Kcimi i bjeshkës me tupan i Tropojës – Tropoja drum mountain dance

Interview with H.E. Ms Donika Hoxha, Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria
Local Communities, Cultural Heritage and Museums
“Kcimi i bjeshkës me tupan i Tropojës” – Tropoja drum mountain dance
Inscribed on the National ICH Registry of Albania
Domain: performing arts; social practices, rituals and festive events;


“Kcimi i bjeshkës me tupan i Tropojës” (Tropoja drum mountain dance) is the most prominent dance of the Albanian Alps. It is a unique phenomenon among the typologies of intangible Albanian cultural heritage spread in the area of Tropoja (Northern Albania) and beyond in the Gjakova Highlands. The locals call it “kcim”, which in the Northern Albanian dialect means “to jump”. Experts call it “paravalle”, meaning “born before the dance”. The early origin of this dance can be evidenced by the rhythmic-musical accompaniment. Unlike some other Albanian dances, Tropoja dance is accompanied by pre-musical elements, such as: keeping the rhythm with stone upon stone, stone on the fir plank, the collision of two wooden spoons, the collision of vessels, with onomatopoeia, with the sound of lips between teeth (nz, nz), with bell and foot, etc. Lahuta, flute and çiftelia were later added to help these paramusical elements. This dance is associated with ancient rituals, legends and epics, as well as war rituals (“kushtrim”, “majekrahi”, duels) and folk games. As an early phenomenon it has the feature of self-sufficiency. It can be performed in solitude, without human presence, so not to entertain someone, but only between man and nature. “Kcimi i Tropojës” is individual, because each dancer has his personal uniqueness, as he simultaneously interprets and improvises. But the role of the community is important and crucial as this is a dance performed at every popular community holiday, opening parties and concerts. “Tropoja drum mountain dance” is divided into many typologies, such as: Girls dance, boys dance, boy and girl dance, old man and bride dance, old women dance, children dance, bride dance, women dance, men epic dance, etc. This typology of intangible cultural heritage is very well known and inherited from generation to generation for hundreds of years. For this value of national cultural heritage, many scientific articles, publications, etc. have been published by researchers in this field.