Itar Pejo – representative of the Macedonian joking wisdom

Itar Pejo is a famous character from the Macedonian folk tales, who is believed to come from the village Gradeshnica. He was a poor villager, known for his extraordinary slyness and resourcefulness and the witty spirit for handling with the stupidity, laziness and arrogance among the people. 

Itar Pejo monument in Prilep
Itar Pejo monument in Prilep

The stories for Itar Pejo appear during the time of the Ottoman rule in the middle of the XIX century.

Represented as an opponent of the Ottoman Nasreddin Hodja, Itar Pejo is a positive character under a similar name which is to be found in the folk tales of other Balkan people.

Though the Itar Pejo’s stories, the population in Mariovo found a way to learn a lesson from someone’s stupidity or insufficient knowledge and transfer the smart lecture to the future generations. Later, those stories are turned into books by many authors, and one of the most popular are those by the novelist and story teller, Stale Popov (1902 – 1965).