Mariovo is Macedonian area characterized by its history, ethnology, traditions and culture. Mariovo area is located in the farthest southern part of Macedonia.
Origin of the name Mariovo
For the origin of name there is a legend that says that a Turkish Bay love to take for his wife in his harem beautiful girl Maria from this region. After the long tension Maria agreed to go to the harem of the Bey but on one condition that in the entire region will not perform Islamisation and will not inhabit with Turks and not to build mosques. The agreement was respected and the region was rescued from abusive Islamisation and terror. As it is token, in honor to the beautiful Maria, who rescued them to the region the name Mariovo was given.
History of Mariovo
Mariovo area was inhabited since antiquity and was also part of ancient Macedonia, as testified by the remains of many forts and discovered shields and other objects of antiquity. In the area of Mariovo in 1564/65 year occurred the famous Mariovо Riot which was the first form of mass resistance of Macedonian people against the Ottoman rule triggered by the illegal taxes and unbearable living conditions, and later in 1688/89 was raised another Mariovo Riot under impact of Karposh's Uprising. Mariovo was one of the few areas in which, for the whole rule of the Turks, there were no processes of Islamization and colonization of Turkish and Muslim population. During the Turkish rule, particularly in the early period, Mariovo was special administrative unit "Hass" (similar to today's term autonomous province) which has paid a certain amount of money to the Sultan and in return residents were not subjects of the Bey and were not aimed of their harassment and abuse. At the end of Ottoman rule, in the famous Ilinden period Duke Shakir from Mariovo led of fighting with the Turkish army, as commander of the Regional area. Mariovo always was true for a restless and rebellious Macedonian region not only to Turkish authorities, but also for all further occupation authorities.
Geographical features of Mariovo
Mariovo is hilly - mountain region in southern part of Republic of Macedonia (or the middle of ethnic Macedonia) situated between the slopes of Selechka Mountain, Nidze, Kozjak and Dogwood Mountain in the valley of the Black River. Across the whole area of Mariovo Black River flows (middle flow) where actually is located the longest gorge in Macedonia, 100 km long Skochivir's Gorge which is also one of the precious natural beauties of this area. At west Mariovo is bordered by Pelagonija, on the south by Greece (vicinity of the city Voden and Meglen area), on the north by Raec (Raec's River valley) and at east Vitachevo Plateau or Tikvesh's Valley. The whole area of Mariovo covers an area of 1251 km ² and is divided into 3 smaller (ethno) geographic units surroundings Bitola's Mariovo (former municipality Staravina), Prilep's Mariovo (former municipality Vitolishte) and Tikvesh's (Kavadarci's) Mariovo (western and central parts of the former municipality Konopishte ).
Villages in Mariovo
Bitola's Mariovo: Staravina, Makovo, Rapesh, Zovikj, Gradeshnica, Budimirci, Grunishte, Orle, Brnik, Iveni and Petalino.
Prilep's Mariovo: Vitolishte, Beshishte, Veprchani, Vrpsko, Dunje, Zhivovo (the folk language: Zhiovo), Kalen, Kokre, Krushevica, Manastir, Polchishte, Peshtani, Chanishte and Gugjakovo (the folk language Gudjakovo).
Tikvesh's Mariovo: Rozhden, Klinovo, R'zhanovo, Majden and Galishte.
The Turkish census defters of XIV and XV century (1476/77 to 1544/45 year) were observed in Mariovo following villages that do not exist today, but there are locality with their names or similar names the then villages: Kostenovo, Chumagovo (today there locality Smagovo) Vidrishani (Vidishani) Crnichani, Satoka (from this village was the first leader of the Mariovo Riot) Bistrenci, Berani, Sudenec, Osinec, Kirilikovo, St. Petka, Leskovo.
Population and dividing of Mariovo
Besides the above three sub - areas of Mariovo, people that lives in Mariovo by downstream of the Black River area dividing Mariovo to small (left side of the river) and old (large) Mariovo (right side of the river).
According to the last census in 2002 Mariovo has 839 residents, most of which are Macedonians and the rest of the negligible number of other nationalities enumerated several Serbs and others.
Astonishingly for the Mariovo is that in just 40 years the population and birth rate (natality) is reduced several times due to the huge rate of migration of its citizens in Bitola, Prilep, Skopje and overseas. In the census of 1948 Mariovo had the highest rate of birth (natality) in former Yugoslavia with 41.8 promils for the past few years to be recorded births to only 3 children (who are still hope for this beautiful and rich Macedonian region).
The population in Mariovo has always been Macedonian and with Christian religion, and in Mariovo there haven't even the Islamisation of the population, and general physical settlement of the Turkish and Muslim population during the Ottoman Empire. For the reasons why the Mariovo was spared from Islamisation is associated legend for the name of Mariovo. Mariovo residents as an integral part of the Macedonian nation were mentioned by Gjorgjija Puleski in his book of history.
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