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Kuči is one of the Montenegrin Highland clans in Montenegromarker, and is also a name of geographical region in eastern Montenegro which the clan populates. The region is located north-east of Podgoricamarker, and extends along the border with Albania, thus one reason why most of the tribe's population is Albanophone. The geographic region took the name of the tribe, historically being called Zatrijebač. Marko Miljanov Popović, writer and warrior from Kuči, is arguably the most prominent member of the tribe.



In 1694 the Kuči were allied together with the Albanian Hoti in an uprising against the Turks. Throughout the 18th century, the Kuči fight together with the Montenegrin Vasojevići and the Albanians Hoti and Klimente in resistance against the Ottoman Empire. The center of resistance against the Ottomans came with Duke Marko Miljanov Popović in the 19th century.

Marko Drekalović, who with his tribe, the New Kuči, after harrying the Turks for many years, sick of Turkish rule, joined forces with Prince Nikola when a war against the Turks was proclaimed. Kuči was later included politically within the Montenegrinmarker border after the war of 1876–1878.

Old Kuči

Grča (Gavrilo) Nenadin, a member of the noble Serbian Mrnjavčević clan, had decided to immigrate from Scutari in present-day northern Albaniamarker (Malësia) to an area on the Cijevna River Basin in present-day Montenegro, near the village of Korita in the last decade of the XIV century. His son, Panto Grčin (or Grčić), and his sons: Petar, Đurađ, Tiho(mir), Mara (Marin/Marko) and L(j)eš (Aleksa), had immigrated to the village of Orahovo in 1416 and later formed the building blocks of what was later to become the Old Kuči clan.

Panto, after gaining control of the governance of Orahovo and other nearby villages, he had decided to relocate his sons to key places to which he would soon control. Panto and his youngest son, Tihomir, had settled in Berovo. Đurađ, first Duke of present-day Upper Kuči, had settled in a village called Liješti, however, it is believed that he settled in the present-day village of Dučići. Mara has settled in Bezjovo, Lješ in Krivi Do and Petar in Ubli. However, Tihomir soon left his father in Berovo and set out somewhere along the Cijevna River and was never mentioned in history from then on. After Tihomir left Berovo, Petar returned to his father in Orahovo.

According to folk telling, Petar Pantin (or Pantović) had four sons, Marko, Andrija, Vuko (Vukašin) and Nikač. Vuko and Andrija were, however, never mentioned in any family tree in Orahovo, possibly because either they probably never bore any male offspring or had left Orahovo early in their lives. Vuko did indeed leave Orahovo and immigrated somewhere toward Malësia. Marko and Nikač, however, lived during the mid-XV century. According to folk telling, Nikač had two sons, Petar and Andrija. Petar's descendants were never mentioned, however, it is known that Andrija has a son named Nikola. Nikola had one son, named Stojan. Stojan had, according to folk telling, three sons, Vuko, Stefo and Periša. Vuko and Stefo had died of a siniter disease, called "čume" by the locals, which had caused an epidemic within the region. Soon, Stojan, and Periša's son, Stefan, had died and Periša, fearing the death of his remaining son, Vuk, left Berovo and settled in Lazorce, a village far north of Berovo, believing that "čume" will not reach the village. Periša was quickly accepted by the population in Lazorac. Periša's descendants would later become known as the Perići, a clan still existing today in Lazorce.

It is also believed through folk telling that Grča's brothers, Krsto and Šako, were the founding fathers of the Kastrati and Shaljani tribes. The Mrnjavčević brotherhood claims origin from Gojko Mrnjavčević, possible brother of Serb King Vukašin. Many Mrnjavčevićs crossed over to Islam, among the most notable the Ganići in Rožaje and Radonjičići (today Radončić) in Gusinje.

The founders of the Albanian clans Klimenti (Amati or Klmen) and Berisha migrated from the Kuči over the ages. The Komatovićs in Brnjak also are a separate brotherhood that broke off from this clan.

New Kuči

A certain Drekale came to Kuči with his mother around mid-16th century. There are various legends encircling him. According to one, his mother had been a listener for some Nikeza of the Mrnjavčević family. According to Montenegrin national telling, Drekale's mother was Gruba, the unknown daughter of Serbian Emperor Dušan. According to Albanian national tellings, Drekale was a grandson of George Kastrioti Scanderbey himself, through his son John. Another popular telling suggests that the Drekalovići descend from the Albanian-Malësor Kastrati tribe.

Drekale's son Lale Drekalov is the true founder of the Drekalović Kuči brotherhood, from him sprang over 800 houses. Serbian Patriarch John II Kantul wanted to raise initiatives in an attempt to raise a general national rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, it organized meetings of Montenegrin chiefs. In 1608 Lale attended one such in the Moračamarker monastery and in 1613 the second one in the Kuči.

Lale Drekalov had married twice, he had Vuk from his first marriage and four sons in his second, the most important being Iliko. In 1658 Iliko became Duke of the Kuči. In the following 30 years Iliko's son Ivan came to prominence as also Duke. From then onwards sprang Iliković brotherhood, which made up to half of all Drekalovics. Vuk crossed over to Islam and became the forefather of the Turkovići in Podgoricamarker. These all Kucis hence became known as "the New Kuči".

The ethnic Albanian Banjkani clan claims descent from the House of Crnojević.


There are over 15,000 residents in Kuči, with over 3,000 homes. Three ethnic groups, ethnic Montenegrins, Montenegrin Serbs and Montenegrin Albanians live together in Kuči. The first two groups may be regarded as one, as some families may politically be split between the two, with one brother being a Montenegrin and another being a Serb. The Serbs are Serbian Orthodox christian, Montenegrins are also followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church but are divided between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Montenegrin Orthodox church, while a minority are Muslims. Most of the Albanians are followers of the Roman Catholic Church, while a minority is Muslim.

Christian Orthodox residents used to be split into two distinct groups: Starokuči (Old Kuči) and Drekalovići. The Old Kuči is seen as being of Serb descent and have settled in the area before the forming of the Serbian empire (14th century). The Novi Kuči (New Kuči, referred to as "Drekalovići") are the other group of families that trace their ancestry to Drekale Kastrioti, an Albanian Catholic who settled Kuči during the 16th century.


Major place of Kuči is Ubli village, which have about 1,500 resident. In Ubli are situated major institutions of Kuči like Culture Hall, Elementary School 'Đoko Prelević', Hospital, police station, former fabric... Ubli are situated in central Kuči with center and villages of Prelevići, Pavićevići, Živkovići, Kostrovići... Other places are Medun, Zatrijebač, Orahovo, Fundina, Koći, Kržanja, Kosor, Vrbica, Stravče, Zagreda, Raći in Gornji Kuči and Doljani, Murtovina, Stara Zlatica, Zlatica in Donji Kuči...

Notable Members

Bratstva (clans)

  • Bašići
  • Bulajići (descendants of Boroje Dragojev Drekalović)
    • Ćetkovići
    • Milinići (descendants of knez Milin Borojev Bulajić)
    • Pašajlići
    • Popovići
    • Prndići
    • Radani (descendants of Radan Škeranov Bulajić)
    • Stanići
    • Todorovići (descendants of Todor Borojev Bulajić)
    • Vukajlovići (descendants of Vukajlo Škeranov Bulajić)
  • Čejovići (descendants of Čejo Lalev Drekalović)
    • Božovići (descendants of Božo Popov Čejović)
      • Mićkovići (descendants of Mićko Božov Čejović)
    • Camovići (descendants of Camo Vujov Čejović)
      • Barići
    • Pavićevići (descendants of Pavić Popov Čejović)
      • Božovići
    • Prelevići (descendants of Prele Popov Čejović)
    • Radevići (descendants of Rade Popov Čejović)
    • Radonjići (descendants of Radonja Popov Čejović)
  • Ivanovići (descendants of Ivan Ilikov Drekalović)
    • Baković
  • Ljakovići (descendants of Ljaka Ilikov Drekalović)
  • Mijovići (descendants of Mijo Lalev Drekalović)
    • Begovići
    • Kolovići
  • Milačići (descendants of Milač Ilikov Drekalović)
    • Kalači (descendants of Vušo (Mušo) Perov Milačić)
      • Begovići
      • Šabanovići
    • Došovići
    • Ljabovići
    • Nešovići
    • Turkovići
  • Nelevići
  • Popovići (descendants of pop (priest) Mirčeta Ilikov Drekalović)
    • Barjaktarovići
  • Petrovići (descendants of Petar Ilikov Drekalović)
  • Rašovići
  • Radonjići (descendants of Radonja Petrov Drekalović)
  • Turkovići (descendants of Vujaš (Vuk) Lalev Drekalović)
  • Vučetići (descendants of Luka Radojev Drekalović)
  • Vujačići (descendants of Šoroje Dragojev Drekalović)
    • Dakovići
    • Jakšići
    • Luburići
    • Stevanovići
  • Vujoševići (descendants of Vujoš Lalev Drekalović)
    • Božovići
      • Veskovići
    • Rašovići
  • Vukoslavčevići (descendants of Vukoslav Ilikov Drekalović)
  • Vuksanovići (descendants of Vuksan Ilikov Drekalović)

Families that make up Old Kuči:
  • Dedići
  • Đurđevići
  • Krivodoljani
    • Bojovići (Baljušići)
    • Gošovići
    • Milići
    • Mitrovići
    • Nikići
    • Pekovići
    • Perkovići
  • Milići
  • Nikezići
    • Muratagići (descendants of Nikola Nikezić)
  • Nikčevići
  • Nikići
  • Živkovići
  • Oručevići

Families that make up Zatrijebač:
  • Bankeći
  • Bardačari
  • Bunjkanji
  • Gašovići
  • Ibričevići
    • Bisići
  • Milići (originally from Bjelica in Cetinjemarker)
    • Bankanji
      • Bekteši
      • Bekteševići (descendants of Miloš (Bekteš))
        • Kobilići
        • Lončarevići
        • Mulići
      • Bećiragići
        • Ademović
        • Topalović
    • Memčevići
    • Benjkanji
  • Mrnjavčevići
    • Beriša
    • Bokeći
      • Bokići
      • Nikmaraši
  • Šćepali
    • Bardakići

Families that emigrated from Kući to Gusinje:
  • Radončići (Vujoševići - Mrnjavčevići branch, originally Radonjičići)
    • Lukovići
    • Abdići
    • Rašići
    • Malagići (no blood relation)
  • Koljenovići
    • Metjahići
    • Kadrići
  • Šujkovići
  • Kurtagići
  • Šarkinovići
  • Kikovići
  • Bajrovići
  • Bicići
  • Laličići
  • Mrkulići
  • Šabovići
  • Redžići
  • Redžematovići
  • Nekovići
  • Nel(j)evići
  • Miljevići
  • Hadžialjevići
  • Gačevići
  • Damjanovići
  • Đurkovići
  • Đukanovići

Other families from Kuči:
  • Perovići
  • Bardnji
  • Bardonji
  • Bašovići
  • Bećirovići
  • Beganovići
  • Berovljanini
  • Bešići
  • Beškovići
  • Bišević
    • Milićevići
    • Vladimiri
  • Bjeladinovići
    • Humc
      • Humac
      • Umce
  • Bracanovići
  • Bracovići
  • Braunovići
    • Mihailovići (descendants of Mihailo Braunović)
    • Đerđelovići
  • Brunčevići
  • Bubarići
  • Bulatovići (originally from the Nikšić tribe)
    • Bolandžići
    • Budinići
      • Bojanovići
      • Bojanići
    • Tadići
    • Tomaševići
  • Bunci
  • Grujići
    • Barać
  • Raćeh


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