The Romanian Mask

On the territory of our country the mask has been present for thousands of years.

Folk masks are reminiscences of the collective memory, echoes from ancient times. The masks were used in fertility rituals, rainmaking, hunting or ritual dances, and represent characters from folk mythology and folklore. Mask games take place at certain times of the year (Christmas, New Year, Whitsuntide) or at events that are defining in life (wedding, death). In Vrancea, for example, at the wake of the dead, people with face masks dance in the yard, in the light of fire and in the beat of the drums, at the last party, suggestively called “the dinner”, offered to the one who crossed the threshold between the worlds.

The masks of old men and women, reveal ancient forms of worship belonging to the predecessors of the Romanian people, to the populations that were here before the Dacians, to the Dacians themselves and to the Dacian-Romans, from which vague elements were preserved until today. Of these, the most important forms of archaic worship are these two: “manism”, which encompasses the cult of the dead and of the gens ancestry and the “gerontolatry” or the cult of elderly people in gentile society.

For all the article, please see the Black Gryphon Magazine, the 2nd issue.

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