Traditions

History of the village of „Muntenii de Sus”

   The places where the village of “Muntenii de Sus” lies were in the early times occupied by woods. The people used to swab of the bark from trees, they dried and in the opening they cultivated millet until the emergence of corn.
   Later they started to cut trees and to raise houses. Because they had many enemies our ancestors build their villages in places where they could defend them easier. That’s why the first village on our lands was on the hill of “Grumăzeşti”. We know that, due to Stephen The Great, from documents that were dated “the 15th October 1491”. Then Stephen The Great established the boundaries of the village of Vaslui, which stretched up to the village Grumazesti in those days. The village was undergone to gradual destruction and the remaining residents relocated their abode where is now the village of “Muntenii Sus”. The lands belonged to a country squire family named Racovita, which gave rulers to the country. It was also the Racovita family that build “The Monastery of Fâstâci” and endowed it with domains in witch the lands of “Muntenii de Sus”. Not being enough people to work the lands, there were brought from the North of Moldova more families, which were from the mountains and they gave the name of the village. During the reign of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, the Monastery’s domains were devided and given to the peasants “Muntenii de Sus”, so they were able to establish households.
   Also during the reign of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” they built schools in the villages and children from the countryside began to learn.
   Further the villagers from “Muntenii de Sus” participated in all the important events in the history of the country: the war in 1817 which led to the country's independence, the war in 1916 - 1919 which has ended with the Great Union of 1918.
   Also many of our grandparents died in the last World War in 1941-1945. From the villagers of “Muntenii de Sus” was born the writer John Adam, and now here are practiced some of the most interesting habits of the Vaslui County and even in Moldova. We must know the life of our ancestors and be proud of them.

“The Rows” - traditional dance

   The suit is genuine mostly due to the bald headed leather vest, namely buttons of metal, hence the name “bungheri”, giving to the dancers in the North of Moldova. The dances are performed only by men with in the group They are primarily a magic ritual because they are specific only to a certain period of the year. Their meanings are sometimes metaphorically in the sense that we assume a link between elements of nature: sun, moon, stars and the rotating movements of the dancers, which originally involves emulative magic rituals – helps the astral movements. Some figures, for starters – the scythe, suggest moments of everyday life related to work.
   The costume, the sequence of the manly dances, the traditional accompaniment are elements that confer The Rows their ritual caracter.
   The dances are always accompanied by shouts which rhyme with the movements, but also contain some humorous allusions, of satire. The accompaniment is made only by a flute (a traditionally instrument – a sort of a primary whistle - missing the stopper and the bung).
   I intend for this group to improve it and bring it to a qualitatively higher level.
   To carry on with the tradition of this dance I formed a 8 years old group of children, with which I began rehearsals. By the help of the parents we have made traditional costumes for the children. A first step that this group of children have made was their debut at the festival “Fluieraş Vasluian”, organized at Muntenii de Sus in November 2005. There they were present as guests, and the jury granted them a diploma from their debut, for their courage to step for the first time on stage.
   The pleasures for dancing of the children went further and in 2006 in the festival of dance, “Rates of Youth”, we got the first place. In the summer of that year the little dancers were invited to several cultural activities organized by the local cultural institutions.
   The Rows - a winter custom representative of the Muntenii de Sus village, falls into the category of “vălăretelor”, complex rituals performances which are performed at New Year’s Eve. They represent a number of features which make the unique among similar events in the Vaslui County. This is due, of course, to the origin of the North Moldavia, villagers. There are no masks as in other villages in the county, so everything is focused on the appearance of choreography .
înv. Daniela ADAM,
project manager„Tradiţii în oglindă“