(s)

Status

Plant part(s) used

Traditional modalities of consumption and other recorded information

Alb

Mac

Allium cepa L.

Qepa

Кромид

C

AP; Bu

Raw and cooked (traditionally filling for pies made with corn flour - byrekALB/komatMAC)

+

+

Amaryllidaceae

Allium porrum L.

Pras

Праз

C

AP

Filling for pies

+

 

Amaryllidaceae

Allium sativum L.

Hurdhëra

Лук

C

Bu

Seasoning

+

+

Amaryllidaceae

Atriplex hortensis L.

Laboda

Лабода, Лобода

C

L

Filling for pies

+

+

Amaranthaceae

Beta vulgaris L.

Panxhari

 

C

R

Ingredient for making halva*

+

 

Amaranthaceae

    

L

Filling for pies

 

+

Brassica oleracea L.

Liakër, Liakra

Зелка, Расол

C

L

Pickled/lacto-fermented in water and salt); the liquid resulting from of the lacto-fermentation (rasol) was eaten with bread by the poorest community members*

+

+

Brassicaceae

     

Sarma

+

 
    

L

Filling for pies

 

+

Capsicum annuum L.

Spec

Пиперка

C

Fr

Cooked

+

 

Solanaceae

     

Lacto-fermented in water and salt or in yogurt ricotta

+

+

Castanea sativa Mill.

Kostenja

 

W

Fr

Boiled or roasted

+

+

Fagaceae

CAME 26314

Cornus mas L.

Thana

Дрен

W

Fr

Fermented and distilled into raki

+

+

Cornaceae

CAME 26279

     

Fermented into vinegar

+

+

     

Syrup and compote (dried fruits boiled with water and sugar)

+

+

     

Concentrated syrup/soft jam (pekmez)

+

 
     

Jam

 

+

     

(Fermented?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours (the resulting beverage is kind of a fruit soda, which is kept in the fridge or in the cellar; considered very healthy, is often consumed adding sugar)

 

+

Corylus avellana L.

Leithija

Лешник

W

Se

Raw and dried

+

+

Betulaceae

CAME 26242

Crataegus monogynaJacq.

Cut, Murriz

Глогиня, Глогиня дива (C. monogyna), Глогиня питома (C. sericea)

W

Fr

Snack

 

+

Rosaceae

  

CAME 26280

  

Crataegus sericea Dzekov §

  

Rosaceae

  

CAME 26278

     

Fermented beverage

 

+

     

Fermented into raki

 

+

Cucumis sativus L.

Kastravec

Kраставицa

C

Fr

Pickled/lacto-fermented (in water and salt)

+

+

Cucurbitaceae

CAME 26291

Cucurbita maxima Duch

Kungull

Tиква

C

Fr

Filling for pies; pickled/lacto-fermented (in water and salt)

+

+

Cucurbitaceae

Cydonia oblonga Mill.

Ftoi

Дуња

C

Fr

Jams (sometimes prepared dipping in a preliminary procedure the fruits pieces in water and lime, then boiling with sugar, so that the fruit pieces remained hard at the end)

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26290

     

Compote (fruits boiled with water)

 

+

     

Fermented (?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours (the resulting beverage is kind of fruit soda, which is kept in the fridge or in the cellar

 

+

Daucus carota L.

  

C

R

Lacto-fermented in water and salt

+

 

Apiaceae

CAME 26208

Fagus sylvatica L.

Ahu

Бук

W

K

Raw as snack (however, consumption of large amounts may generate headaches)*

+

+

Fagaceae

CAME 26249

    

Wo

Fuel for smoking meat

+

 

Fragaria × ananassa Duch. ex Rozier

Lule shtrydhe

 

C

Fr

Raw

+

 

Rosaceae

Fragaria vesca L.

Derthea, Dirthene

Ягодка, Ягода

W

Fr

Raw

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26247

Helianthus tuberosus L.

 

Шалгун

SD

T

Raw or cooked

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26312

Hordeum vulgare L.

Elb

Jaчмен

C

Frfl

Bread (mixed with rye flour)*

+

 

Poaceae

    

Fr

Roasted and decocted, as a kind of coffee

+

 

Juglans regia L.

Arra

Орев

SD; C

K

Raw, or various cakes

+

+

Juglandaceae

CAME 26238

Juniperus communis L.

Dllinja

Смрека

W

Fr

Fermented and distilled into raki

+

+

Cupressaceae

CAME 26253

     

Seasoning ingredient for lacto-fermented vegetables

 

+

Lactuca sativa L.

Sallata

Лоштика

C

L

Raw of filling for pies

 

+

Asteraceae

Malus domestica Borkh.

Molla (Molla e kuqe, Sterkinka)

Јаболка (италианска, кисели, Ренета, Штерка)

C

Fr

Raw and dried (hoshaf)

+

+

Rosaceae

 

CAME 26236

     

Sliced and dried; consumed boiled

 

+

    

Fr

Fermented and distilled in raki

+

 

Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill.

Molla e egër

Дива Јаболка

W

Fr

Dried (hoshaf)

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26288

     

Fermented into vinegar

+

+

Medicago sativa L.

Jonxha

 

C

L

Cooked, as an emergency (famine) food*

+

 

Fabaceae

CAME 26292

Morus alba L.

Mani

Mурвинка

C

Fr

Jams and compote

+

 

Moraceae

CAME 2631

     

Fermented and distilled into raki

+

 

Phaseolus vulgaris L.

Fasulja, Grosh

Грав

C

Fr; Se

Cooked

+

+

Fabaceae

    

L

Filling for pies

 

+

     

Sarma

 

+

    

UF

Cooked, filling for pies

 

+

Prunus cerasifera Ehrh.

Kumbullë Elbasani, Kumbullë kokormadhe

Слива Елбасанска

SD

Fr

Fermented and distilled in raki

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26266

     

Fermented (?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours

+

 
     

Jam

 

+

Prunus avium (L.) L.

Qershija

Цреша (питома)

C

Fr

Raw

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26240

Prunus cerasus L.

CAME 26298

Rosaceae

     

Jams

+

+

     

Compote (fruits boiled with water and sugar)

 

+

     

Fermented (?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours (the resulting beverage is kind of fruit soda, which is kept in the fridge or in the cellar)

 

+

     

Dye for hard boiled eggs to which are consumed on St. George’s Day, as a good omen

 

+

Prunus cerasus var. marasca (Host) Vis.

Qershija e egër

Дива цреша

W; C

Fr

Raw

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26299

Prunus cocomilia Ten.

 

Дива слива

W

Fr

Fermented and distilled into raki

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26277

Prunus domestica L.

Kumbulla

Слива (блага, магарица, жолта, синица)

C

Fr

Raw and dried

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26239

     

Fermented and distilled into raki

+

+

     

Jam

+

+

     

Fermented (?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours (the resulting beverage is kind of fruit soda, which is kept in the fridge or in the cellar)

 

+

Prunus spinosa L.

Kolumbria, Kurmulia

Дива слива

W

Fr

Gathered after the frost and consumed raw as snack, or fermented and distilled into raki, or transformed into a compote

+

 

Rosaceae

CAME 26260

Pyrus communis L.

Dardha

Kруша

C

Fr

Raw and dried

+

 

Rosaceae

CAME 26306

     

Compote (fruits boiled with water and sugar)

 

+

     

Jam

+

 
     

Fermented and distilled into raki

+

 
     

Fermented (?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours (the resulting beverage is kind of fruit soda, which is kept in the fridge or in the cellar)

 

+

Pyrus pyraster (L.) Burgsd.

Dhardhë e egër, Gorrica

Дива круша

W

Fr

Gathered after the frost, ripened on straw, and consumed dried or in compote

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26244

Pyrus amygdaliformis Vill.

Rosaceae

CAME 26316

     

Jam

 

+

Ribes multiflorum Kit. ex Roem. et Schult.

 

Диво грозje

W

Fr

Snack

 

+

Grossulariaceae

CAME 26263

Rubus idaeus L.

 

Малина

W; C

Fr

Snack

 

+

Rosaceae

CAM 26321

     

Syrup and compote (fruits boiled with water)

 

+

Rubus hirtus Waldst. et Kit.

Fermoza, Manaferra

Капина

W

Fr

Raw and jams

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26258

Rubus ulmifolius Schott

Rosaceae

CAME 26310

Rubus caesius L.

Rosaceae

CAME 26245

     

Syrup and compote (fruits boiled with water)

 

+

     

Fermented and distilled in raki

+

 

Rumex acetosa L.

Ufull, Uthull

Киселец

W

L

Boiled, then in filling for pies (byrekALB/komatMAC) or as vegetables cooked with rice and dairy products (buranjeALB/zeljeMAC); traditionally dried and then used during the whole winter

 

+

Polygonaceae

CAME 26243

Rumex conglomeratus

Murray

CAME 26286

Polygonaceae

     

Infusion: to be used for preparing yogurt (if starter culture is missing)

 

+

    

L; St

Snack

+

+

Rumex patientia L.

Lepjeta

Щавел

W

L

Boiled, then used filling for pies or as vegetables cooked with dairy products; traditionally dried and then used during the winter

+

+

Polygonaceae

CAME 26285

Secale cereale L.

Thekna

Рж

C

Frfl

Mixed with corn flour: bread, esp. in the past*

+

+

Poaceae

    

Fr

Roasted and decocted, as a kind of coffee

+

 

Solanum lycopersicum L.

Domate, Patlixhan kuqe

Црвени патлиџани

C

UF

Lacto-fermented in water and salt

+

+

Solanaceae

 
    

Fr

Raw and cooked

+

+

    

L

Cooked (emergency/famine food)*

+

 

Solanum melongena L.

Patlixhan i zezë

Црни патлиџани

C

Fr

Cooked

+

 

Solanaceae

Solanum tuberosum L.

Patate

Компири

C

T

Cooked

+

+

Solanaceae

    

YL

Filling for pies (only in the past among Albanians)*. The bitter taste is particularly appreciated by the Macedonian communities; young potatoe leaves are the most common filling for the traditional pie (komat) in June, after the young nettle’s season end

+

+

     

Sarma

 

+

Taraxacum officinale Weber ex F.H. Wigg.

Qumështore

Млечак, Млекаица, Жело

W

L

Salads

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26289

Urtica dioica L.

Hjeth, Hisel, Hithra, Hith

Коприва

W

YL

Boiled, then used in filling for pies or cooked with rice and dairy products

+

+

Urticaceae

CAME 26262

Vaccinium myrtillus L.

Borovnica, Rrush i egër

Диво грозje, Цршине

W

Fr

Snack

+

+

Ericaceae

  
     

Fermented into a fruit soda-like beverage

 

+

     

Compote

 

+

Vitis labrusca L.

Rrush (variety Çelek)

Грозje (Шилек)

C

Fr

Fermented into wine or vinegar

+

+

Vitaceae

CAME 26265

     

Concentrated juice (pekmez)

 

+

     

Fermented (?) beverage obtained boiling the fruits in water for a few hours (the resulting beverage is kind of fruit soda, which is kept in the fridge or in the cellar

 

+

    

L

Sarma

+

+

Zea mays L.

Misër

Пченка

C

Frfl

Bread, pies

+

+

Poaceae

    

YL

Filling for pies

 

+

Diverse tree species

  

W; C

WA

Added to flour, water, and eggs for producing home-made noodles (jufka)

+

 
     

As a disinfectant, rubbed onto the sheep’s stomach before it is cooked and eaten

 

+

     

Added to water when boiling corn

 

+

§: first record of the species in Albania.

In bold: folk taxa quoted by more than 40% of the informants.

C: cultivated; SD: semi-domesticated; W: wild.

*: past use.

+: recorded use.

Plant part(s) used: AP aerial parts; Bu bulbs; Fr fruits; Frfl flour from fruits; K kernels; L leaves; R roots; Se seeds; St stems; T tubers; UF unripe fruits; Wo wood; WA ashes from wood; YL young leaves.

Among the most uncommon uses, we have to mention the use of potato leaves, both for sarma (leaves rolled around a minced meat and rice filling) and especially as filling for white corn-flour based pies (laknur or byrek in Albanian, komat in Macedonian), which is still very common among the Macedonians living in the highest villages of Gollobordo, while among Albanians this was remembered as a past use only. We found this use of potato leaves as filling for savory pies to be quite common in Gollobordo in June, after the “nettle season” (Urtica dioica), which is the primary wild plant used in the early spring, while Rumex spp. dominates later in the season as a pie filling ingredient. We recently found a similar relictual use among the last Albanians living in the upper Reka valley, on the Macedonian side of Mount Korab [39].

The archaeologist Michael Galaty and his team have recently conducted intensive field research in the mountainous Shala Valley in Northern Albania. Galaty has proposed that the Little Ice Age and the introduction of maize, which took place in the Balkans starting from the 16th Century [59, 60], played a crucial role in the remarkable demographic expansion in this area in the 17th and 18th Century [61]. We believe that the introduction of the potato crop (Solanum tuberosum) in the mountainous areas of the Western Balkans and in the Gollobordo area (presumably at the end of the 19th Century) may have also similarly determined a remarkable vertical expansion of the inhabited landscape, offering locals for the first time in the history of the region the possibility to permanently colonize and settle the higher pastures. As a side-effect of this shift, which was sustained by an increase of food resources (dairy products and potatoes), the leaves of the potato plant may have also been considered as a vegetable, especially in the spring, where this would have largely become available and when not many other green leafy vegetables are available (apart from wild nettles and Rumex spp.). The toxic glycoalkaloid content of the potato leaves could perhaps be reduced by the way in which they are traditionally collected and prepared. Only the young leaves are gathered and they are boiled in water before being used as a pie filling. Indeed, research on the chemistry of S. tuberosum leaves has demonstrated that glycoalkaloid content (measured by levels of α-solanine and α-chaconine) are at their lowest in the young leaves, with those appearing on the most distal-location of the stem having the overall lowest glycoalkaloid content [62]. However, the boiling step likely reduces small level of the overall glycoalkaloid content, thus the final product would be expected to contain a somewhat bitter quality, and indeed, our participants confirmed that the pie made with potato leaves is appreciated exactly because of its “bitter taste”.

On the other hand, the consumption of “bitter” potatoes (with high glycoalkaloid contents) has been well discussed by Timothy Johns [63] for the case of the Aymara population in Southern America, where bitter potato varieties (jank’o and luq’i) were often eaten unprocessed after the harvest.

Other important uncommon cultivated food sources we found included the young leaves of corn (Zea mays) as pie filling, and bean leaves for use in sarma. Upon consideration of trees, the rare food use of Prunus cocomilia for producing home-made raki should be better analyzed under the viewpoint of sensory analysis for possible local economic development outcomes. In fact, the local know-how on mixing, fermenting, and home-distilling various Prunus tree fruits in Gollobordo, as in other areas of the Balkans, seems to be extremely sophisticated.

Medicinal plants

The recorded local uses of 53 medicinal plant taxa are reported in Table 2. It is worthwhile to mention the case of Helichrysum plicatum (Figure 3), which is the most quoted taxon among the Macedonians of Gollobordo. Within this ethnic group, this medicinal herb is the most frequently used remedy as it is applied in the treatment of many diseases as a kind of panacea. The high cultural consensus concerning the use of Helichrysum spp. in the Macedonian and Bulgarian medical folklore is remarkable in the scientific literature. A number of folk names referred to this taxon in Bulgarian retain the root “smil”, which has the meaning of physical beauty and health; moreover, in Bulgarian folk medicine, this taxon has been considered to be a real panacea and is often used for many purposes: as a diuretic, against dropsy, liver diseases, jaundice, stagnation of blood in the abdomen, tinnitus, low blood pressure, bone spikes, rheumatism, sciatica, rickets, worms, deafness and for treating skin diseases [64, 65]. The ritual use of this plant in the South Slavic folklore is often linked to the bright yellow color of its flowers, which symbolizes sun and light, virginity, moral purity, and mercy in the Balkan folkloric tradition [66]. In Bulgaria, Helichrysum had to be collected in the morning of Georgyovden (corresponding to St. George’s day, May 6th) and were sewn into the hem of garments as an amulet. In order to prevent jaundice in newborns, a bunch of Helichrysum was placed under the infant’s pillow. The flowering aerial parts of this plant were used in wedding bouquets and the plant is mentioned in wedding songs and used as a sign of marriage [65, 67]. Additionally, flowers of Helichrysum were believed to be able to provide a girl with a fiancé; according to this belief, while the flower is fresh, the girl will be a maiden, when it has withered – she will be engaged, and when it is dried – she will marry [65].
Table 2

Medicinal local plant uses recorded in the study area

Taxon, family and voucher specimen code

Folk name(s) recorded among Albanians

Folk name(s) recorded among Macedonians

Status

Plant part(s) used

Recorded modalities of medicinal uses(s) and treated pathologies

Alb

Mac

Achillea collina (Becker ex Rchb.f.) Heimerl

 

Бело цвеkе

W

Fl

Decoction: cicatrizing on wounds

 

+

Asteraceae

Achillea millefolium L.

Asteraceae

CAME 26294

Allium cepa L.

#

#

C

J

Instilled in the ear for treating earaches

 

+

Amaryllidaceae

Allium porrum L.

#

#

C

AP

Heated, mixed with water and salt, to externally treat chilblains

 

+

Amaryllidaceae

    

J

Instilled in the ear for treating earaches

+

 

Allium sativum L.

#

#

C

Bu

Consumed as an anti-hypertensive

+

+

Amaryllidaceae

     

To be worn as amulet against the evil-eye in the or in necklaces (sysh, naok)

+

+

Arum italicum Mill.

Shakulliza

 

W

Fr

Infusion: arthritis

+

 

Araceae

Asplenium trichomanes L.

Fier guri

 

W

L

Infusion: diuretic

+

+

Aspleniaceae

CAME 26293

Bovista sp.

Fenë arrushe, Fushkaica

Пуша

W

DFB

Externally applied on wounds

+

+

Agaricaceae

Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.

 

Овцец

W

AP

Fodder

 

+

Asteraceae

Cornus mas L.

#

#

W

Fr

Consumed as snack for strengthening the heart

 

+

Cornaceae

CAME 26279

     

Fermented into vinegar, applied on the breast: anti-fever

+

 
     

Fermented and distilled in raki, drunk: anti-asthmatic; believed to able to treat “seven” diseases

 

+

    

FB

As part of the lule ditvere (“flower of the summer”) bunch, which is hang in March on the churn and on the stable doors, as a good omen for the diary production

+

+

Corylus avellana L.

#

#

W

FB

As part of the lule ditvere (“flower of the summer”) bunch, which is hung in March on the churn, as a good omen for the dairy production

 

+

Betulaceae

CAME 26242

Crataegus monogyna Jacq.

#

#

W

Th

Externally applied: for treating snake bites

+

 

Rosaceae

CAME 26280

Crataegus sericea Dzekov§

Rosaceae

CAME 26278

    

L; F

Infusion: for treating headaches, insomnia, hypertension, anti-rheumatic, anti-cancer

 

+

    

Fr

Decoction: cardiotonic, stomachaches, anti-fever, anti-rheumatic

 

+

    

FB

As part of the lule ditvere (“flower of the summer”) bunch, which is hung in March on the churn and on the stable doors, as a good omen for the dairy production; same at St. George’s day (May 6th )

 

+

Cruciata laevipes Opiz

Gjak edhe qumësht

 

W

AP

Crushed, mixed with salt, and given as fodder to the sheep at St. George’s Day (May 6th): considered propitiatory for the good health of the animals

+

 

Rubiaceae

CAME 26276

Cydonia oblonga Mill.

#

#

C

L

Infusion: stomachache

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26290

Euphorbia characias L.

Rrydh, Shpengull

Лишај

W

R

As part of the lule ditvere (“flower of the summer”) bunch, which is hang on the churn, as a good omen for the diary production

+

+

Euphorbiaceae

CAME 2628

Fraxinus excelsior L.

 

Jасика

W

L

Infusion: diuretic

 

+

Oleaceae

CAME 26304

Helleborus odorus Waldst. et Kit. ex Willd.

Kukurek, Lule ditvere

Кукурек

W

R

Inserted on the horse ear: panacea

+

 

Ranunculaceae

CAME 26282

    

F

As part of the lule ditvere (“flower of the summer”) bunch, which is hang on the churn, as a good omen for the dairy production

+

+

Helichrysum plicatum DC. and other Helichrysum species

Borsillok i verdhë

Свилен

W

FAP

Infusion: appetizing, stomachaches, as a digestive, anti-diarrheal, cardiotonic, diuretic, anti-moths

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26274

     

Infusion: hepatitis

+

 

Hypericum perforatum L.

 

Балсам

W

FAP

Infusion: stomachache

 

+

Hypericaceae

CAME 26270

Juglans regia L.

#

#

SD

UF

Infusion: for treating hyperthyroidism

 

+

Juglandaceae

CAME 26238

     

Crushed, externally applied on the hair as dyeing agent

+

+

Juniperus communis L.

#

#

W

Fr

Infusion: diuretic, stomach-aches, anti-cold, bechic

 

+

Cupressaceae

CAME 26253

     

Fermented and distilled into raki, which is drunk for treating asthma

 

+

Juniperus oxycedrus L.

 

Смрека

W

Fr

Infusion: bechic

+

 

Cupressaceae

CAME 26267

Malus domestica Borkh.

#

#

C

Fr

Sliced and dried; consumed boiled for treating stomachache

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26236

Malva sylvestris L.

 

Леблебија

W

Fr

Snack

 

+

Malvaceae

CAME 26295

Matricaria chamomilla L.

Kamomill

 

W

FT

Infusion: recreational

+

 

Asteraceae

Melissa officinalis L.

Bosillek Micël

 

C

AP

Infusion: headaches

 

+

Lamiaceae

CAME 26235

     

Infusion in external washes for newlyweds, as a good omen

+

 
     

High dosage to be avoided by males, who could lose their libido

 

+

Nicotiana tabacum L.

Duhan

 

C

L

Dried and ground (tobacco), externally applied on wounds

+

 

Solanaceae

Orchis spp.

Salep

Салеп

W

R

Dried, powdered, then in decoction: panacea, reconstituent (often consumed with bread); to improve fertility in males

+

+

Orchidaceae

     

Dried, powdered, then in decoction: hepatitis

 

+

Origanum vulgare L.

Bozillek i malit, Çaj i malit, Çaj i zi, Çaj veni

Планински чај

W

FT

Infusion: recreational, anti-flu, bechic

+

+

Lamiaceae

       

CAME 26233

       
     

Infusion: anti-hepatitis

+

 
     

Infusion: for treating stomachaches, panacea

+

 

Phaseolus vulgaris L.

#

#

C

Se

Half beans are applied on the skin affected by a dog bite; when the beans fall off, the wound is healed

+

 

Fabaceae

Plantago lanceolata L.

Bar prenash, Dell, Lulë dheli, Premie

Жилавец

W

L

Crushed and topically applied on wounds: haemostatic

+

+

Plantaginaceae

 

CAME 26284

 

Plantago major L.

 

CAME 26261

Plantaginaceae

     

Infusion: for treating stomachaches

 

+

Primula veris L.

Lulë aguliçe, Lula dasht, Sgarifet

Гороцвеке

W

FAP

Infusion: panacea, cough

 

+

Primulaceae

CAME 26317

     

Infusion: intestinal troubles in kids

 

+

     

Infusion: externally applied on eye inflammations

 

+

Prunus domestica L.

#

#

C

Fr

Fermented and distilled in raki, topically applied, especially for wounds

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26239

     

Fermented and distilled into raki, which is drunk hot with sugar for treating cold

 

+

     

Fermented and distilled into raki, externally applied with salt for treating toothache

 

+

Prunus spinosa L.

 

#

W

Fr

Infusion: anti-rheumatic and anti-fever

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26260

     

Infusion: stomachache anti-diarrheal

+

 

Pyrus pyraster (L.) Burgsd.

#

#

W

Fr

Decoction of the dried fruits with sugar: stomachaches

 

+

Rosaceae

       

CAME 26244

       

Pyrus amygdaliformis Vill.

       

Rosaceae

       

CAME 26316

       

Ribes multiflorum Kit. ex Roem. et Schult.

 

#

W

Fr

Consumed as snack and for treating digestive discomfort

 

+

Grossulariaceae

       

CAME 26263

       

Rosa canina L. s.l.

Karametha, Kroc, Kroza

Шипинка

W

Fr

Infusion: panacea

+

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26237

     

Infusion: anti-diarrheal, stomachaches

 

+

     

Infusion: sore throats, bechic, flu

+

+

     

Infusion: to treat “seven diseases”, blood depurative, diuretic, cardiotonic, anti-fever

 

+

Rubus hirtus Waldst. et Kit.

#

#

W

Fr

Oleolite in topical application: anti-haemorrhoidal

+

 

Rosaceae

CAME 26258

Rubus ulmifolius Schott

Rosaceae

CAME 26310

Rubus caesius L.

Rosaceae

CAME 26245

     

Fermented and distilled into raki, which is considered cardiotonic

 

+

    

L

Infusion: for treating stomachaches, anti-diarrheal, esp. in children

+

 
    

Sh

Externally applied on skin for treating infections

+

 

Sambucus ebulus L.

 

Див боз

W

Fr

Externally for treating herpes

 

+

Adoxaceae

CAME 26254

Sideritis raeseri Boiss. et Heldr.

Çai i bardhë, Çai mali

 

W

FAP

Infusion: flu

+

 

Lamiaceae

CAME 26281

Solanum tuberosum L.

#

#

C

T

Externally applied (in slices) for treating eye inflammations or head-aches*

 

+

Solanaceae

Taraxacum officinale Weber ex F.H. Wigg.

#

#

W

Fl

As part of the lule ditvere (“flower of the summer”) bunch, which is hung on the churn, as a good omen for the diary production

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26289

Thymus longicaulis C. Presl.

 

Полски чаj

W

AP

Infusion: panacea

 

+

Lamiaceae

CAME 26272

Tilia platyphyllos Scop.

Çaj blini

Пушала

W

Fl

Infusion: panacea

+

+

Malvaceae

CAME 26241

     

Infusion: recreational, flu

 

+

Ulmus minor Mill. and other Ulmus spp.

Vidh

 

W

G

Infusion: anti-hepatitis

+

 

Ulmaceae

CAME 26303

Urtica dioica L.

#

#

W

L

Externally rubbed on the affected part (eventually with salt): anti-rheumatic

+

 

Urticaceae

CAME 26262

    

L; R

Infusion: anti-rheumatic

+

+

    

YL

Cooked with rice with rice, eggs, and dairy products (buranjeALB/zeljeMAC), as post-partum reconstituent

 

+

    

AP

Externally applied for treating bruises

+

+

     

Externally rubbed on breasts in cows affected by the evil-eye

 

+

    

R

Decoction: anti-rheumatic

+

 

Vaccinium myrtillus L.

#

#

W

Fr

Snack for treating stomachache

 

+

Ericaceae

     

Infusion: anti-fever

 

+

Verbascum longifolium Ten.

 

Допушке

W

L

Infusion: flu

 

+

Scrophulariaceae

CAME 26287

Diverse tree species

  

W; C

WC

Hot charcoal put in water and the resulting liquid in external washes on the face of the child suffering from the evil-eye; or thrown on the person suspected to be the gazer

 

+

    

WC

Powdered and applied on the mom’s breast to wean the baby*

+

 

Diverse tree species

  

W; C

DW

Smoked, as a deterrent for bees and then anti-bites

 

+

    

WA

Externally applied (warm) on the cheek for treating toothache or on the neck for treating tonsillitis

 

+

Not identified

 

Млечка

W

AP

Infusion: hepatitis

 

+

§: first record of the species in Albania.

In bold: folk taxa quoted by more than 40% of the informants.

C: cultivated; SD: semi-domesticated; W: wild.

*: past use.

#: see Table 1.

+: recorded use.

Plant part(s) used: AP aerial parts; Bu bulbs; DFB dried fruiting body; DW decayed wood; FAP flowering aerial parts; FB flowering branches; Fl flowers; Fr fruits; FT flowering tops; G galls; J juice; L leaves; R roots; Se seeds; Sh Shoots; T tubers; Th thorns; UF unripe fruits; WA ashes from wood; WC charcoal from wood; YL young leaves.

Figure 3

Dried flowering aerial parts of Helichrysum sp.

Veterinary plants

The uses of 57 plant taxa for ethnoveterinary purposes are reported in Table 3. Apart from a certain number of fodder plants and a few medicinal remedies, a large portion of this section of the local ethnobotany is represented by plants that are used ritually for the Georgyovden feast (corresponding to St. George’s Day), in order to propitiate good health for the animals or a successful season for the dairy products. This tradition is especially relevant within the Macedonian community and it is well rooted within other South Slavic customs. In Bulgaria, for example, the St. George’s Day is associated with plant decorations being used to “protect” the animals and the house: Salix spp., Juglans regia, Artemisia spp., Clematis vitalba, Glechoma hederacea, Veronica officinalis, Chamaecytisus hirsutus, Convallaria majalis, Ranunculus acris, Caltha palustris, Ajuga spp., Lamium purpureum, and Ranunculus ficaria[65, 67, 68].
Table 3

Local plants considered for improving the animals’ well-being in the study area

Taxon, family and voucher specimen code

Folk name(s) recorded among Albanians

Folk name(s) recorded among Macedonians

Status

Plant part(s) used

Recorded local use(s)/perceptions(s)

Alb

Mac

Acer campestre L.

 

Клен

W

Br

Fodder (goats)

 

+

Sapindaceae

CAME 26252

Acer pseudoplatanus L.

 

Jавор

W

Br

Fodder

 

+

Sapindaceae

CAME 26313

Achillea millefolium L.

=

=

W

FAP

Infusion: for treating rumination troubles

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26294

Allium sativum L.

#

#

C

Bu

In necklaces to be worn on the cow’s horns against the evil-eye (sysh, naok); evil-eye symptoms include the animal not producing milk

+

+

Amaryllidaceae

     

Crushed, mixed with salt, and given as fodder to the sheep on St. George’s Day (May 6th): considered propitiatory for the good health of the animals

+

 

Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.

 

Габор

W

Br

Fodder

 

+

Betulaceae

CAME 26307

Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh.

Kokuta

 

W

AP

Fodder

+

 

Asteraceae

CAME 26296

Arctium lappa L.

Asteraceae

Avena sativa L.

 

Овес

C

Fr

Fodder, esp. considered good for the horse’s coat

 

+

Poaceae

Beta vulgaris L.

#

#

C

L

Fodder (raw or in decoctions)

+

+

Amaranthaceae

Bovista sp.

=

=

W

DFB

Externally applied on wounds as an haemostatic (horses)

 

+

Agaricaceae

Capsicum annuum L.

#

#

C

Fr

Lacto-fermented; the resulting fruits opened and externally applied on the forehead for treating headaches

 

+

Solanaceae

Carpinus orientalis Mill.

Shkoza

Шкоз

W

Br

Fodder at St. George’s Day (considered as a good omen)

 

+

Betulaceae

CAME 26301

Chelidonium majus L.

Gjak edhe qumësht

 

W

AP

Crushed, mixed with salt, and given as fodder to the sheep on St. George’s Day (May 6th): considered propitiatory for the good health of the animals, but also as a blood depurative and galactagogue

+

 

Papaveraceae

CAME 26250

Chenopodium album L.

Llabot

 

W

AP

Fodder

+

 

Amaranthaceae

CAME 26300

Clematis vitalba L.

Kurpna

Повит

W

AP

Fodder

+

 

Ranunculaceae

CAME 26259

Cornus mas L.

#

#

W

Fl

Honey plant

+

 

Cornaceae

CAME 26279

Corylus avellana L.

#

#

W

Fl

Honey plant

+

 

Betulaceae

CAME 26242

    

Br

Fodder (sheep and goats)

 

+

Crataegus monogyna Jacq.

#

#

W

Fl

Honey plant

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26280

Crataegus sericea Dzekov§

Rosaceae

CAME 26278

    

FB

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen for the dairy production

 

+

Cruciata laevipes Opiz

=

 

W

AP

Crushed, mixed with salt, and given as fodder to the sheep on St. George’s Day (May 6th): considered propitiatory for the good health of the animals

+

 

Rubiaceae

CAME 26276

Cucurbita maxima Duch.

#

#

C

Fr

Fodder

 

+

Cucurbitaceae

Cydonia oblonga Mill.

#

#

C

Fl

Honey plant

+

 

Rosaceae

CAME 26290

 
    

L

Infusion: stomachache

  
    

FB

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen for the dairy production

 

+

Euphorbia characias L.

#

 

W

WP

Considered poisonous and irritating the skin

+

 

Euphorbiaceae

CAME 26283

Fagus sylvatica L.

#

#

W

Fr

Fodder (esp. sheep)

+

+

Fagaceae

CAME 26249

    

L

Fodder, esp. for sheep and equines

+

+

    

Wo

Burned, as repellent for the bees when removing honey from the hives

  

Fraxinus excelsior L.

=

 

W

Br

Fodder for sheep

 

+

Oleaceae

CAME 26304

Helleborus odorus Waldst. et Kit. ex Willd.

=

=

W

AP

Ritually hung on doors and gates on March 13th as a good omen

+

+

Ranunculaceae

CAME 26282

    

R

Inserted on the horse ear: panacea

+

 
    

BFAP

Hung on the entry gates (to homes and stables), or on the churn on St. George's Day (May 6th): considered a good omen

+

+

Helichrysum plicatum DC. and other Helichrysum spp.

=

=

W

FAP

Infusion: for treating rumination troubles and diarrhea; kerato-conjunctivitis in sheep

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26274

Hordeum vulgare L.

 

Jачмен

C

Fr

Fodder, esp. considered good for improving the beauty of horse’s coat

 

+

Poaceae

Malus domestica Borkh.

#

#

C

L

Fodder for goats

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26236

    

FB

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen for the dairy production

 

+

Medicago sativa L.

Jonxha Njonxhë

 

C

AP

Fodder; considered good for improving the beauty of horse’s coat

+

+

Fabaceae

CAME 26292

    

AP

Galactagogue for animals

+

 

Melissa officinalis L.

=

=

W

Fl

Honey plant

+

 

Lamiaceae

CAME 26235

Populus nigra L.

Plepi

 

W

L

Fodder

+

 

Salicaceae

CAME 26302

Primula veris L.

=

=

W

FAP

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen

 

+

Primulaceae

CAME 26317

Prunus avium (L.) L.

#

#

W

Br

Fodder

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26240

Prunus domestica L.

#

#

C

L

Fodder for goats

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26239

Prunus cerasus L.

#

#

C

Br

Fodder

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26298

Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn

Fier

 

W

L

Bedding for animals

+

 

Dennstaedtiaceae

CAME 26315

Quercus cerris L.

Bung, Çarri, Dushk, Lis

Добк

W

Fr

Fodder for sheep and goats

+

+

Fagaceae

CAME 26256

Quercus frainetto Ten.

Fagaceae

CAME 26246

    

Br

Dried, and stored in loft: fodder

+

+

   

W

Sa

Externally instilled in the ear for treating earaches

 

+

Robinia pseudoacacia L.

Akac, Bagren

 

W

Fl

Honey plant

+

 

Fabaceae

CAME 26305

Rosa canina L. s.l.

  

W

Fl

Honey plant

 

+

Rosaceae

CAME 26237

Salix alba L.

Shelçë, Shelgë

 

W

L

Fodder for goats

+

 

CAME 26251

Salicaceae

Salix eleagnos Scop.

Salicaceae

CAME 26248

Salix purpurea L.

Salicaceae

CAMNE 26255

   

W

Fl

Honey plant

+

 

Salvia verticillata L.

Gombelik, Lule bulli

Гомбели

W

AP

Fodder

+

+

Lamiaceae

Sambucus ebulus L.

=

=

W

Fr

Externally for treating wounds in sheep

 

+

Adoxaceae

CAME 26254

     

Consumed by cats and dogs on their own when they do not feel well

+

 
    

Fr

Fermented and distilled into raki (rare)

+

 

Secale cereale L.

#

#

C

St

Galactagogue for animals (esp. given to the cows one month before giving birth)

+

+

Poaceae

Solanum tuberosum L.

#

#

C

T

Fodder

+

 

Solanaceae

Syringa vulgaris L.

 

Jоргован

C

FB

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen for the dairy production

 

+

Oleaceae

CAME 26309

Tanacetum macrophyllum (Waldst. et Kit.) Sch. Bip.

 

Вратика

W

AP

Together with nettles, this is rubbed on the goat’s mammaries on St. George’s day (May 6th) to improve milk production

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26269

Tanacetum vulgare L.

  

W

AP

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen for the dairy production

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26268

     

Mixed with salt and given to sheep who are thirsty

 

+

     

Fodder

 

+

Taraxacum officinale Weber ex F.H. Wigg.

#

#

W

Fl

Crushed, mixed with salt, and ritually given as fodder to the animals on St. George’s Day (May 6th): considered a good omen and galactagogue

 

+

Asteraceae

CAME 26289

     

Honey plant

 

+

Trifolium pratense L.

Detelina

 

W

L

Fodder for sheep

+

+

Fabaceae

CAME 26297,

Trifolium incarnatum L. ssp. molineri (Hornem.) Ces.

Fabaceae

CAME 26318, and other Trifolium spp.

Fabaceae

     

Honey plant

 

+

Urtica dioica L.

#

#

W

AP

Rubbed onto the mammaries of cows affected by the Evil-Eye

 

+

Urticaceae

CAME 26262

     

Together with Tanacetum macrophyllum, this is rubbed onto goat mammaries on St. George’s day (May 6th) to improve milk production

 

+

     

Hung on churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen for dairy production

 

+

     

Fodder

 

+

Vicia ervilia (L.) Willd.

 

Уров

C

Se

Fodder

 

+

Fabaceae

Zea mays L.

#

#

C

Fr

Fodder, esp. for increasing the growth speed of lambs and for improving the coat of horses

+

+

Poaceae

     

Galactagogue for all animals

 

+

Diverse tree species

  

W; C

WA

Repellent against other insects in the bee hives

 

+

Not identified

 

Лула манушаче

W

FAP

Hung on home gates, churns and stable doors on St. George’s Day (May 6th) as a good omen

 

+

Not identified

Spenger

 

W

R

Inserted on the animal ear for treating diverse diseases

+

 

§: first record of the species in Albania.

In bold: folk taxa quoted by more than 40% of the informants.

C: cultivated; SD: semi-domesticated; W: wild.

*: past use.

#: see Table 1.

=: see Table 2.

+: recorded use.

Plant part(s) used: AP aerial parts; Br branches; Bu bulbs; BAFP Branches with flowering aerial parts; FAP flowering aerial parts; FB flowering branches; Fl flowers; Fr fruits; L leaves; R roots; Sa sap; Se seeds; St stems; T tubers; Wo wood; WA ashes from wood; WP whole plant.

Drazheva has analyzed the coincidence of St. Georges’ Day with the most important spring feast in rural Bulgaria, which is widespread with varied rituals [69]. According to this review, one of the main circles connected with St. George's Day focuses around the ritual taking of the sheep to their summer pasture, the ritual milking, the sacrificial practices devoted to a saint who has inherited the characteristic features of the patron-ancestor of the Thracian Heroes, including the open-air feast usually associated with them. A second circle of rites and customs connected to Georgyovden is intended for guaranteeing health and well-being for the family, with fortune-telling about the forthcoming wedding feasts for the young people, which is directly related with the reproduction of the community in both its biological and social dimensions.

Cross-cultural ethnobotany: Macedonian vs. Albanian plant knowledge

From our analysis of the overlap between the Macedonian and Albanian ethnobotanies, we could point out that majority of plant reports (approx. half) were quoted by Macedonians only. However, this could be due to the uneven sample selection between the two field studies: the number of the Macedonian informants was roughly three times larger than the number of the Albanian interviewees. On the other hand, it is important to note that only extremely limited new information was found in both communities after the first dozen in-depth interviews. Our findings could support the persistence of a more “herbophilic” attitude among South-Slavs, as we have already postulated in previous cross-cultural comparative studies in the Western Balkans [26, 46]. Moreover, since Macedonians were and also are those in the study area who trade/sell the largest share of wild crafted medicinal herbs to the nearby Albanian towns (i.e. Elbasan, Tirana) and markets or via Albanian middle men, their knowledge of these plants remains within their sphere of household economics. Thus, these activities may have delayed the decrease of local plant knowledge among this population.

The plant reports found in common between the two communities are approx. one third of the overall recorded plant reports (Jaccard Index: 0.29). This would demonstrate some diverging trajectories of the ethnobotanies of the two groups, despite many years of living together in the same area and sharing the same religious faith. Nevertheless, these commonalities demonstrate how cultural edges are particularly significant in bio-cultural diversity [70].

The overlaps of the folk plant reports in the three considered domains (food, human medicine, and veterinary) are represented in Figure 4. In all three domains, the Jaccard Index measuring the similarity of the data sets collected among Albanians and Macedonians in Gollobordo is 0.29, although internal uses of medicinal plants (teas) and also ritual uses of veterinary plants made at Georgyovden seem to be much more relevant among Macedonians.
Figure 4

Diagram representing the overlaps between the food, medicinal, and veterinary plant reports recorded among Macedonians and Albanians in the study area.

We recently applied the concept of resilience to migrants’ ethnobotanies [45], while defining resilience as the capability of socio-ecological systems to absorb disturbances and to retain their basic structures and functions, which includes in particular four pillars [71]: 1) the capability of the systems of learning to live with change and absorb it; 2) of nurturing diversity for reorganisation and renewal; 3) of combining different kinds of knowledge for learning; and 4) of creating opportunities for self-organisation. The remarkable resilience evident in the Macedonian medical and veterinary ethnobotanies is indicative of a complex cultural adaptation processes that this community underwent. Moreover, the isolation of this community may related to the difficulties that Macedonians have experienced in accessing the mainstream Albanian culture and institutionalized health as well; the proof of this isolation can be seen in the generation of elderly women, who are the health care givers within the households and often still show difficulties in fluently speaking the Albanian language. Isolation could be ultimately seen then also as a kind of adaptive mechanism. This also shows how negotiations among diverse ethnic groups in mountainous areas could be linked to the practice of symbiotic relations and pluralism, as in the case studies of the Wakhi and Kyrgyz and Pashtu and Shugni of the Pamir [72, 73].

In 1956, Fredrik Barth proposed for his field site in the mountains of Swat, North Pakistan, a path-breaking reflection for those times concerning the link between the use of certain ecological niches and ethnic boundaries [74]. According to his observations, the distribution of ethnic groups ecological niches is controlled by the distribution of species each group is able to exploit. Moreover, different ethnic groups may exploit the same ecological niche only if the weaker of them would be better in using marginal environments. The history of Gollobordo’s Macedonians in the last century seems to confirm this, since this group remained concentrated in the highest and more inhospitable village sites, while Albanians began to replace Macedonians in the villages located to lowest altitudes. The Macedonian group had to learn to make use of these marginal areas and the affiliated local resources, including the use of potato leaves for food and the reliance on several herbal medicines, in both the domestic arena and for trade. Although partly symbiotic, the relationship between the two communities has not been equal and the Macedonians have occupied the more marginalized socio-cultural niche.

Conclusions

Local environmental resources derived from plants continue to play an important role in the provision of dietary and medical care for both humans and their livestock in Gollobordo’s communities. We could confirm a more herbophilic attitude of the Macedonians, especially with regards to medicinal and veterinary plants, while the overlaps between the Albanian and the Macedonian ethnobotanies are still relatively limited (restricted to a quarter of the overall recorded plant reports). This confirms that in Gollobordo, despite the two communities having shared the same religion and the same environmental space for many decades, the “original” TEK systems still persist, perhaps due to the geographical and cultural isolation of the area, especially with regards to the Macedonian community. Initiatives aimed at generating an endogenous rural development and especially at fostering sustainable gathering activities of local plants – as well as their small-scale trade and eco-tourism – should seriously consider these cultural divergences. This could in turn promote a tighter collaboration between the two communities and help to sustain the threatened linguistic and cultural heritage of the Macedonian minority.

Declarations

Acknowledgments

Special thanks are due to all informants, who generously shared their knowledge regarding local plants and especially to Hajredin Ferataj, Prishtinë, Republic of Kosovo, for the simultaneous translations; to Tanya Gervasi, Giaveno/Milan/New York and to Domenico Lucarini, Herbarium of the University of Camerino (CAME) for the assistance.

The fieldwork has been conducted with the financial support of the University of Gastronomic Sciences.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
University of Gastronomic Sciences
(2)
School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino
(3)
Department of Botany, University of Sofia
(4)
Department of Biology, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”
(5)
Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory University
(6)
Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine

References

  1. Łuczaj Ł, Zovkokoncic M, Milicevic T, Dolina K, Pandza M: Wild vegetable mixes sold in the markets of Dalmatia (southern Croatia). J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013, 9: 2-10.1186/1746-4269-9-2.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Łuczaj Ł, Nieroda Z: Collecting and learning to identify edible fungi in southeastern Poland: age and gender differences. Ecol Food Nutr. 2011, 50 (4): 319-336. 10.1080/03670244.2011.586314.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Papp N, Birkás-Frendl K, Farkas A, Pieroni A: An ethnobotanical study on home gardens in a Transylvanian Hungarian Csángó village (Romania). Genet Resour Crop Evol. 2013, 60: 1423-1432. 10.1007/s10722-012-9930-7.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  4. Pieroni A, Quave CL, Giusti ME, Papp N: “We are Italians!”: the hybrid ethnobotany of a Venetian diaspora in Eastern Romania. Hum Ecol. 2012, 40: 435-451. 10.1007/s10745-012-9493-4.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  5. Mustafa B, Hajdari A, Pajazita Q, Syla B, Quave CL, Pieroni A: An ethnobotanical survey of the Gollak region, Kosovo. Genet Resour Crop Evol. 2011, 59: 1-16.Google Scholar
  6. Mustafa B, Hajdari A, Krasniqi F, Hoxha E, Ademi H, Quave CL, Pieroni A: Medical ethnobotany of the Albanian Alps in Kosovo. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2012, 8: 6-10.1186/1746-4269-8-6.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Šarić-Kundalić B, Dobeš C, Klatte-Asselmeyer V, Saukel J: Ethnobotanical survey of traditionally used plants in human therapy of east, north and north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011, 133 (3): 1051-1076. 10.1016/j.jep.2010.11.033.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Šarić-Kundalić B, Dobeš C, Klatte-Asselmeyer V, Saukel J: Ethnobotanical study on medicinal use of wild and cultivated plants in middle, south and west Bosnia and Herzegovina. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010, 131 (1): 33-55. 10.1016/j.jep.2010.05.061.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Redzic S: Wild medicinal plants and their usage in traditional human therapy (Southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, W. Balkan). J Med Plants Res. 2010, 4 (11): 1003-1027.Google Scholar
  10. Redzic S, Barudanovic S, Pilipovic S: Wild Mushrooms and Lichens used as Human Food for Survival in War Conditions; Podrinje - Zepa Region (Bosnia and Herzegovina, W. Balkan). Research in Human Ecology. 2010, 17 (2): 175-187.Google Scholar
  11. Redžić S: The ecological approach to ethnobotany and ehnopharmacology of population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Collegium Antropol. 2007, 31: 869-890.Google Scholar
  12. Redžić S: Wild edible plants and their traditional use in the human nutrition in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ecol Food Nutr. 2006, 45: 189-232. 10.1080/03670240600648963.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  13. Savikin K, Zdunic G, Menkovic N, Zivkovic J, Cujic N, Terescenko M, Bigovic D: Ethnobotanical study on traditional use of medicinal plants in South-Western Serbia, Zlatibor district. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013, 146 (3): 803-810. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.02.006.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Jarić S, Popović Z, Mačukanović-Jocić M, Djurdjević L, Mijatović M, Karadžić B, Mitrović M, Pavlović P: An ethnobotanical study on the usage of wild medicinal herbs from Kopaonik Mountain (Central Serbia). J Ethnopharmacol. 2007, 111 (1): 160-175. 10.1016/j.jep.2006.11.007.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Menković N, Šavikin K, Tasić S, Zdunić G, Stešević D, Milosavljević S, Vincek D: Ethnobotanical study on traditional uses of wild medicinal plants in Prokletije Mountains (Montenegro). J Ethnopharmacol. 2011, 133 (1): 97-107. 10.1016/j.jep.2010.09.008.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Pieroni A: Local plant resources in the ethnobotany of Theth, a village in the Northern Albanian Alps. Genet Resour Crop Evol. 2008, 55 (8): 1197-1214. 10.1007/s10722-008-9320-3.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  17. Pieroni A: People and plants in Lëpushë. Traditional medicine, local foods, and post- communism in a North Albanian village. Ethnobotany in the new Europe: People, health and wild plant resources. Edited by: Pardo de Santayana M, Pieroni A, Puri RK. 2010, New York/Oxford: Berghahn, 16-50.Google Scholar
  18. Babai D, Molnár Z: Multidimensionality and scale in a landscape ethnoecological partitioning of a mountainous landscape (Gyimes, Eastern Carpathians, Romania). J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013, 9: 1-10.1186/1746-4269-9-1.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  19. Dénes A, Papp N, Babai D, Czúcz B, Molnár Z: Wild plants used for food by Hungarian ethnic groups living in the Carpathian Basin. Acta Soc Bot Pol. 2012, 81 (4): 381-396. 10.5586/asbp.2012.040.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  20. Molnár Z: Classification of pasture habitats by Hungarian herders in a steppe landscape (Hungary). J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2012, 8: 28-10.1186/1746-4269-8-28.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Nedelcheva A, Dogan Y: Usage of plants for weather and climate forecasting in Bulgarian folk traditions. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2011, 10 (1): 91-95.Google Scholar
  22. Nedelcheva A, Dogan Y, Obratov-Petkovic D, Padure IM: The traditional use of plants for handicrafts in southeastern Europe. Hum Ecol. 2011, 39 (6): 813-828. 10.1007/s10745-011-9432-9.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  23. Dogan Y, Nedelcheva AM, Obratov-Petković D, Padure IM: Plants used in traditional handicrafts in several Balkan countries. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2008, 7 (1): 157-161.Google Scholar
  24. Papp N, Bartha S, Boris G, Balogh L: Traditional uses of medicinal plants for respiratory diseases in Transylvania. Nat Prod Commun. 2011, 6 (10): 1459-1460.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kołodziejska-Degórska I: Mental herbals - A context-sensitive way of looking at local ethnobotanical knowledge: Examples from Bukovina (Romania). Trames. 2012, 16 (3): 287-301. 10.3176/tr.2012.3.04.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  26. Rexhepi B, Mustafa B, Hajdari A, Rushidi-Rexhepi J, Quave CL, Pieroni A: Traditional medicinal plant knowledge among Albanians, Macedonians and Gorani in the Sharr Mountains (Republic of Macedonia). Genet Resour Crop Evol. 2013, 60: 2055-2080. 10.1007/s10722-013-9974-3.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  27. Zlatković BK, Bogosavljević SS, Radivojević AR, Pavlović MA: Traditional use of the native medicinal plant resource of Mt. Rtanj (Eastern Serbia): Ethnobotanical evaluation and comparison. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014, 151 (1): 704-713. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.037.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Łuczaj Ł, Fressel N, Perković S: Wild food plants used in the villages of the Lake Vrana Nature Park (northern Dalmatia, Croatia). Acta Soc Bot Pol. 2013, 82 (4): 275-281. 10.5586/asbp.2013.036.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  29. Berkes F: Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management. 1999, Philadelphia: Taylor & FrancisGoogle Scholar
  30. Kathe W, Honnef S, Heym A: Medicinal and aromatic plants in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. 2003, Bonn, Germany: BfNGoogle Scholar
  31. Londoño PT, Doka D, Becker H: Collection of medicinal and aromatic plants in Albania - An analysis given by examples of the surroundings of Peshkopi (Dibër Region). Zeitschrift fur Arznei- und Gewurzpflanzen. 2008, 13 (4): 153-160.Google Scholar
  32. Łuczaj Ł, Pieroni A, Tardío J, Pardo-De-Santayana M, Sõukand R, Svanberg I, Kalle R: Wild food plant use in 21st century Europe: The disappearance of old traditions and the search for new cuisines involving wild edibles. Acta Soc Bot Pol. 2012, 81 (4): 359-370. 10.5586/asbp.2012.031.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  33. Hadjichambis A, Paraskeva-Hadjichambi D, Della A, Giusti ME, De Pasquale C, Lenzarini C, Censorii E, Gonzales-Tejero MR, Sanchez-Rojas CP, Ramiro-Gutierrez JM, Skoula M, Sarpaki A, Hmamouchi M, Jorhi S, El-Demerdash M, El-Zayat M, Pieroni A: Wild and semi-domesticated food plant consumption in seven circum-Mediterranean areas. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008, 59 (5): 383-414. 10.1080/09637480701566495.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Karousou R, Balta M, Hanlidou E, Kokkini S: "Mints", smells and traditional uses in Thessaloniki (Greece) and other Mediterranean countries. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007, 109 (2): 248-257. 10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.022.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Tomićević J, Bjedov I, Obratov-Petković D, Milovanović M: Exploring the park-people relation: Collection of vaccinium myrtillus L. by local people from Kopaonik National Park in Serbia. Environ Manage. 2011, 48 (4): 835-846. 10.1007/s00267-011-9725-1.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Bigaran F, Mazzola A, Stefani A: Enhancing territorial capital for developing mountain areas: The example of Trentino and its use of medicinal and aromatic plants. Acta Geographica Slovenica. 2013, 53 (SPL.2):
  37. Zuin MC, Lante A, Zocca F, Zanin G, Zanin G: A phytoalimurgic garden to promote wild edible plants. Acta Horticulturae. 2010, 881: 855-858.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  38. Luczaj L, Kohler P, Piroznikow E, Graniszewska M, Pieroni A, Gervasi T: Wild edible plants of Belarus: from Rostafinski's questionnaire of 1883 to the present. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013, 9: 21-10.1186/1746-4269-9-21.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Pieroni A, Rexhepi B, Nedelcheva A, Mustafa B, Hajdari A, Kolosova V, Cianfaglione K, Quave CL: One century later: the folk botanical knowledge of the last remaining Albanians of the upper Reka Valley, Mount Korab, Western Macedonia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013, 9: 22-10.1186/1746-4269-9-22.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Łuczaj Ł: Changes in the utilization of wild green vegetables in Poland since the 19th century: a comparison of four ethnobotanical surveys. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010, 128 (2): 395-404. 10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.038.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Kalle R, Sõukand R: Wild plants eaten in childhood: A retrospective of Estonia in the 1970s-1990s. Bot J Linean Soc. 2013, 172 (2): 239-253. 10.1111/boj.12051.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  42. Kalle R, Sõukand R: Historical ethnobotanical review of wild edible plants of Estonia (1770 s-1960s). Acta Soc Bot Pol. 2012, 81 (4): 271-281. 10.5586/asbp.2012.033.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  43. Soukand R, Kalle R: Change in medical plant use in Estonian ethnomedicine: a historical comparison between 1888 and 1994. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011, 135 (2): 251-260. 10.1016/j.jep.2011.02.030.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Sõukand R, Kalle R: Where does the border lie: Locally grown plants used for making tea for recreation and/or healing, 1970s-1990s Estonia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013, 150: 162-174. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.08.031.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Ceuterick M, Vandebroek I, Pieroni A: Resilience of Andean urban ethnobotanies: a comparison of medicinal plant use among Bolivian and Peruvian migrants in the United Kingdom and in their countries of origin. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011, 136 (1): 27-54. 10.1016/j.jep.2011.03.038.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Pieroni A, Giusti ME, Quave CL: Cross-cultural ethnobiology in the Western Balkans: Medical ethnobotany and ethnozoology among Albanians and Serbs in the Pešter Plateau, Sandžak, South-Western Serbia. Hum Ecol. 2011, 39 (3): 333-349. 10.1007/s10745-011-9401-3.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  47. Łuczaj Ł: Archival data on wild food plants used in Poland in 1948. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008, 4: 4-10.1186/1746-4269-4-4.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT): Gross Domestic Product for Republic of Albania. [http://www.instat.gov.al/media/101280/llogarite_rajonale_4faqeshi_ang_.pdf]
  49. Steinke K, Yilli X: Die slavische Minderheiten in Albanien. 2007, Munich: Verlag Otto SagnerGoogle Scholar
  50. Sobolev AN, Novik AA: Golo Bordo (Gollobordë), Albanija. Iz materialov balkanckoj ekspedicii RAN i SPbGU 2008–2010 gg. [Golo Bordo (Gollobordë), Albania. From the material of the Balkan expedition of the Saint Petersburg State University 2008–2010]. 2013, Verlag Otto Sagner: MunichGoogle Scholar
  51. International Society of Ethnobiology: Statement on Ethics: Principles of Professional Responsability. [http://www.aaanet.org/profdev/ethics/upload/Statement-on-Ethics-Principles-of-Professional-Responsibility.pdf]
  52. Qosia X, Paparisto K, Demiri M, Vangjeli J, Balza E: Flora e Shqipërisë 2. 1992, Tirana: Akademia e Shkencave e Republikes se Shqipërisë, Instituti i Kërkimeve BiologjikeGoogle Scholar
  53. Paparisto K, Demiri M, Mitrushi I, Qosia X: Flora e Shqipërisë 1. 1988, Tiana: Akademia e Shkencave e RPS të Shqipërisë, Qendra e Kërkimeve BiologjikeGoogle Scholar
  54. Qosia X, Paparisto K, Vangjeli J, Babi R: Flora e Shqipërisë 3. 1996, Tirana: Akademia e Shkencave e Republikes se Shqipërisë, Instituti i Kërkimeve BiologjikeGoogle Scholar
  55. Vangjeli J, Ruci B, Mullaj A, Paparisto K, Qosia X: Flora e Shqipërisë 4. 2000, Tirana: Akademia e Shkencave e Republikes se Shqipërisë, Instituti i Kërkimeve BiologjikeGoogle Scholar
  56. Demiri M: Flora Ekskursioniste e Shiperise. 1983, Shtëpia Botuese e Librit Shkollor: TiranaGoogle Scholar
  57. Euro-Med: Euro+Med PlantBase. The information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/PTaxonDetail.asp?NameId=7713605%26PTRefFk=7300000,
  58. Stevens PF: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. 2012Google Scholar
  59. Stoianovich T: Le maïs dans le Balkans. Annales Économies, Sociétes, Civilisations. 1966, 5: 1026-1040.Google Scholar
  60. Andrews J: Diffusion of Mesoamerican food complex to Southeastern Europe. Geogr Rev. 1993, 83: 194-204. 10.2307/215257.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  61. Galaty ML, Lafe O, Lee WE: Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania. 2013, Los Angeles, USA: Cotsen Institute of ArchaeologyGoogle Scholar
  62. Brown MS, McDonald GM, Friedman M: Sampling leaves of young potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants for glycoalkaloid analysis. J Agric Food Chem. 1999, 47 (6): 2331-2334. 10.1021/jf981124m.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Johns T: With bitter herbs they shall eat it. Chemical ecology and the origins of human diet and medicine. 1990, Tucson, USA: University of Tucson PressGoogle Scholar
  64. Ahtarov B, Davidov B, Yavashev A: Materiali za Balgarski botanichen rechnik [Materials for the Bulgarian botanical glossary]. 1939, Sofia: Balgarska Akademia na Naukite, Pridvorna PechatnitsaGoogle Scholar
  65. Georgiev M: Balgarska narodna medicina. Enciklopedia [Bulgarian folk medicine. Encyclopedia]. 2013, Akademichno Izdatelstvo Prof. Marin Drinov: SofiaGoogle Scholar
  66. Almaleh M: Ezikat na tsvetovete. Tsvetovete v Balkanskiya folklor [The language of color. The colours of the Balkan folklore]. 2007, Izdatelstvo Askoni: SofiaGoogle Scholar
  67. Marinov D: Izbrani proizvedenija. 1.2 Religiozni narodni obichai [Selected works. 1.2 Religious folk customs]. 2003, Iztok-Zapad: SofiaGoogle Scholar
  68. Marinov D: Izbrani proizvedenija. 1.1 Narodne vyara [Selected works. 1.1 Folk beliefs]. 2003, Iztok-Zapad: SofiaGoogle Scholar
  69. Drazheva R: Georgyov Den Ethnologia Bulgarica. 1990, 2: 3-13.Google Scholar
  70. Turner NJ, Davidson-Hunt IJ, O'Flaherty M: Living on the edge: Ecological and cultural edges as sources of diversity for social-ecological resilience. Hum Ecol. 2003, 31 (3): 439-462. 10.1023/A:1025023906459.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  71. Folke C, Colding J, Berkes F: Synthesis: building resilience and adaptive capacity in social-ecological systems. Navigating Social-Ecological Systems Building Resilience for Complexity and Change. Edited by: Berkes F, Colding J, Folke C. 2003, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 352-387.Google Scholar
  72. Kassam KA: Keeping all the parts: Adaptation amidst dramatic changes in the Pamir mountains. Continuity and Change in Cultural Adaptation to Mountain Environments. Edited by: Lozny LR. 2013, New York: Springer, 303-317.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  73. Kassam KAS: Pluralism, resilience, and the ecology of survival: Case studies from the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan. Ecology and Society. 2010, 15 (2): 9-Google Scholar
  74. Barth F: Ecological relationships of ethnic groups in Swat, North Pakistan. Am Anthropol. 1956, 58: 1079-1089. 10.1525/aa.1956.58.6.02a00080.View ArticleGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Pieroni et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.