Contemporary Art Center


about Reka

The Reka region is located in the western Macedonia, between Mavrovo and Debar on one side, and the border with Republic of Albania and Kičevo area on the other. Geographically, Reka region is bordered with the southern slopes of Šar Mountain on the north, and the northern parts of the Dešat Mountain on the south. Korab and Krčin Mountains draw the western border, while Bistra and Stogovo Mountains draw the eastern one.

The region bears its name because of the Radika River (Reka Radika) and its tributary Small River (Mala Reka). Due to the very harsh relief, with numerous peaks higher than 2.500 meters, communication between the settlements was done via river flows. Main communication directions were the flows of Radika and Mala Rivers. Mala River is also known as Garska.

    There are several parts of the Reka Region: Gorna (Upper) Reka, Dolna (Lower) Reka, Golema (Big) Reka, Mijačija, and Malareka region.
    The region of Gorna Reka covers the territory of the upper flow of Radika River, from its spring to its connection with Ribnička River. Villages of Brodec, Krakornica, Bogdevo, Vrben, Trnica, Volkovija, Tanuše, Nistrovo, and Bibanj belong to this part of Reka. Today, almost all of these villages are abandoned. In the past, this part of the region was mostly populated by Orthodox Macedonians who's mother tongue was Albanian.
    Lower Reka covers the area from the Ribnička River mouth to the Radika River to the locality Boškov Bridge, that is – the mouth of the Mala River in Radika. Today, most of the living and developed villages are located here: Žirovnica, Vrbjani, Rostuše, Bituše, Janče, Trebište, Velebrdo, Skudrinje, Prisojnica, and Viduše.
    The Malareka region covers the territory of the flows of Mala River, Tresonečka and Garska Rivers, as well as a part from the Stogovo Mountain. Villages of Gari, Tresonče, Lazaropole, Selce, Rosoki, Osoj, and Mogorče are located here.
    Big Reka region is located at the mouth of Mala River in Radika River, to the locality of Gorenički Bridge.
    The population in Dolna, Mala and Golema Reka is Macedonian (Mijaks) with Orthodox or Muslim religion. In Gorna Reka (now almost abandoned) Rekanci live, who speak Albanian and belong to Orthodox religion. They are also called Škreti.
    Today, Reka region has 10.000 inhabitants. Main occupation of these people was (and still is) cattle breeding and working abroad. People from Reka are famous fresco-painters, wood carvers, and mosaic-makers. Today, they are well-known facadiers, builders (bricklayers), tile masters, and mosaic-makers in Italy and in Western Europe. It is interesting to point the fact that in 1920's there was a pipeline that was transporting the milk from the bigger villages to the diaries. Cheeses and hard cheeses from the Reka region, using the Thessalonica Port, were exported all the way to North America. Before the World War II, there were 2.5 million sheep and the same number of goats, as well as more than 150.000 horses in the Reka region. They presented strong economic potential, which provided good life for more than 17.00o inhabitants in the region, known as Galičnik district at that time.

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