Petru CARAMAN, XILOGENEZA ŞI LITOGENEZA OMULUI. Eseu despre originea şi evoluţia credinţelor în Europa Orientală

Anuarul Muzeului Etnografic al Moldovei – XVI / 2016


The present study is based on the myth of xylogenesis, meaning wood’s metamorphosis into human. The author analyzes the area of Oriental Europe in particular; yet, this part would remain just a reference point, as this phenomenon is met within our entire continent, as well as in many areas outside Europe. In all these places the myth of xylogenesis derives from a generous background of ritual beliefs and practices originating in early Antiquity and in some of the areas it still subsists.

Firstly, introspections are made on Romanian ethnologic documents highlighting the analyzed theme. These documents are then related to similar sources from the entire Slavic world, as well as from other areas within Central or Western Europe. Common aspects, owed to presumable borrowings, and particularities, such as oogenesis or parthenogenesis indicating other origins, are equally observed.

The comparison of anthropogenous fairytales in different places leads the author to the conclusion that “in all the countries it exists, the theme of xylogenesis resides in the old autochthonous heritage”. Xylogenesis cannot be separated from other folk vestiges regarding wood liveliness, which include dendrogenesis in the first place. Beliefs concerning human metamorphosis into tree and their reverse seem to have had a huge influence on the myth of xylogenesis. However, this myth preserves many elements that situate it in the proximity of the births of human type.

Keywords: xylogenesis, The Cradled Linden Tree, oogenesis, “Lutońka”, dendrogenesis, “Kołodka”, Neghiniță, cradling, “Telessyk”.

Cuvinte-cheie: xilogeneză, Tei Legănat, oogeneză, Lutońka, dendrogeneză, Kołodka, Neghiniță, legănatul, Telessyk.