Montenegro’s last ‘virgina’ dies


PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegro’s state TV says the Balkan country’s last known ‘virgina,’ or sworn virgin who lived her life in a role of a man, has died in her mid-80s.

Stana Cerovic had promised her father she would spend her life unmarried and as a man to preserve the family name and serve as head of family after her two brothers died young without children.

She dressed in man’s clothes and did a man’s daily jobs — including cutting wood — while living on her own in a village in rugged northern Montenegro. Cerovic also had four sisters.

The tradition of sworn virgins existed for centuries in highly patriarchal Montenegro, and some other parts of the Balkans.

Montenegrin TV said Tuesday that Cerovic died late Monday in a nursing home.

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