Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – X / 2010


In this paper, the author analyzes the meanings of stone in the peasant understanding. The system of representations is coherent enough and is focused on the primordial gestures of the making of the world by dual couple: God the Father (the one who has no father) and the Unclean (Nefârtache – the one who has a father), the latter being initially subordinated to the former.

In this context, the essence of stone as an unfertile and inanimate matter, created by the Unclean together with the creation by God of the fertile world, is followed by the author from antiquity (god Mitras the one born out of stone, the role of the stone menhires of capturers of the souls of the deceased) until the 19th-20th centuries, when the role of soul and bed spirit capture is  transparent in numerous Romanian, Aromanian, Slavic and south Balkan beliefs and popular superstitions.

This dualist antagonism fertile/infertile, animate/inanimate etc. is also present in the ballad „Meşterul Manole” (Manole, the Craftsman). Any edifice built out of stone, unlike those made of wood, need the finishing of a soul, which can be acquired by the new construction only by the sacrifice of the masons, by the violent death of a grown-up, more precisely of the craftsman’s wife in the above ballad.