Trees in Magical Shapes
It is a little known fact that Prizren is full of magical stories and we are going to unwrap one of them. As the second largest city of Kosovo, Prizren always has something to give to every one of us. This city contains a plethora of stories and attractions that hold important traditional values, ready for tourists to learn about and explore.
Trees, for example, are cut for many purposes in Prizren. Of course, they are cut to make new books or to republish old books. But what about crafting cultural ornaments, like the ones Albanians used to make in the past?
As you pass through the city of Prizren, you may spot an old man with a smile on his face hoping to sell these special ornaments. His face shines just like the sun as we get closer to him, kindly asking about his work. Haxhi Jëlliçi, 64, crafts old Albanian ornaments that people keep in their homes.
All the citizens are very friendly, especially ones like Mr. Jellici, who is highly respected due to the educational and interesting conversations he makes. Despite all, he says that this work is not that hard – simply chop a tree into pieces and craft your imagination into an ornament. He usually makes forks, knives, spoons and shelves; utilities Albanians used and still use in their daily lives.
Even though it takes two hours per ornament, with the help of his nephew, he says that the work is easy. This is a tradition in his family.
When asked about what would happen if he gets sponsored, he said that that it would be amazing and that many people would know more about him.
You can find Haxhi Jellici at the oldest bridge in Prizren, the Rock Bridge, where he sells these antic ornaments on the sidewalks that lead to the center of the city, Shaverdan.
This is art, he says, and it must be appreciated more. It also tells a story about this region. The art tells and retells others about who we are.
Mr. Jëlliçi is proud of the city and its culture and speaks with nostalgia about the old days. He couldn’t have been more proud to tell us more about his job, the city and its stories.
His own hands made magic and culture that will last generations to come.
Haxhi Jëlliçi stands in the sun and makes the spot shine brighter. He crafted these ornaments with joy in his heart.
By: Besjan Xhemajli, Merjem Kude, Besa Shehu, Rilinda Arifi and Fatjeta Xhuraj
Rilinda Arifi, one of the authors, was born in Piranë-Prizren and graduated in economics. She enjoys reading, walking, working hard, and sports.
Besjan Xhemajli, co-author of this story, was born in Gjakova, and studies English language and literature in Prizren. His passions includes writing poetry, painting and astronomy. His poetry can be found at www.besjanxhemajli.wordpress.com.