Funeral Rites from Moldova in a National Context
Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics
Ion H. Ciubotaru is a well-known Romanian ethnologist who founded the Folklore Archive of Moldova and Bukovina in 1970. This institution gathered more than 300,000 documents, consisting in audio, video and written fieldwork information from almost 800 villages situated on the north-eastern side of Romania. A questionnaire of 1,175 questions, also created by Ciubotaru, was used during the investigations. The nine chapters of the book focus on all traditional aspects of life: superstitions, folk
... edicine, rites of passage, holidays, magic beliefs, literary folklore, childlore, traditional clothing, folk architecture and occupations. Death customs are pursued through 102 questions that permit further inquiries. This tremendous database, collected through direct and indirect fieldwork, allowed professor Ciubotaru to study folk beliefs on dying for thirty years. Obiceiurile funebre din Moldova în context national (Funeral Rites from Moldova in a National Context) is the third book on this topic and it is part of a larger Romanian Academy project that uses typologies to better explain folklore. In these books, each section of a rite and all subsequent convictions are presented in their ceremonial context and order, with specific indication of the villages where the information was found. The typology is preceded by a scientific study that decodes ritual meanings and compares Romanian traditional knowledge to universal patterns, while the last part of the book comprises a text corpus of ritual literature and other artistic work related to the theme.