Page 429 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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habitants were butchered, their humble huts were also torched reduced to ashes; spared from flames were only the cities of Priština, Peć and Prizren for the Albanians had settled in them for the winter... There was a horrible scene with Mahmud-pasha of Peć... who set out with the Alba- nians to destroy those villages he knew had accepted the protection of the (Austrian) emperor, cutting any inhabit- ants he found in them to pieces, despite the fact that Serbia was their common homeland 28
even after this Great Migration, despite all extermina- tions and migrations, the Serbian population in Kosovo and Metohija and throughout the entire territory of Old Serbia still remained in the great majority. Until the mid- 18th century Kosovo and Metohija were still homogenous, largely Serbian environments, a relatively densely popu- lated Serbian land. However, by the first decades of the 18th century, the albanians began to descend massively from their mountains into the cultivated regions of Metohija and Kosovo, where they formed military units (čete) noto- rious for their crimes or volunteered as janissaries to gain special privileges from the Ottomans and then proceeded to loot and rob Serbian villages, churches and monasteries prior to settling here. Some of these albanians arrived as Roman Catholics and were subsequently islamized in Ko- sovo and Metohija. Thus it is still known today when the albanians occupied certain villages or entire regions of Kosovo and Metohija and the local Serbian Christian pop- ulation then forcibly islamized and later albanized, too. By way of example, we cite the settlement of the albanians in Bajgora and Šalja (east of Mitrovica in the hinterlands of Ko- paonik) in the 18th century. The majority of them were Ca- tholics from Malesijska Šalja and they brought the name with them as well to what had previously been a Serbian district; however, they were soon islamized because this brought them privileges.
To be sure, mention should also be made of the fact that as early as the 15th century, when the Serbian state col- lapsed, some departure by Serbs from Old Serbia, i.e. Ko- sovo and Metohija, began; however, there were also Serbs coming to Kosovo and Metohija, e.g. from North albania, Polog (near Tetovo) and the Škumba River district.29 How- ever, the migrations of the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs to many other Serb regions, including Herzegovina and Bos- nia, were obviously greater than the number of new arriv- als to Kosovo, and the greatest known and historically es- tablished migrations occurred at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century. as we have already men- tioned, in the largest of these migrations, in 1690, approxi- mately 37,000 families (about 185,000–200,000 souls) left
28 Zadužbine Kosova (Endowments of Kosovo), p. 608.
29 West of Struga and Lake Ohrid where in the year 1920 there were still several dozen Serbian villages which were recorded at that time by Bishop Nikolai of Ohrid and presented to the Holy assembly of Bishops and the state of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Archive of the Holy Assembly of Bishops).
Great Serb Migration in 1690 (Serbian refuges crossing into Habsburg Empire), ink drawing, Vaclav juza, 19th century, Belgrade City Museum
Old Serbia, even though it must be admitted that by their move to the north these Serbs significantly fortified the previous Serbian population on the other side of the Sava and Danube rivers and brought with them the living and unforgettable traditions of Kosovo and Metohija.
a second, likewise numerous migration of the Serbs occurred in 1737 during the time of Patriarch arsenije iV jovanović-Šakabenta after the second great austro-Turk- ish War. We quote from a contemporary testimonial re- garding this exodus, a record from Peć in 1737 which says:
Oh, in the year of Our Lord 1737 there was great unrest when the Germans took Niš... After came the pasha called by the name Ćuprili Oglu... and took Niš again... At that time Serbian Patriarch Arsenije the Fourth fled Oh, is there any way in which the Christian faithful did not suffer then and any torture by which they were not tortured It is not possible at this time to write of this for fear of the Turks Then Kosovo was plundered, too What else can I say: it was not in the days of Diocletian (when the Christians were hor- ribly persecuted) as it is now for God has unleashed it be- cause of our sins Written by Petar Andrejić.30
However, even then Kosovo and Metohija were not emptied of Serbs because, in addition to other evidence which speaks of the further suffering of the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs during the 18th and 19th centuries, we have clear evidence in the form of the katastih of the monastery of Devič and a similar katastih of the monastery of the Holy Trinity near Mušutište (Suva Reka) listing numerous
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
   Stari srpski Zapisi i Natpisi (Old Serbian Records and Inscriptions), vol. 5, nos. 7734–7737.

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