The people of modern Hoti trace their genealogy back to the late fifteenth century, when Albanian settlers from Herzegovina migrated southward to escape the Ottoman invasions, and interbred with the native highlanders, who by most accounts spoke the Albanian language.
Before 1421, much of the Malësia area was incorporated into the kingdom of Zeta which was ruled by the powerful Balša family (House of Balšić). The Balšas used the highlands of Montenegro as a sanctum for Serbian nobles seeking political asylum (as well as other Balkans who were outlawed or persecuted by the Ottoman conquerors). Sometime between 1356 and 1362 (during the reign of Balša I) and after the Balšić invasion of Shkodra) most of the indigenous people of Hoti abandoned the Malësia area and settled in the areas of Plav and Limaj (near Peja (Peć) in the Republic of Kosovo). After this migration, the residual Hoti population only amounted to about seven houses. citation needed
After a long history of conflict with both the Ottomans and their (sometime) Venetian allies, the Balša dynasty went extinct in 1421, after which time a new dynasty was founded in the area by Stefan Crnojević who fixed his capital at Žabljak on the north-eastern side of Lake Scutari and joined with his relative, the famous Scanderbeg, in many campaigns against the Turks.
In the latter half of the fifteenth century (during the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans), the Slavs of Bosnia were pushed ever southward by the Turkish armies, eventually being pushed to Herzegovina by 1463. After the Turkish conquest of Herzegovina in 1476, of Albania in 1478, and the surrender of Shkodër by the Venetians in 1479, according to legend, a man named Keq Preka and his five sons moved southward from the Herzegovinan highlands to escape the mass migration of Slavs. They and many of the other Albanian-speaking peoples in the Herzegovina area kept moving until they found an area where they found a population that spoke the same language as theirs (most likely a form of gheg Albanian).
At the outset of the northern Albanian resistance against Ottoman rule, it is the tribe of Hoti that sparked the war for Albanian Independence. The commander of the Albanian guerilla campaign against Turkish occupying forces was a man named Ded Gjo Luli, perhaps Hoti's most distinguished hero. At the victorious Battle of Deçiq, Ded Gjo Luli was able to raise the Albanian standard in symbolic defiance of Ottoman rule (the Albanian standard had not been raised since the late fifteenth century, during the military campaigns of Scanderbeg). Because of its instrumental role in the resistance, Hoti is commonly held as the head the Albanian tribes of Malësia.
The nearby Triesh tribe is considered b locals as the "younger brother" of Hoti, as the tribes share Keq Preka as a common ancestor.
After Gheg Lazari settled in the area, he had four sons, from whom all the clans of Hoti are said to have descended: Junç Ghega (forefather of the Junçaj clan), Gjon Ghega (forefather of the Gjonaj clan), Lajq Ghega (forefather of the Lajçaj clan), and their half-brother Pjeter Ghega (forefather of the Traboini clans (Dedvukaj).