The name ‘Eliznik was based on an amalgamation of the authors’ names which they had previously used for dance teaching booklets and notes. This website has two parts: the reference ‘fixed pages’ and the newer Blog. These are interlinked through the context dependent menus on the left sidebar, so posts will have links to related reference pages, and references pages will have links to posts. This Blog is divided into three subject areas: Ethnography – our continued research and interest in the customs, music and dancing in the Balkans Academic – subjects from the perspective of academic study Photos – the latest uploads History The …read more
It seems probable there was some form of ritual healing căluș that took place at rusali in the Banat region before the popularity of the late 19th century national revival of călușeri. From the very limited information available it would appear that the Banat custom was not exactly identical to the Transylvanian or Oltenian custom. Viua discussed possible links to the southern Balkan Aroman traditions , although there is nothing substantive to support this, however such links are a common underling thread in the Banat hills region. The earliest know reference of a Banat custom dated from 1832 , and …read more
Vlașca region is between the Argeș and Teleorman rivers extending to the Danube centred on the city of Giurgiu. The ethnographic zone takes its location and name from the county formed in 1864. The name Vlașca is from the Slavic for Romanians, and joins the old forest area of Codrii Vlăsiei towards București, from which it appears to have been named . However, this old forest area Codrii Vlăsiei is actually now in the neighbouring region, stretching south from the mountains of Prahova to south of Bucharest and the Bărăgan plains to the east. The forests were cleared in the …read more
The extent of Kalushari (Călușari) in the more distant past is difficult to assess, although Marinov (late 19th century) documented traditions that took place during rusali in villages in many regions of Bulgaria. From accounts written in the late 19th and early 20th century, when living memories stretched back to the early 1800s it seems clear that Kalush in its ritual form that was practiced in villages in northern Bulgaria was similar to that in southern Romania.
This post is about the Căluș custom as it is now in Bulgaria where the spelling is Калуш in Cyrillic we have used the official transliteration into Latin script of Kalush when referring to the specific traditions in Bulgaria for consistency with the usage in these locations. This does not indicate any difference in pronunciation, origin or ethnic identities. The extent of Kalushari (Călușari) in the more distant past is difficult to assess, although Marinov (late 19th century) documented traditions that took place during rusali in villages in many regions of Bulgaria. From accounts written in the late 19th and …read more
The Căluș ritual takes place during the period of Rusalii (Pentecost) which occurs fifty days after Orthodox Easter, and lasts for seven to nine days. This transitional period from spring to summer is when, according to Romanian and Slav folklore, malevolent fairies, known as iele are at their most active. During Rusalii the villagers were subject to certain work interdictions. They must not clean their houses, work in the fields, or with animals. If they broke these interdictions they could become possessed by the iele which resulted in a mysterious form of nervous illness which could only be cured by …read more
The custom or “ritual” of Căluș is/was practiced by village people in the lower Danube region at the beginning of summer festive period. As this custom pre-dates any political divide and has continued during many centuries of population movements and wars and empires, we are considering a lower Danube region, rather than the modern states of Romania and Bulgaria divided by the Danube. The very many academic publications and articles on Căluș concentrate on the healing ritual that was practiced until recently. This a very interesting subject, covered in great detail (see for example (Kligman , Giurchescu , Vuia ), …read more
Călușeri, as a group men’s dance for special occasions, was practiced by Romanians in villages in Transylvania in the 19th century, and we can only presume this practice goes further back in history. The development of Călușeri dancing took a parallel path from 1850 which led to a “national” identity portrayed through dance performances. This may well have re-enthused local variants of the old Călușeri in villages where the practice was declining or in the latent repertoire. This page is only to give a hint of Călușeri as a national symbol and popular performance in the late 19th century and …read more
All the Călușeri dance traditions are within the men’s group dance category in that they are performed by a group of men, dancing the same figures and steps in unison, and the dancers are not connected by hands (or any other sticks or swords). Many traditions (but not all) include holding a stick which is used mainly for support or just held upward when needed, or placed on the ground while dancing.
The upper plateux area of Mehedinți is historically connected to the town of Baia de Aramă. The area was known first in the early 19th century as Plaiul Munțelui, but locally took the name Plaiul Cloșanilor following the success of fighters from Cloșani during the 1821 revolution. The ethnographic zone also includes the depression to the south east of the uplands between Ilovăț and Bala , other regional reports include the lower areas further southeast (the line east of Drobeta). ReferencesBratiloveanu-Popilian, Marcela (1990). Zona Etnografică Plaiul Cloșanilor. București: Editura Sport Turism.
Bufeni is a nickname used for a group of Oltenians that moved to the Banat mountain region in the 18th century to work for the mining industry that was reinvigorated by the Austrians following their acquisition of the Banat region from the Ottoman empire. Before this, during the 17th century, some 13,000 migrants came from Oltenia to work as woodcutters, charcoal burners and coal miners. By 1690 there were some 28 households of Oltenians living in the village of Sasca Română . This period was a turbulent time with changes of authority between Ottoman, Austrian and Transylvanian rulers for much …read more