Mărginimea Sibiului

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Măginimea Sibiului region in Romania

Mărginimea Sibiului region

Mărginimea Sibiului archaeological sites
Iron age
Dacia: Burebista, Cotiso, Decebal
Roman rule
Little evidence of Age of  Migration settlement
Vlach under Hungarian rule
Hapsburg rule

This region is known for its pastoral and wealthy shepherd communities in the mountains to the southwest of Sibiu, previously under the jurisdiction of the 'seat' of Sălişte; Jina, Poiana, Rod, Tilişca and Galeş. The wider region includes the lower villages in the foothills; Săcel, Sibiel, Orlat, Gura Râului, Răşinari and along Valea Sadului to include the villages of Sadu, Tălmăcel and Boiţa.

Transylvania, up to the Carpathian foothills where Mărginimea Sibiului lies, has archaeological evidence of inhabitation from pre-history to the present. From the Iron Age, there are La Tené archaeological sites and fortifications at Tilisca from the Dacian period. Transylvania also has a significant Roman presence due to Roman exploitation of the thick salt layer which lays close to the surface over much of Transylvania. The Roman town of Caedonia was close to modern Sibiu.

Mărginimea Sibiului and the area around Sibiu have little evidence of settlements of invaders during the Age of Migrations, although the river Cibin, from which Sibiu gets its name, is probably from Slavic.

As with most of Transylvania the first documentation of settlements by name starts in the 13th century; Răşinari (1204), Tălmaciu (1318), Orlat (1322) and Sălişte (1354) etc. Documents from the 13th and 14th centuries (such as Diploma Andreeana din 1224) mention the existence feudal organisation; "Margine" community (may be a Cnez), the Seat at Sălişte, and Ţara Amlasului. In 1383 Sălişte is documented under the name "Magna Villa Valachiealis" in Latin. Through the middle ages these regions along with the Ţara Făgăraşului were at times part of the Romanian principality of Wallachia.

There are remains of Feudal castles from the Middle ages at Răşinari and Orlat. At Orlat an early earthen castle is assigned to the Romanian population. The Salgo Castle dates from 1322 during the reign of King Bela IV, and the 1st Romanian Border Guards Regiment was established by an Imperial decree signed by Maria Theresa of Austria on April 15, 1762.


The Hora is of the same type as the typical hora of Moldavia and Maramureş consisting of travelling walks or grapevine steps to the right, and possibly the addition of steps towards the centre and back. There are also couple variants which have developed using the Jiana/Învârtita turning steps during the Hora dance.

The common Sârba (typical Balkan 3 measure sequence) is found in all the  Mărginimea Sibiului villages, with a stamping Sârba in about half of the villages.

Most villages have a version of the men's Brâul. The ethno-choreologists generally separate these into two types; the "old" type (Brâul bătrân) with 3 measure phrasing and syncopated steps, related to the versions in Muntenia and Moldavia, and the "Transylvanian" type which is in 2 measure phasing and syncopated steps.

The small circle dance Râuleana (Jieneasca type) is found in a few villages, whereas the couple variant Jiana (same steps, but danced as a couple) is found in most villages. Possibly the fashion of couple dances has led to the couple variant replacing the small circle dance. When danced by two couples Râuleana is similar to the Hungarian Négyes (foursome) found in a few central Transylvanian villages. The couple version of Jiana is the same as the southern Transylvanian Haţegana or Învârtita in 2/4, some speculate that the southern Transylvanian Învârtita is derived from the earlier circle dance, no doubt influenced by the fashion for couple dances.

The asymmetric Învârtita, which is common, and almost exclusive to the Romanian Transylvanian population, is found in all Mărginimea Sibiului villages and can be danced in couples, one man and two women, or in fours.

Transhumance shepherding has brought in dances from Braşov, Buzău the Bărăgan plain and also Dobrogea; Trocăreasca (fixed form hora), Slănicul (old type brâul from Braşov region), Hodoroaga, Zuralia (stamping hora), Siminicul ('corps' group dance). Moldavian couple dances Ciobănaşul and Cărăşelul have reached a few villages, and Muşamaua is found in all villages.

More recently schools and military service have led to further southern Romanian Brâule and Sârbe being introduced; Trei păzeşte, Alunelul, Sârba bătrânească, Sârba peste picior, Sârbă lui 22, Soldăţeasca.

Line dances
Balkan 3 measure 4 measure Hora uni-directional bi-directional in place
Sârba, Căţeaua, Sârba lui Ghiboi Hora, Hora miressii   Hodoroaga  
Men's dances
Ritual dances Brâul Group men's dances Lad's dances Verbunc
Căluşer (revived in 19th century) Brâul, Brâul şchiop, Danţul, Brâul siminic Siminicul, Războiul Bătuta, Jocul de Bâtă, Căluşerul  
Couple dances
walking dance
Turning dances Column dances Csardas Germanic &
central European
  Învârtita, Jiana, Haţegana       Muşamaua




Women's costume
Shirt Aprons/skirt Headwear Belt Overgarments
Gathered neck white cotton  blouse with sleeves gathered into the neck (Cămaşă cu mâneca din gât) and also just below the elbow then open out into a "flounce" (fodor).

Underskirt is pleated with very narrow pleats

Two black catrinţe worn. which can be decorated with black openwork or, motifs worked in gold thread. From late 19th century in some villages the front catrinţă was replaced by a black or dark coloured Şorţ
possibly based on the gathered aprons worn by the Saxons in these areas.

Black fringed broboadă
is worn with the ends tied outside the scarf at the nape of the neck.

Yellow, red and blue fabric belt representing the Romanian flag. Sheepskin waistcoat  pieptar
decorated mostly with black embroidery

Black woollen cloth or velvet waistcoat (ilic) worn since late 19th C

Men's costume
Shirt Trousers Headwear Belt Overgarments
Shirt with wide gussets (Cămasă cu barburi) with  pleated fustă, black embroidery in "M" shape following seams. Cioareci - white woollen trousers in winter, izmene   - white linen trousers in summer Black felt hats
Sibiu hats
with very small brim, or Shepherds căliculă particular to Sibiu sheep breeders, wider at top than bottom

Leather belt (Curea) either plain or decorated with coloured thread and copper wire (sârmă de aramă). Sheepskin waistcoat pieptar
and cojoc usually decorated mostly with black embroidery and can have the opening at the side or at the front.

Bituşcă, long sheepskin cloak with very long sleeves.



BALACI, E. & BUCSAN, A. (1969) Jocuri Din Transilvania De Sud - Monografie Coreografica, Brasov, Casa Creatiei Populare Brasov.

BARTA, G., et al. (1994) History of Transylvania, Budapest, Akademiai Kiado.

BUCSAN, A. (1957) Jocuri Din Ardealul De Sud, Editura de Stat.

BUCSAN, A. (1971) Specificul Dansului Popular Românesc, Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România.

GRECU, D. V. V. (1990) Săliştea Sibiului Străveche Vatră Româneasca, Sibiu, Astra.

IRIMIE, C., DUNARE, N. & PETRESCU, P. (1985) Mărginimea Sibiului, Bucuresti, Editura Stiintifica si Enciclopedia.

MICLEA, I. (1986) Sibiu, Editura Sport Turism.

MOISE, I. & KLUSCH, H. (1980) Portul Populare Din Judeţul Sibiu, Sibiu, Revista Transylvania.

MUSLEA, I. (1945) Anuarul Arhivei De Folklor Vii, Progresul Sibiu.

PARAU, S. (1989) Interdependente in Arta Populara Romaneasca, Sibiu, Editura Meridance.

ZDERCIUC, B. (1963) Tilisca - Un Sat Din Marginimea Sibiului, Muzeului Satului.


Adi Neamţu - Cânt de Joc şi Veselie - SAN 002

Ansamblui National Folcloric 1 ,,Cindrelul - Junii Sibiuiui" STC 001290

Anthology Of Rumanian Folk Music No.1: Folk Music Instruments EPD 78 - R360

Fluieraş de Răşinari - local produced CD

Jocuri Populare din Sibiu EPC 877

Sinel Ioan Drăgulin - Jocuri ardeleneşti E-431

Internet sites




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