Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – IV / 2004


Among various expenses lists from the collection of documents belonging to the National Archive in Iaşi, there is an old manuscript referring to the burial of Catrina, the wife of the purveyor Ştefan Caracaş, dated the 18th of December 1830. The old manuscript includes burial and 3, 9 and 40 days celebrations expenses. After these, the temporal cycle is completed, and the soul of the dead may leave this world and aim for the other world.

Catinca Negruţi, a student at the former high school „Academia Mihaileană” in Iaşi, was part of the noble family of Negruţi, which included, among others, the writer Costache Negruzzi (1809-1868) and the member of „Junimea” Society, Iacob Negruzzi. The funeral old manuscripts from the burial of Catinca Negruţi date between the 7th of February and 19th of March 1838, corresponding to the 3, 9 and 40 days celebration. At the same time, there have been preserved the expenses lists of her father, the sword bearer Enache Negruţi, dead in 1836. His 1 year celebration took place at the 3rd of July 1837.

These documents represent o precious documentary source for the history of mentalities and for ethnology, revealing reminiscences of old traditions within the modern Romanian society. Whatsoever, these documents have been ignored, due to the fact that they have been considered irrelevant, but also to the lack of work instruments, such as knowledge of Cyrillic palaeography or the prejudice that such information cannot be found in archives. Our stand is that, though in limited number, this type of documents exists.