Rugovo (sword dance)

Kosovo Albanian man from Rugova in traditional Kelmendi clothing.

The Warrior dance of Rugovo[1] (Serbian: Борбена руговска игра) is a traditional sword dance named after the Rugova Canyon[2] in Kosovo.[lower-alpha 1] There are two male dancers who fight a mock battle for the hand of a girl (a "maiden's dance"[3]).[4][5][6] It was made internationally famous by the Kosovo Albanian Rugova clans (hailing from Kelmend in Albania).[7] It has been unreliably claimed that the dance was a historical "warrior training of the guard of the Monastery of Peć".[8] The dance is also found in mountainous Montenegro, where a tribe of shepherds settled in the 18th century.[9] It was part of Yugoslav folk dancing ensemble,[2] and in 1982, it was noted that "in the last time the Rugova dance has gained wide popularity".[10]


  1. Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received recognition as an independent state from 110 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. Daubeny, Peter (1952). Stage by stage. J. Murray. p. 141. THE WARRIOR DANCE OF RUGOVO.
  2. 1 2 Cuddon, J. A. (1968). The Companion Guide to JUGOSLAVIA. p. 435. The militant traditions of Montenegrins are especially well illustrated in their sword dances: for instance, the Borbena Rugovska igra, (the Rugova war dance, named after the gorge)
  3. Nebojša Tomašević (1968). Yugoslavia in Colour. "Review," Yugoslav Illustrated Monthly. p. 34.
  4. Journal of the International Folk Music Council. Published with the assistance of the International Music Council, under the auspices of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation for the International Folk Music Council by W. Heffer. 1951. A dance by two men of the Albanian minority from Rugova (Pec) represents a mock battle to obtain possession of a young girl.
  5. Žunić-Baš, Leposava (1966). Folk traditions in Yugoslavia: ten tours. Jugoslavija. p. 75. Besides their distinctive dress the people of Rugovo have inherited an ancient sword dance (borbena rugovska igra) in ... two dancers wielding short, curved swords act out for the favours of a girl.
  6. Zemlja i ljudi. 10. 1960. p. 31. Изводе се симболични двобоји оружјем; бор- ци су окружени младим девојкама од којих најлегапа игра око њих
  7. Dennison I. Rusinow. Yugoslavia: Oblique Insights and Observations. University of Pittsburgh Pre. pp. 290–291. ISBN 978-0-8229-7349-2.
  8. др Слободан Зечевић. Гласник Етнографског музеја у Београду књ. 30: Bulletin du Musée Ethnographique de Belgrade. Etnografski muzej u Beogradu. pp. 192–. GGKEY:U1JY3YFUSNS. Најзад, није јасно ни како је аутор могао олако да прихвати нечије објашњење да је чувена руговска игра у прошлости била „војничка вјежба чувара пећког манастира” (стр. 117). Задржала сам се нешто дуже на игри зато што је и ...
  9. Allenby Jaffé, Nigel (1990). Folk dance of Europe. Folk Dance Enterprises. p. 89. In mountainous Montenegro, a tribe of shepherds who settled there in the early eighteenth century have their own special sword dance, the 'Borbena rugovska igra"
  10. Ratko Božović (1982). Socijalistička Republika Srbija. 1. NIRO "Književne novine". p. 515. Y последнее време стекла je широку популарност игра Valija e Rugovëc (руговска игра) у KOJOJ nrpajy наиз- менично мушкарци и жене, да би се на Kpajy мешали у игри.
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