BESA. Popular custom. The besa (Alb.besë, def.besa) is one’s word of honor, a sworn oath, a pledge, or a cease-fire. In Albanian culture, the besa was regarded as something sacred, and its violation was quite unthinkable. The besa was not only a moral virtue, but also a particularly important institution in Albanian customary law. Among the blood feuding tribes of the north it offered the only form of real protection and security to be had. A besa could be given between individuals or feuding families for a specific period of time in order for them to settle other urgent affairs. It could also be concluded between tribes as a cease-fire between periods of fighting.
Robert Elsie: Historical Dictionary of Albania, Besa