The paper explores the mechanism of discovering a source and building a rural well in traditional communities of Moldavia. The mystical explanation informing on ritual sacrifices, symbolic gifts, protective gestures, divinatory practices is related to archaic ideas about the existence of a maleficent supernatural place owner, established where the water should be found. The analysis also follows the connection with rituals involved in the process of building a house, the ones by which a priest blesses the fields or expels evil spirits from a human territory. Being both a ritual and social place, and a natural resource, the well is always surrounded by care and reverence from the moment of choosing its place to the special Christian service performed at the end, when the community acknowledges its sacred nature.
Keywords: water rites, Moldavia, well, building, water demon, exorcism, ritual sacrifice.
Cuvinte-cheie: rituri ale apelor, Moldova, fântână, construcţie, spirit al apei, exorcism, sacrificiu ritual.