Comenius 2008-2010 Multilateral Project

This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".


"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

The nature’s fairies protectors

 Romanian Folklife or Folklore and Environment



Foreward

It was a time when in Romania were many secret places for people trying to escape from intruders. Those places were located into the mountains – into the forests or into the secret caves. From those ancient times Romanians kept in mind an expression saying "forest is Romanian's brother".

Why we, Romanians, have these connections with the nature? The answer of this question is not so simple, but we’ll try to tell you.

The legend of the mountains and of the forests

After God created the Sun, the Moon, the Earth and the Stars, He threw all in the womb in order to get never together. He got off only some ogres – bad and lazy creatures. The ogres wanted to create something to exalt them to be superior to God. They’ve started to hoe and truck mould succeeding to create the mountains. They wanted to create the mountains in order to take over the sky. God found out and drew them down on the level of the mountains and laid on the grove under mould clamp, mould they have created the mountain. And to be sure that they will never get out from there, God got lookers all over the mountain, and they were turned into forests by a rogue hand.


The nature’s fairies protectors


God gave Beldam (Muma Pădurii) the designation to stand for the forest and inhabitant away from people unkindness.  The Beldam is a spirit of the forest in a very ugly and old woman's body. Sometimes she has the ability to change her shape. She lives in a dark, dreadful, hidden little house. 

In time, however, the Beldam started to hate foolish people increasingly because they have destroyed what she was trying to defend. If she primarily scared and ran them out, altogether she got to kill indiscriminatingly those who she has met walking in the forest.  

The Beldam had a girl, The Forest Girl (Fata Pădurii). She is a demon who attracts the young people in the forest, where she kills them. She has two appearances: for the first time when she appears to them, she is a young and very beautiful woman. After the victim is charmed by her beauty, the Balder transforms into a hideous and tremendous monster, she kills the young and eats his heart because only like this she can keep her youth appearance. She came out only at night and she never gets out the forest, so she never attacks the people villages but only those who pass through the forest. 

The Forest Girl  (Fata Pădurii)

In Romanian folk, the forest girl is often beside the other spirits, named Bedstraws (Iele-Sânziene).

Bedstraws

The Bedstraws live in the sky, in the forests, in caves, on isolated mountain cliffs. They mostly appear at night, under the moonlight, as dancing Horas, in the tops of the trees, ponds, river sides, crossroads or abandoned fireplaces, dancing naked covered by their long hair and carrying candles. In almost all of these instances, the Bedstraws appear acorporal.


Bedstraws dancing Romanian "Hora"
They are not generally considered evil genies: they resort to revenge only when they are provoked, offended, seen while they dance… The one, who randomly hears their songs, becomes instantly mute.  Sometimes, the Bedstraws hounded their victims into the middle of their dance, until they died in a furor of madness.  
Vâlva (The Stir)

The Vâlves are kind of female spirits. The White Vâlve are considered benefical, but the Black are considered evil. Some types are believed sometimes to look human-like, especially when they came to protect villages from a storm, or as simple shadows, or as a black cat, etc. They also have the ability to change their shape. 

Mine’s Vâlva, defender and protector of mines and tunnels. Some miners say this vâlvă is a red dog. But in Apuseni Mountains, where are a lot of gold mines, this Vâlvă is a beautiful young women.

She often falls in love with young and handsome miners and she tells them where to dig and to find gold. She asks them to no tell anyone that they saw her. Often, the boys don’t keep their word and they reveal the secret.  The Vâlva angers and kills them. But because she has always regrets, she shows the other miners where the gold is.  Therefore it’s told that when a man dies much gold will be find soon.


Conclusively

A wise peasant gave to Queen Elisabeth of Romania (known as a writer with pseudonym Carmen Sylva) a piece of advice which she caught it on, she embosomed it, she followed it and sent it to the next generations. “These forests, told the old man, conserved our kind, language and throne clear as we entrust to you, we-the old men. You owe to hand down”.

Queen Elisabeth of Romania (Carmen Sylva)
Carmen Sylva acquitted of this mission with elevation.

But what do our nowadays generations?

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