Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – IV / 2004


The paper begins by the presentation of several archaeological and historical aspects of the locality Bucium in the Occidental Carpathians, pointing out the importance of gold extraction for the  people living down there. It should be pointed out that most of the population is Romanian. Of course there are foreign influences as well, mostly German.

Gold exploitation is presented according to bibliographic sources, but it is also enriched by the memories of the informers. Mention is made of the terrible temptation the yellow metal has on the local people, the author reminding in this context some of the most famous thieves of gold. Equally attractive are the lines presenting various personages who in time became almost legendary in the area, and who becoming rich as a result of working in the gold mine did not know how to use their fabulous fortunes and did bizarre and sometimes even grotesque things.

Another part of the paper is dedicated to the analysis of the life style of the people in Bucium, observing their quite high living standard; then the author insists on the exchanges and trade as practiced by the inhabitants of Bucium with those of the surrounding sites; in this context, there is also the description of the pubs in Bucium, as well as of other leisures specific to the youth in these villages. This way the author assures the transition to the presentation of those assemblies where people would meet to do things in common, of the habits of the Easter fast, the Saint Martyrs, the Good Week and Easter, as well as of St. George, Armindenul, Holy Emperors Constantin and Helena, The Ascension, the Ispas, the Birth of St John the Baptist, Christmas, New Year and the Baptism; a larger space is dedicated to the description of the traditions related to events in the cycle of life, pointing out that these are more conservative than those in the calendar cycle.

Therefore several pages are reserved to events such as the birth, wedding and funeral (especially the last two!). Somehow specific to mining areas is the belief in spirits of the ores, who appeared either in zoomorphic or in anthropomorphic shape; interesting information is thus being made available to the readers.

The conclusion of the paper is that in Bucium there lives a special community, as testified by the life and spirituality of the inhabitants of the place.