The shtojzovalle, shtojzorreshta, shtozote or xhinde is a small and invisible woodland creature that has supernatural powers. They can only be seen by humans on special occasions and they love songs and dances.
The term shtojzovalle is derived from the Albanian words shtoj (English: add), zot (English: god, deity) and valle (English: dance). Therefore, shtojzovalle means "may God give increase to their dance".
The shtojzovalles are tiny male and female creatures that possess extraordinary beauty. They usually thrive in forests and pastures and are fond of singing and dancing. Shtojzovalles can fly and can spin the thread of human existence during the night. Humans can only see them when they lift the invisible veil in front of their eyes. Marriage between humans and shtojzovalles seldom occurs and humans can only keep a shtojzovalle maiden if he let her wear his clothes.
When a human build a house on the land where the shtojzovalles live, the house will be haunted with shaking of heavy iron chains. If a human happens to step on a shtojzovalle, he will be eaten greedily by the creature.
According to the traditions of the Albanian Christians especially Catholics from northern Albania and Malësia, the angels who remained neutral when Archangel Michael and Satan fought became shtojzovalles. The shtojzovalles weep in repentance but if their tears fall on a human, he will die.
- Elsie, Robert (2001). A dictionary of Albanian religion, mythology and folk culture. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers.
- Bonefoy, Yves (1993). American, African, and Old European mythologies. University of Chicago Press.