Silvia CIUBOTARU, MITURI PLUVIALE ROMÂNEŞTI ÎN CONTEXT UNIVERSAL (Balauri, nori, divinităţi ale furtunii, solomonari, sfinţi şi eroi dracontoctoni)

Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – XV / 2015


This study presents several Romanian pluvial myths in relation to similar motifs of the world mythology. The first part follows the characteristics and functions of clouds-carrying and precipitation-distributing serpent-like dragons. In legends and fairytales, these ophidian monsters watch over the most important sources of potable water.

Saint Elijah, a worthy follower of old storm gods and mainly of Gebeleisis, god of the Dacians and Getae, is thoroughly analyzed. Many attributes of this saint of atmospheric violence are found in numerous Eurasiatic and Amerindian sky deities. Attendants of Saint Elijah, the solomonari (weather witches in Romanian mythology) are magicians of an archaic type, formed in a mysterious underground school. They can tame serpent-like dragons and start heavy rains or hailstones. Ordinary people in appearance, the solomonari, just like the cloud nymphs, have paranormal powers, being able to conduct the elements while being in trance.

The last part of this paper deals with the theme of the hero related to underground dragons as the saviour of mankind and founder of civilizations. The prototype of this knight who risks his life in order to abolish the teratologic danger is Saint George. In his iconography, the Christian ideal of expelling the diabolic evil, symbolized by the ophidian, intertwines with the one of the ploughman, who works his land every spring, dissipating the sterile wintry inertia.

Keywords: serpent-like dragons, dragons, storm gods, heroes related to underground dragons, rain demons, cloud nymph.

Cuvinte-cheie: balauri, dragoni, divinităţi ale furtunii, eroi dracontoctoni, planetnici, vâlva norilor.