The bride of the mountains
Albania, where the name "bride of the mountains" has another meaning
If in every corner of the word the bride reminds you of a fragile, flourishing, and beautiful creature. In the rugged Albanian mountains it has a different meaning. Follow the deeply inspiring story of this Albanian female highlander.
She was the only girl among 6 boys, raised in Radisheva, Drenica. Her father, Halil, never separated her from her brothers. He called her "Shotë" and not in vain. Shote means wild duck and the girl in this case, whose name was Qerime Radisheva was born to be a free spirit, like almost all Albanian mountaineers. Like the other mountaineers, Shota, as a young woman was fighting for her freedom just like the men of her country.
Her father Halili, as well as his sons, took her to men's assemblies, where she saw with her own eyes the heroes of the time such as Isa Boletini, Shaqir Smaka, etc. Decisions were made in those assemblies to fire rifles at the Serbian occupier.
It was here that Shota met Azem Galica, whom she married in 1915. She wore men's clothes instead of bridal gowns. Instead of the dowry she put the gun to her arms and became a mountain bride. At her wedding participated 300 people with 300 rifles. 300 highlanders danced the dance of the mountain Kaçaks. Shota from that moment was no longer separated from Azem and his comrades. Her bridal room became Cicavica. Her ornaments were necklaces with bullets around her waist. This was Shota - the Albanian woman, who never got tired of the difficult life in the mountains. As such, she continued these paths without fluctuating even after the death of her life partner, Azem Galica.
Shote Galica's life as a warrior
Shota, during her life in the mountains, had faced the Serbian occupier dozens of times. She often fought for hours, in different positions and many times in inconvenient and unequal armaments. So myths and legends were created about Shota, Azem, and her comrades. Rumors were circulating that Azem Galica was flying. Another myth was that when Shota shouted: "Oooo, wait, wait for Azem Galica o heejjj" was heard beyond seven mountains and hills. Also, they used to say that Azem and Shota could not be hit by the bullet of the enemy, etc.
A story from the past ...
Shota often made her own decisions, even without consulting others, in the absence of communication for geographical reasons. For example, Shota once planned to assassinate a senior Serbian official. She and two or three other friends had entered the office of the Serbian superior, in the center of the city of Mitrovica, and with her own hand had killed the bloodthirsty superior.
She then said to Azem: “I killed him Azem! I killed him in the name of the mothers he left without sons, in the name of the brides he left without husbands, in the name of the sisters he left without brothers, in the name of the freedom of Kosova!"
What did Shota do after the death of Azem Galica?
Despite Azem's death, Shote Galica led the freedom fighters in many strict actions. Shota was also wounded in wars, but her morals were never broken, thus becoming an example of pride for us.
Shota did not enjoy for too long the role of a mother because her son died very soon after birth, due to mountain conditions. But Shota became a mother to many of her friends' children. The children of fallen comrades for the freedom of Kosova. She took them with her wherever she went, becoming as a second mother for them until the last moment of her life. Shota was committed to raising and educating them in a patriotic spirit.
At the end of the winter of 1926, a harsh winter, Shota in the company of some other friends, settled in Albania. Leaving Kosovoa under the clutches of the Serbian occupiers, in the hope that she would return with the first spring.
She took refuge in the village of Shullaz in Kruja. After arriving there she sent a letter to Ahmet Zogu.
Shota faced the horror of poverty, surrounded by oblivion, misery, and wrote a letter to the president Ahmet Zogu (who later became king) saying: "I am Shote Galica - the wife of Azem Galica, the leader of the Kosova's Kachak Movement. In the village of Shullaz in Kruja, I have four orphaned children with me. They are the children of the fighters killed for the liberation of Kosova.” No help was sent her way. She died at the age of 32.
This was Shote Galica - the Albanian woman and mother whom we will remember forever for the saying "Life without knowledge is like a war without weapons", and for everything she stood for.
The Albanian state proclaimed her the "People's Heroine" later on, erected a bust in her honor and arranged her grave for Shota was a legend before even dying.
Shota today is an inspiration to all of us. That's why we made her a special design and her own unique collection. May she live forever in our hearts, minds and legends.