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Monday, January 21, 2013

PHOTOS: Meet 59-Year-Old Albanian SWORN VIRGIN Who Took A Vow Of Chastity At Age 17

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shows a picture of herself when she was sixteen, inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013.
Burrnesha or Albanian sworn virgins are women who take a vow of chastity and wear male clothing in order to live as men in the patriarchal northern Albanian society. To a lesser extent, the practice exists, or has existed, in other parts of the western Balkans, including Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Dalmatia and Bosnia.

Diana Rakipi, 59, is one of the few remaining Burrnesha. She says she became a sworn virgin at 17 because she always felt like a boy.

Diana Rakipi talks with a woman on a street in Durres January 16, 2013.
Diana Rakipi smokes on the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013
Diana Rakipi cleans the dust from a souvenir inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi plays a pipe at her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi arranges a sofa at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi (R) with a friend at a coffee shop in Durres January 16, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi is pictured at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013.
Diana Rakipi (R), shares a toast with friends at a pub in Durres January 16, 2013.
Diana Rakipi (C), talks with friends at a pub in Durres January 16, 2013.
Diana Rakipi places a lit cigarette at the grave of her father, Meto, at a cemetery in Durres January 10, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi poses for a picture at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013.
Diana Rakipi cleans the grave of her father Meto, and grandmother Vruska, at a cemetery in Durres January 10, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi walks on a street in Durres January 16, 2013. 
Diana Rakipi paints at the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013.

IMAGES - REUTERS/Arben Celi (ALBANIA

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