Village in Shkodër
Theth or Thethi is a small village in the Accursed Mountains, in the north of Albania. The village is at the center of the Theth National Park, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The 200 or so houses here are made from the local grey stone with wooden shingles on their roofs.
Theth remains remote. It is most easily accessible by a 25 km unmade road from the village of Boga which is impassable during the winter months and is not generally suitable at any time of the year for motor vehicles without off-road capabilities.
Legend has it that the villagers moved here in order to worship in the Christian faith undisturbed. The local shingled village church dates back to 1892.
Theth also boasts one of the very few remaining “lock-in towers”, an historical form of protection for families who were in the middle of a blood feud or who were “in blood”. The males from the family involved would be able to lock themselves in the tower, until some relative had been killed and it was then safe to come out.
Gjakmarrja literally means “blood-taking” or “blood feud” and unfortunately has a long history in northern Albania. The rules governing blood feuds have been codified in a book of laws, called the Kanun, that originally date back to the 15th Century. Enver Hoxha outlawed the practice but unfortunately since the collapse of communist it has made a reappearance – although less so in Theth.