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Aug 23rd 2007 1:23PM They aren't necessarily teddy bears. In fact, driving around the Southern Balkans this spring, we mostly saw disturbingly human-like figures hanging from the beams and roofs as well. Some of them were human-sized, too, which freaked us out the first time we saw one to say the least. They are indeed to ward off the evil eye, and are used when something is seen to be vulnerable or weak, and thus with buildings are mostly used when a building is still the construction phase.
We didn't see this practice in neighboring Macedonia or even Kosovo, which is ethnically 90% Albanian, so it must be a very local practice.