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Montenegro's Tribal Legacy

by Major Steven C. Calhoun, US Army
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Military Review Logo This article appeared in

Military Review

July-August 2000

The mentality of our people is still very patriarchal. Here the knife, revenge and a tribal (plemenski) system exist as nowhere else.1 The whole country is interconnected and almost everyone knows everyone else. Montenegro is nothing but a large family—all of this augurs nothing good.

—Mihajlo Dedejic2

When the military receives an order to deploy into a particular area, planners focus on the terrain so the military can use the ground to its advantage. Montenegro provides an abundance of terrain to study, and it is apparent from the rugged karst topography how this tiny republic received its moniker—the Black Mountain. The territory of Montenegro borders Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Albania and is about the size of Connecticut. Together with the much larger republic of Serbia, Montenegro makes up the current Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).

But the jagged terrain of Montenegro is only part of the military equation. Montenegro has a complex, multilayered society in which tribe and clan can still influence attitudes and loyalties. Misunderstanding tribal dynamics can lead a mission to failure. Russian misunderstanding of tribal and clan influence led to unsuccessful interventions in Afghanistan and Chechnya.3 In Afghanistan, the rural population's tribal organization facilitated their initial resistance to the Soviets. In the early stages of the Soviet-Afghan War, the Mujahideen mobilized the Afghan population along tribal lines to defeat Soviet equipped and trained government troops.4 In Chechnya, the Russians overestimated the importance of the clan's role in Chechen society, which contributed to the Russian decision to intervene.5 This article addresses the nature of the tribe (pleme) in Montenegro and how the tribe fits into modern Montenegrin society.

Montenegro's 680,000 people are ethnically mixed. Citizens who identify themselves as Montenegrin make up an estimated 62 percent of the population. The largest minority are Slavic Muslims at 15 percent. People who identify themselves as Serbs make up slightly more than nine percent of Montenegro's inhabitants. A variety of other minorities in Montenegro include those identifying themselves as Yugoslavs, Albanians, Croats and several other Central and Southeastern European ethnic groups.6 The cities and towns around Mon-tenegro indicate the country's ethnic diversity. For example, Montenegrins make up 77 percent of the population in the capital, Podgorica, but they share the city with a large Albanian minority of almost ten percent. Albanians are the majority in the southern town of Ulcinj, where they comprise 73 percent of the population. Plav, a town near the border with Kosovo, has a population 52 percent Serb, 23 percent Montenegrin and 21 percent Albanian. Religious diversity also follows from the mix of ethnic groups in Montenegro. The majority of Monte-negrins and Serbs are Eastern Orthodox. Some Slavs and Albanians are Muslim. Croats and another segment of the Albanian population are Roman Catholic. There are also small minorities of Protestants and Jews.7 The aggregation of groups in Montenegro makes for a political landscape as variegated as the terrain.

Montenegrins celebrate Christmas Eve 1999 in Cetijne.
Montenegrins celebrate Christmas Eve 1999 in Cetijne.

In addition to sharing the ethnic and political cleavages inherent in the other parts of the former Yugoslavia, groups in Montenegro are also staking political positions along tribal lines. Open media sources have reported that "tribal assemblies" are convening in northern Montenegro. These assemblies have stated that if Montenegro declares independence from Yugoslavia, they will declare independence from Montenegro and remain part of Serbia. Some tribes have vowed to fight against Montenegrin secession.8

Opposite these tribes, a group calling itself the Montenegrin Liberation Movement (COP) has been conducting militia exercises in the hills surrounding the historic capital of Cetinje in preparation for a war of Montenegrin independence. The leader of the COP, Bozidar Bogdanovic, claims to command 20,000 armed men organized into three territorial groups. Bogdanovic says he is not working for Podgorica and, "If we are attacked, we will defend Montenegro regardless of what the authorities would say or do."9 There may have already been low-level clashes near Ivanova Korita, a town near Cetinje, between the COP and the federal Yugoslav Army stationed in Montenegro.10

The fact that Montenegrin political demarcations occur not only along ethnic lines but also along tribal lines highlights the need for military planners to understand these tribes and their traditional territories. Knowledge of the political disposition of a particular area can aid in correctly positioning forces. For instance, knowing that the town of Kolasin is divided between pro- and anti-independence factions could help prevent a situation similar to that in Kosovska Mitrovica in Kosovo. Knowing the traditional territories of tribes that openly support the Belgrade regime could aid force protection measures in those regions. While armed conflict between Serbia and Montenegro is not a foregone conclusion, US Army planners should be aware of the cultural, political and tribal relationships in Montenegro and their potential impact on military operations in the republic.

Slavs, Serbs, Montenegrins

Understanding the relationship between Mon-tenegro and its larger partner, Serbia, in the present Yugoslavia requires a proper historical context. Since 1998 the main causes for tension between the two republics have been the chauvinistic nationalism espoused by Slobodan Milosevic and the nationalized character of politics in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The issue of the proper relationship between Montenegro and Serbia, though, is centuries old.

As close Balkan neighbors, Serbia and Monte-negro share a similar, intertwined history. Mon-tenegrins, however, consider themselves descendants of the first wave of Slavs to settle the Balkans in the 6th century, a century before the arrival of the Serbs and Croats. In the 9th century, these early Slavs formed the principality of Duklja, later referred to as Zeta, as a part of the Byzantine Empire. Duklja later won its freedom from Byzantium under King Vojislav. Duklja was a powerful state for a time, but its decline and the rise of the Serbian Nemanja dynasty saw its incorporation into the Serbian Empire. Zeta again regained its independent status around 1356. After gaining its independence, Zeta, Montenegro's forerunner, faced an even greater challenge as it fought to maintain its autonomy against the steady encroachment of the Ottoman Turks from the latter half of the 14th century. For 500 years Zetans and their Montenegrin descendants fought against the Turks to retain their freedom. The Montenegrins were largely successful in staving off the Turks, and as the Ottoman state declined in the latter half of the 19th century, Montenegro often fought along side Serbia to secure a greater share of the Balkans.

Most important, before its unification with Serbia, Montenegro was a sovereign state. It had its own king, its own history and its own culture. The last Montenegrin king, Nikola, was aware of the geostrategic role Montenegro played in the Balkans and adeptly used Montenegro's position to garner political, economic and military support from the Great Powers. As Europe marched toward World War I, Montenegro was an important player on the world stage in spite of her small size. When unification came between Montenegro and Serbia in 1918, it was unpopular among many Mon-tenegrins, who saw it as little more than the Serbian annexation of a war-weakened neighbor. Adding insult to injury, Montenegro had entered the war on Serbia's side. Discontent with the unification eventually sparked a popular revolt known as the Christmas Uprising of 1919. The Serbs and their Montenegrin supporters, known as the "whites," crushed the open rebellion. While supporters of King Nikola, known as the "greens," continued a low-level guerilla campaign until the whites eventually eliminated the resistance in the early 1920s.

Current tensions between Montenegro and Serbia unfold against this historical backdrop. The idea of a Montenegrin cultural identity distinct from that of the Serbs provides a convenient and popular symbol for rallying Montenegrins to the idea of national independence. Serbian and Montenegrin cultural identities, though, are not necessarily antithetical. Authors have written volumes analyzing where Serbian and Montenegrin cultures intersect and diverge.11 Some describe the relationship of the Montenegrins and Serbs as "two eyes in the same head." Milija Komatina writes, "There was no initial question about the existence of a separate Montenegrin state after the union with Serbia in 1918. In fact, the Montenegrins considered themselves the `most pure' of the Serbs."12 This notion of pure Serbdom in Montenegro stems from the centuries-long Montenegrin resistance to Ottoman Turkish rule. In the eyes of the Montenegrins, Serb culture remained preserved in the highlands during the period of Turkish occupation of Serbia.

Some Montenegrins do identify culturally with Serbs but see themselves as braver and more heroic than their lowland cousins. Other Montenegrins, however, distrust Serbian motives. As the remnants of the Serbian army retreated to Corfu during World War I, it was the Montenegrins who covered their retreat. The Montenegrin saying that "Serbs will fight until the last Montenegrin dies," reflects how Montenegrins still feel used by their Serb brothers.13 Finally, at the other end of the spectrum are those who harbor resentment toward the Serbs for what they believe was the unlawful annexation of the Montenegrin nation in 1918 and its repression by Serb authorities. In Montenegro, whether one is a Serb, a Montenegrin or both can be a source of open debate.

Marked similarities and important differences distinguish the two cultures. Both Serbs and Montenegrins are Orthodox Christians, but in 1920 the Serbian Orthodox Church revoked the auto-cephalous status of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church. In 1993 some members of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church reasserted the autocephalous status of their church, but its validity is still contested by the Serbian Orthodox hierarchy who have charged that a separate Montenegrin Church represents a heretical schism. Montenegro and Serbia both use the Cyrillic alphabet; but unlike Serbia, Montenegro treats the Latin alphabet equally with the Cyrillic. Both Serbs and Montenegrins speak mutually intelligible dialects of Serbian-Croatian. Montenegro is also unique in that it developed a tribal society which was quite different from society in Serbia. These deep tribal roots continue to influence Montenegrin attitudes.

The Tribe as it Was

Tribal society in southeastern Europe formed in Montenegro, Herzegovina, northern Albania and part of the Sandzak. Montenegro, though, was the only place where the tribe was the basis of the state. Tribes continue to be composed of clans (bratstva) which are usually related patrilineally by blood. 14 Scholars believe that the tribal framework in Montenegro developed from the fall of the medieval state of Zeta to the Ottoman Turks. Tribes organized blood-related clans in distinct geographic regions as a defense mechanism against encroaching Turkish armies.15

The development of tribal society effectively defended this mountainous region and the Ottomans never completely subjugated the heart of Old Montenegro centered around the ancient city of Cetinje. Serbs who fled Ottoman rule often found refuge in the Black Mountains of northeastern Montenegro and adopted the tribal way of life. The tribe, then, became the basic building block of Montenegrin national self-consciousness. Resistance to the encroaching Turks fostered a wider sense of community and a common ethnic identity among the Montenegrin tribesmen. The idea of a common clan ancestor developed along with a strong oral tradition which passed down tales of heroic resistance to the Turks.16 Montenegro developed into what noted ethnographer and historian Christopher Boehm has called a "refuge-area warrior society." This formally lasted until the mid-19th century when the prince-bishop (vladika), the nominal head of state, began to implement a government based on state institutions and a central authority rather than a state based on the tribal hierarchy.17

Petar II, Petrovic Njegos, Prince Bishop of Montenegro from 1830. Petar II wrote The Mountain Wreath, considered by many to be the epitome of Serbian literature, and worked to centralize the Montenegrin state administration. (portrait by Johan Bes, 1847)
Petar II, Petrovic Njegos, Prince Bishop of Montenegro from 1830

Montenegro exhibited several characteristics essential for the success of a warrior refuge area.18 First, the land was of limited economic value. The barren terrain of the Black Mountains lacked significant timber stands or mineral resources. The low scrub and poor, rocky soil made a pastoral existence the best means of subsistence. Further, the rugged terrain provided distinct defense or escape advantages. Next, the Montenegrins developed a sophisticated organization—the tribe and its subunit, the clan. This social structure proved flexible enough for a variety of military actions from a small raid to a larger territorial defense involving thousands of warriors. The patriarchal and hierarchical leadership of clans and tribes also adapted well to military actions as the need arose. Further, Montenegrins valued their autonomy and had a highly developed sense of honor which committed them to defend their land rather than submit to Ottoman rule. At the same time, the fierce Montenegrin regard for personal honor and autonomy curbed the power of clan and tribal chieftains and continues in modern Montenegro.19

The influence of traditional tribal- and clan-based society remains in Montenegro, particularly in rural areas. Boehm spent several years studying tribal life in Montenegro and living with the Upper Moraca tribe in the northeastern part of the country. The state, in one form or another, had been working to undermine the authority of the tribe since 1850. However, Boehm comments, "[E]ven in 1966, when I left Montenegro, the tribe—rather than the village or settlement or even the Yugoslav national legal system—remained the chief moral reference point, the social unit in which a man's or woman's reputation as a good person was maintained or lost."20 The tribe, then, as late as 1966 still heavily influenced people's lives even under communism. As a political entity, though, the tribe was relatively weak.

Bulatovic supporters gather in Pedgorica.; Montenegrin police prepared for crowd control in Cetinje.
Bulatovic supporters gather in Pedgorica.
Montenegrin police prepared for crowd control in Cetinje.

The tribe does not dominate politics in Montenegro as it did prior to 1850. In their heyday, clan and tribal assemblies decided all of the important questions of Montenegrin life. All of the male members of the population fit to bear arms participated in these gatherings, and their decisions were binding on all tribal members. Indeed, the punishment for disobedience could include isolation, persecution and even death. The tribe imposed sentence not only on the individual but also on that person's family. Even though the tribe no longer wields that kind of influence, people continue to identify with their tribal affiliation. Recently, weekend tribal assemblies have drawn from a few hundred to 2000 people. Usually, assemblies' participants are bussed in by Montenegrin opposition members supported from Belgrade.21 The President of the Montenegrin Parliament, Svetozar Marovic, though, recognizes the potential represented by the Montenegrin tribes. He realizes Montenegro still has a tribal spirit with which "one can mobilize thousands and thousands of people."22

Montenegro contains between 30 and 40 tribes. Each tribe is associated with a particular region of the country, though with the population shifts following World War II, large numbers of people who can trace their ancestry to a particular tribe now live outside their traditional tribal areas. Roughly speaking, Montenegrin tribes fall into two categories. The Brda or Mountain tribes have traditional lands located northeast of the Zeta River. The Brda tribes consist mainly of immigrant Serbian clans who fled to Montenegro during the Ottoman occupation. There are eight Brda tribes: the Rovcani, the Upper and Lower Moraca, the Bjelopavlici, the Vasojevici, the Piperi, the Bratonozici and the Kuci.

Map of the Early 19th Century Montenegrin Tribes

The other group consists of the Old Montenegrin tribes whose traditional lands lie southwest of the Zeta. These Old Montenegrin tribes inhabit regions known as nahije.23 Some 20 tribes in four nahija make up the Old Montenegrin tribes. The members of the Old Montenegrin tribes trace their ancestry to either the ancient Illyrians who were later slavicized during the great Slav migration into Southeastern Europe or to the original Slavs who settled the area.24 The Old Montenegrin tribes are generally smaller and more numerous than the Brda tribes of the northeast. This division between the tribes has existed for centuries, but as with other historical cleavages in the Balkans, politicians are using these divisions to further their own agendas.

The Tribe as it Is

Montenegrin opposition loyal to Belgrade and led by Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic's Socialist People's Party (SNP) sees the Brda tribes' historic connection to Serbia as a way to mobilize support in Montenegro. Unfortunately, as the SNP and others stoke Serbian national feeling among the Brda tribes, they also exacerbate differences between the Mountain and Old Montenegrin tribes, between northeast and southwest. Evidence of a rift between these two regions in Montenegro is already present. The Brda tribes in the region to the northeast of the Zeta generally support continued unification with Serbia as part of Yugoslavia, while most Old Montenegrin tribes southwest of the Zeta favor Montenegrin independence. This is not a hard and fast rule. One exception is the Drobnjaci tribe which has declared its desire to remain part of Yugoslavia even if Montenegro declares independence. The Drobnjaci are an Old Montenegrin tribe, but their lands lie in the north of the republic near Herzegovina.

Often tribes support the political position of their favorite sons. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and former Yugoslav army colonel Veselin Sljivancanin, both indicted war criminals, are Drobnjaci. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic is a member of the Vasojevic tribe. The Yugoslav Prime Minister Bulatovic as well as his vice-minister, both Milosevic men, are Kuci. On the other hand, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic is a member of the Cuce, an Old Montenegrin tribe.

Montenegrin voting patterns reinforce the northeast-southwest split in the attitudes of the republican electorate. Voting results from the last presidential and parliamentary elections show support for the regime in Belgrade concentrated in the northern and northeastern parts of the republic. Among other campaign issues, opposing platforms with regard to Podgorica's relationship with Belgrade marked the two main candidates, Bulatovic and Djukanovic.

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic (right) meets with Secretary of Defense William Cohen in Washington to discuss regional security issues, 4 November 1999.
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic

During the presidential campaign, former Montenegrin President and Milosevic supporter, Bulatovic attempted to portray the current president, Djukanovic, as an advocate of Montenegrin independence. Belgrade clearly supported Bulatovic during the elections, while Djukanovic ran on a reform-oriented and Western looking platform. Bulatovic received most of his votes in the northern and northeastern municipalities. In fact, most of the municipalities where Bulatovic received over 65 percent of the vote in the second round runoff against Djukanovic in October 1997 are in the northeast. Djukanovic found his base of support in the southwest while the center part of Montenegro returned mixed results. Djukanovic won the elections in the second round, with only 51 percent of the vote.25

Branko Banjevic, President of Matica, the Montenegrin Cultural Association, says that although local tribes changed with history, they always bore the responsibility for government in a unified Montenegro. He says attempts to use historical tribal traditions of brotherhood to divide Montenegro at some gatherings are degrading. Indeed, historically tribes did not go to war for political or ideological reasons. Most conflicts between tribes were over matters such as pasturage, livestock, water and honor.26 Clans and sometimes whole tribes resolved these conflicts through the vendetta.

Vendetta killings, or blood revenge, followed strict traditional rules. The blood feud was not necessarily an exchange of a life for a life. The killing sometimes started over a perceived slight to a man's honor or hospitality. The man who felt slighted might immediately or after a time murder the man who insulted him or another of his clan. This clan orientation of the vendetta is an aspect of the blood feud in both Montenegro and northern Albania. According to tradition, the wronged individual need not take his blood revenge on the one who insulted him. It is sufficient to murder another male of the wrongdoers clan, even if that person was not present when the offense took place. In this way, one can see how blood revenge could quickly escalate between clans and sometimes tribes. Still blood feuds usually remained limited in scope and although the death toll in these ongoing revenge killings could go quite high, they usually did not result in open warfare.27 As late as the early 20th century, Milovan Djilas punctuated how compelling the need to take revenge could be to Montenegrins when he wrote:

"Vengeance—this is a breath of life one shares from the cradle with one's fellow clansmen, in both good fortune and bad, vengeance from eternity. Vengeance was the debt we paid for the love and sacrifice our forebears and fellow clansmen bore for us. It was the defense of our honor and good name and the guarantee of our maidens. It was our pride before others; our blood was not water that anyone could spill. It was, moreover, our pastures and springs—more beautiful than anyone else's—our family feasts and births. It was the glow in our eyes, the flame in our cheeks, the pounding in our temples, the word that turned to stone in our throats on hearing that our blood had been shed. It was centuries of manly pride and heroism, survival, a mother's milk and a sister's vow, bereaved parents and children in black, joy and songs turned into silence and wailing. It was all, all."28

Conflicts in the 20th century involving Montenegro have tended to cut across tribal lines. The conflict over unification between the greens and the whites following World War I split loyalties within tribes and clans. World War II and the three-way civil war in Yugoslavia between the Ustase, Chetniks and Partisans also cut across tribal boundaries. Some popular myths tend to portray these ideological struggles in a tribal vein, for instance that the Vasojevic tribe was "altogether Chetnik."29 The current confrontation between Montenegro and Serbia has already begun to split tribal loyalties. According to one report from the city of Kolasin, northeast of Podgorica, there are divisions between the "tribal assembly" and the "tribal forum" of the Rovci. Apparently, one part of the tribe supports Bulatovic while the other is firmly for Djukanovic.30 This indicates that the political support of a tribe may not be monolithic.

Authorities in Podgorica become concerned when even a portion of a tribe wishes to remain part of Serbia. The Brda tribes could react as Krajina Serbs did in Croatia. That is, in the event that Montenegro declares independence from Yugoslavia, these tribes could declare their intention to remain in Serbia. They would likely take up arms to defend what they see as their right to remain in Yugoslavia. At the very least they would stage large demonstrations to protest Montenegrin independence. In either case, Djukanovic might use his Montenegrin Interior Ministry police to stop the tribes from seceding or to contain the demonstrations. Belgrade could seize either situation as an excuse for the Yugoslav Army to intervene. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Western diplomats have made it clear that Yugoslav Army intervention in Montenegro could prompt a military response.

Members of the Yugoslav army (left) and Montenegrin Interior Ministry police.
Members of the Yugoslav army  and Montenegrin Interior Ministry police.

Should Montenegro be wracked by internal conflict, tribal custom might supercede the rule of law. Currently, the standoff over Montenegrin independence is between those who support Milosevic in Belgrade and supporters of Djukanovic in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. If these sides start fighting, the outcome is unclear. The Yugoslav Army would probably move to overthrow the central authorities in Montenegro. One need only look to northern Albania to describe a possible scenario for a lawless Montenegro. Currently, the government in Albania has little control over its northern territory. Consequently, criminal gangs have taken over and traditional blood feuds have resurged. The town of Shkoder in northern Albania has a reputation as one of the country's bloodiest places, and many of the murders committed there relate to blood feuds between clans.31 Montenegrin tribes are similar in structure and tradition to those of northern Albania. In the event of Montenegrin conflict and concomitant lawlessness, tribes might also band together to defend their territories and effectively establish their own tiny statelets in a balkanized Montenegro.

In addition to the diverse ethnic groups in Montenegro, the influence of tribal custom is another element that further confuses the complex situation in this small republic. As NATO attempts to implement a peaceful resolution to situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the province of Kosovo, military planners must realize that this tribal heritage represents an entirely new set of variables for possible operations in Montenegro. While it is impossible to say how much influence the tribe has on individuals, it is possible to determine the broad pattern of loyalties represented by each tribe. In Montenegro a division between the tribes in the northeast and those in the southwest is clearly evident. The Brda tribes of the northwest have said that to them calls for Montenegrin independence are the same as calls to take up arms against Podgorica.32 Cetinje is at the center of Old Montenegro, and tribes there sympathize with the idea of Montenegrin independence.

Dedejic refers to Montenegro as a large family. Any conflict between Montenegro and Serbia could likely cut across tribal boundaries and make war in Montenegro one of the bloodiest in the Balkans since 1991. A struggle in Montenegro would be a true civil war where brother would fight brother.33 Armed conflict in Montenegro would prompt refugee flow into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Croatia and Italy. It would also mean some Montenegrins would flee the Balkans entirely, opting to live with relatives abroad in Europe and the United States. A breakdown in the central authority of the state might allow some people to revert to a more traditional type of justice based on tribal law and blood revenge. With about 40 tribes in Montenegro it is also conceivable that communities could balkanize completely and declare their own microstates. While this last possibility seems farfetched to a Western observer, the Balkans have defied conventional logic before. The tribal legacy in Montenegro is a dynamic for another round of Balkan conflict and foreign intervention relevant to NATO and US military planners.


1. I have chosen to translate the word pleme as "tribe" and the word bratstvo as "clan" for this article based on Christopher Boehm, Montenegrin Social Organization and Values: Political Ethnography of a Refuge Area Tribal Adaption (New York: AMS Press, 1983), 42 and 52.

2. Bostjan Videmsek, "Mihajlo: Civil War Possible in Montenegro," Ljubljana Delo (Ljubljana), 15 January 2000; available from Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) [database on-line], accessed 3 March 2000, Document ID: FTS20000202000124. Controversy surrounds a separate Montenegrin Orthodox Church and Dedejic, Metropolitain of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, has been excommunicated from the Serbian Orthodox Church and is one of the loudest voices espousing Montenegrin independence.

3. Anatol Lieven, Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 336.

4. Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester W. Grau, The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (Quantico: The US Marine Corps Studies and Analysis Division, 1995), 149-151.

5. Anatol Lieven, Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power, 338-339.

6. These are people identifying themselves as Romanies (0.5 percent), Macedonians (0.17 percent), Hungarians (0.3 percent), Slovaks (0.2 percent), Bulgarians (0.0075 percent), Romanians (0.0054 percent), Turks (0.0046 percent), Ruthenians (0.0042 percent) and Vlachs (0.0005 percent).

7. Statistics derived from Montenegro Population and Demography, unclassified, Military Geography Division, Office for Joint Warfare Support, Transnational Warfare Group, Directorate for Intelligence Production, Defense Intelligence Agency, May 1999.

8. Mila Radunovic, `Izmedju Mita I Politike," (Between Myth and Politics) Reporter, Internet: <http://www.reporter.co.yu/rep78/0005s.htm>; accessed 6 March 2000.

9. "Montenegrin Paramilitary: FRY Army `Occupying Force,'" SRNA (Bijeljina), 6 November 1999; available from FBIS [database on-line], accessed 14 March 2000, Document ID: FTS19991106000863.

10. Sonja Radosevic, "`Liberation Movement' Prepares for War Against Serbs," Vesti (Bad Vibel), 8 November 1999; available from FBIS [database on-line], accessed 14 March 2000, Document ID: FTS19991110001355.

11. Here I rely on Milija Komatina's work cited later as well as Dr. Novica Rakocevic's Politicki Odnosi Crne Gore i Srbije 1903-1918 (The Political Relations of Montenegro and Serbia 1903-1918) (Cetinje: Obod, 1981); and Jagos Jovanovic's Stvaranje Crnogorske Drzave i Ravoj Crnogorske Nacionalnosti: Istorija Crne Gore od Pocetka VII Vijeka do 1918 godine (The Creation of the Montenegrin State and the Development of Montenegrin Nationalism: The History of Montenegro from the Beginning of the 17th century until 1918) (Cetinje: Narodna Knjiga, 1948).

12. Milija Komatina, Crna Gora I Srpsko Pitanje: Prilog Izucavanju Integrativnih i Dezintegrativnih Tokova (Montenegro and the Serbian Question: A Contribution to the Study of Integrative and Disintegrative Currents) (Belgrade: Inter Ju Press, 1966), 171.

13. Blaine Harden "Playing Chicken With Milosevic," New York Times Magazine, 25 April 1999, 38-41.

14. Singular: bratstvo.

15. Enciklopedija Jugoslavije (The Encyclopedia of Yugoslavia), 2nd ed., under the word "Crnogorci."

16. Ibid.

17. Christopher Boehm, Blood Revenge: The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1984), 41.

18. Ibid.

19. Christopher Boehm, Blood Revenge: The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies, 41-42.

20. Ibid., 46.

21. Anna Husaraka, `Balkanization? You just wait . . .: As part of Montenegro races back to the past, the return of clan gatherings. This isn't funny," Newsweek International, 8 November 1999, 2.

22. Mila Radunovic, "Izmedju Mita I Politike" (Between Myth and Politics) Reporter, Internet: http://www.reporter.co.yu/rep78/0005s.htm; accessed 6 March 2000.

23. Pronounced NA-he-yeh. Singular: nahija.

24. Christopher Boehm, Blood Revenge: The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies, 42-43.

25. The Results of the Second Round of Presindential [sic] Election in Montenegro, Montenet, 19 October 1997 [database on-line]; available from http://www.montenet.org/mnews/results2.htm; Internet; accessed 26 April 1999.

26. Mila Radunovic, "Izmedju Mita I Politike" (Between Myth and Politics).

27. Milovan Djilas, Land Without Justice (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., 1958), 107.

28. Christopher Boehms, Montenegrin Social Organization and Values: Political Ethnography of a Refuge Area Tribal Adaption (New York: AMS Press, 1983); and Blood Revenge: The Anthropology of Feuding in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1984), cited earlier in this article are excellent resources explaining why and how feuding took place in pre-1850 Montenegro.

29. Mila Radunovic, "Izmedju Mita I Politike" (Between Myth and Politics).

30. Sead Sadikovic, "Zapis Sa Sjevera: Kolasin Podjeljeni Grad (A Report From the North: Kolasin A Divided City)," Monitor, Internet: http://www.monitor.cg.yu/a_485_07.html; accessed 6 March 2000.

31. Scott Anderson, "The Curse of Blood and Vengeance," New York Times Magazine, 26 December 1999.

32. Mila Radunovic, "Izmedju Mita I Politike" (Between Myth and Politics).

33. Bostjan Videmsek, "Mihajlo: Civil War Possible in Montenegro," Ljubljana Delo (Ljubljana).


Major Steven C. Calhoun is a foreign area officer with the Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He received a B.S. from the US Military Academy and an M.A. from the University of Kansas. He has held a variety of command and staff positions, including commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, Giebelstadt, Germany; commander, Eagle Flight Detachment, Operation Provide Comfort, Diyarbakir, Turkey; XO, C Company, 6th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, Giebelstadt; and flight operations officer, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado.



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Photos:
Dusko Mihallovic, Montenegro.com
Media Club of Montenegro
DOD
MN News
Stevo Vasiljevic, Montenegrin Orthodox Church