The Brave Hoti tribe

The Brave Hoti tribe

If you are from the north of the Albanian lands and have one of these surnames, your family probably originates from the Hoti tribe: Cunmullaj, Camaj, Dedvukaj, Dushaj, Gjelaj, Gjonaj, Gojçaj, Junçaj, Lajçaj, Lucgjonaj, Nicaj.
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The term Hoti was recorded as a personal name in 1330, while in 1474 the region was called Montanea Octorum (mountains of Hoti).

The members of this tribe traditionally marry those of the Kastrati tribe and the relations between them have always been close. They also maintain good relations with the tribe of Triepshi and Gruda.

According to one of the legends, the founding great-grandfather of this tribe was called Keq Preka and had several sons (Lazer, Ban, Kaster, Merkota, Ves, and Piper Keqi). One of his sons also founded the Triepshi tribe and this explains the good relations between them. The Austrian consul in Ioannina, Johan George von Hahn, heard this legend from Father Gabrieli in Shkodër in 1850.

The descendants of the other son, Merkota Keqi, baptized the area where they moved with the name Merkotaj (Mërkoviqi), while the other son Vas Keqi was the one who created the great Vasojevic tribe. Another son, Kaster Keqi, founded the Kastravic clan. From the son of Lazer Keqi, the other son of Keq Preka, originate the tribe of Gegaj, the village of Traboin, and the village of Arapshi .

Edit Durahm mentions the tribe of Hoti as "the chief tribe of the Great Highlands" because this tribe was considered the most important in the Shkodra province during the 5 centuries of Turkish occupation for its military merits.

Prominent figures of this tribe are Dede Gjo Luli and Marash Uci.