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In pictures: Why Albania's cuddly toys are special

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image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionIn the 1990s many Albanians built homes using money earned in Western Europe. The cuddly toy at the gate is meant to ward off the "evil eye" - a curse inflicted by a neighbour's envious look.
image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionThis Donald Duck toy is protecting a building under construction.
image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionThe traditional talisman against the evil eye: A ram's horn and garlic bulbs, still seen on some buildings.
image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionAlbanians call the talismans "majmune"- meaning "little monkeys", even if the fluffy toy represents a different creature.
image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionA doll protects a vegetable plot: About one in eight Albanian homes sports such a toy.
image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionOften the toys look quite weather-beaten. Mihhail Triboi spotted these in Korce, Gjirokaster, Saranda and Berat.
image copyrightMihhail Triboi
image captionBedri Tahiraj, owner of a small hotel in Berat, said this toy was a good luck charm to help drive the business and attract customers. (Photos first appeared on BBC Russian.)

Related Topics

  • Tradition
  • Albania
  • Toys