ASPECTS AND VIEWS OF THE EARTH IN THE TRADITIONAL ROMANIAN CULTURE PUBLISHEDGheorghe SECHEȘAN
We must state, from the very beginning, that few elements have such a popularity intraditional Romanian culture, as the earth element does. Mother Earth, which gave birth to us,which feeds us, and then in the end welcomes us to her bosom for our eternal rest. Every crucialmoment in man's existence is correlated with the earth, generating a sum of ceremonial practices,rituals etc. Small boys were taken to the boundary of their village (vatră) and beaten with a cane, sothey would never forget their land. In what concerns the funerary ceremonial, representing the return ofthe individual to the earth he was born from, we emphasize the large number of funerarypractices in Romanian folklore. They are extremely well preserved (because of the importancewhich the funerary rituals had in the collective imaginary), and supposed extremely old, probablydating from our pre-Romanian ancestry. It is also necessary to mention the fact that most of theserituals are still being practised today in numerous parts of the country. There is no paramountceremony in man's life, be it birth, right of passage, marriage or death, in which the earth is not onlyinvoked, but is represented as the „central figure” of the scenario. We will present and analyze, inthe paper at hand, the customs and traditions associated with the agricultural practices. Agriculturerepresents the oldest human occupation in the world, and is in close connection with the earth.Plowing, seeding, growing and gathering the crop have generated traditions of an inestimable beautyand value. It is also necessary for us to remember that in every area, genre and type of Romanianfolklore there is a bind, and a strong one at that, with the earth. Fairy tales, legends, dances, the„doina” (a traditional form of poem and song), all types of ceremony, these genuine „miracles” ofthought and sensibility all have as a central element the earth. This is what our paper will try todemonstrate, illustrating but a small part of a grand ensemble.