It is believed that the Mijaci, a renowned Slavic-Macedonian tribe, came from an old royal or noble family.
Nourished by the pure waters of the Orthodox Christian faith, the Miyaks left a great and lasting mark on the spiritual culture of the Macedonian people, which, in turn, had a strong impact on our material culture as well. Throughout history, and even today, their beautiful architecture, unique, noble folk costumes, and exuberant folk traditions continue to impress and inspire. Of course, we cannot ignore traditional Miyak cuisine, which stands out for its refined, epicurean flavors.
It is considered that the glorious Miyak community, which gave birth to some of our most prominent ecclesiastic, educational, cultural and social activists, has originated from certain ancient royal or noble ancestors. Apart from this idea we have the highly developed spiritual and material culture of the Miyaks. Throughout history, they have been distinguished by the most noble human characteristics: faith, piety, patriotism, chastity, learning, diligence, courage, determination. Nourished by the pure waters of the Orthodox Christian faith, the Miyaks left a great and lasting mark on the spiritual culture of the Macedonian people, which, in turn, had a strong impact on our material culture as well. As capable and efficient traders, craftsmen, migrant workers and artists, the Miyaks managed to extract the best and the most beautiful essence of all the different cultures they have encountered, and to incorporate it in their everyday life. In such way, a special unique Miyak culture was created, which distinguished itself with especially high aesthetic standards. Throughout the time, and even today, the beautiful Miyak’s architecture, the unique aristocratic Miyak folk costumes, the glamorous folk Miyaks tradions…continue to impress and inspire… And one cannot avoid to mention the traditional Miyak’s food, recognised for it’s gourmand refined taste.
The Miyaks, a renowned Slavic-Macedonian community, one of the main subgroups of the Macedonian people, traditionally inhabited the areas of Upper (Great) and Lower (Small) Reka, located northeast of the town Debar, surrounded by the adjacent mountains of Ljubotrn, Shar Planina, Korab, and Stogovo. However, Miyaks could also be found even in areas outside their traditional homelands. They also had communities in the villages of Smilevo (near Bitola), Papradishta and Oreshe (Veles), Ehloec and Lavchani (Kichevo), and the town of Krushevo, among others. Mavrovo, Leunovo and Nikiforovo are also considered Miyak villages. In time, coming to be famous as traveling craftsmen, the Miyaks also lived in the large cities of Thessaloniki, Bitola, Skopje, as well as certain towns in Bulgaria, like Lom, Vidin, Svishtov, Sofia, and others.
Today, the Miyaks are mostly scattered all over Macedonia and abroad. Nevertheless, a large number of them still remain on their historical lands. Additionally, the current Muslim inhabitants of the villages of Reka have their origins in the Miyak community, having been forced to accept Islam during the Ottoman era.
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