Gyimes (Romanian: Ghimeş) Hungarian villages

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Gyimes region in Romania

Gyimes region

During the 18th century hundreds of families from the Székely region of Csík moved to the high mountain forests and pastures of the upper Tatros valley. At this time the area was within the Kingdom of Hungary, although it is now within the Moldavian county of Bacău. The descedents of these people live in Gyimesfelsőlok (Lunca de Sus), Gyimesközéplok (Lunca de Jos), the Rece valley, and Gyimesbükk (Ghimes-Faget). The majority are Roman Catholic and consider that they have a "Hungarian" identity.

Gyimesfelsőlok (Lunca de Sus)

This village was affiliated to Csikszentmíklós (Nicolesti) in Felcsík until the 20th century. Smaller villages in the area are  Izvoru Trotuşului (Sántatelek), Comiat (Karácsony), Valea Gârbea, Valea Ugra (Ugrapataka).

Gyimesközéplok (Lunca de Jos)

This village, a little further down the valley, was affiliated to Csikszentmíklós (Nicolesti) in Felcsík, then later became a separate village from Gyimesfelsőlok (Lunca de Sus). Smaller villages in the area are Valea Boroş (Borospataka) and Valea Capelei (Kápolnapataka).

Hidegség (Valley Rece)

A few villages along a tributary of the Trotus river: Valea Rece (Járvárdipatka), Poiana Fagului (Bükkhavaspataka), Baraţcoş (Barackos), Puntea Lupului (Farkaspalló).

Gyimesbükk (Ghimes-Faget)

Gyimesbükk (Ghimes-Faget) and Palánka (Palanca) have a mixed population of Hungarians and a bilingual Hungarian-Romanian community. The bilingual community are Greek Catholic and consider that they have a "Csango" identity and could be of Romanian origin as many Romanians living under Hungarian rule converted to Greek Catholic which enabled them to continue to observe their Byzantine liturgical right.


Line dances

Hejszák - general name to cover the indigenous line dance repertoire

Balkan 3 measure bi-directional small circle Braul
Régi (=old), Hosszúhavasi, Kerekes (=circle)    

Other dances are: Rendes, Tiszti, Csúfos (ciufu), Legényes, Korobjászka (corobeasca)

Men's dances
Ritual dances Group men's dances Lad's dances Verbunc
    Féloláhos (half Romanian) Verbunc
Couple dances
Processional walking dance Turning dances Csardas Germanic & central Europe
Kettős jártatója
(de doi)
Kettős  sirűlője (de doi),
Lassú magyaros (asymmetric turning dance),
Sebes magyaros (fast turning dance)
Csárdás Aprók: Egydobbantós, Háromdobbantós, Sormagyaros, Talián polka, Előre


The remoteness of the Gyimes region has led to the continuation of melodies of medieval Hungarian Transylvanian origin, together with melodies that are no longer fashionable in the Csík regions, plus those in the common repertoire of the Romanians on either side of the Carpathians.

Gypsy musicians were already present in this area by 1800s and played the "classic" violin and gardon (a cello like instrument dating from medieval Transylvania 16th - 17th centuries).The gardon only survived to be documented in a few places in Transylvania and now has died out apart from in remote areas such as Gyimes.

The fluier and double fluier (the second pipe is without finger holes for accompaniment) are generally made by the Romanians.


Women's costume
Shirt Aprons/skirt Headwear Belt Overgarments
Men's costume
Shirt Trousers Headwear Belt Overgarments



Kósa-Szánthó, V (1979), Csángó népviselet, Portul popular din judeţul Harghita, Central Judeţean, Miercurea-Ciuc


Gyimesi nepzene - Zoltan Juhász, FONO FA-104-2

Csango Folk Music of Gyimes - Hungaroton SLPX18130

Anthology of Hungarian Folk Music - Hungaroton LPX 18112-16

Gyimesvolghyi Magyar Nepzene - Kallos Archivum 12



© Eliznik2006, First issue 2006, Last updated Nov-06