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Sirma voivode - A woman warrior who led a mountain gang while dressed as a man

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  Sirma voivode - a warrior who led her own mountain gang, while dressed as a man Sirma Strezova Krasteva was born in a small village in the Shar mountain, which was terrorized by Albanian outlaws. One day, the outlaws kidnapped her best friend Ruzha to bring her to their leader - Hamza Bei. Fed up with their cruelty, Sirma decided to strike the outlaws back. She dressed up like a man and joined the Haiduks - a gang of Slavic peasants aiming to protect their villages from assaults. Once there, she not only earned the respect of her comrades, but they also choose her by vote to be their gang leader. Thus, she turned into Sirma voivode (voivode means leader). And she was only 18. For 24 years her gang roamed the mountain, protecting the defenseless mountain villages and waging war on Hamza Bei and his underlings. With time, Sirma's group reached 72 loyal comrades, and it took a long time until they realized she was a woman. Living in the mountain wilderness was tough, especially when