March 15, 2011

Artur Gorovei, collector of riddles

Very little is known about Romanian folklore, perhaps not as rich as many other countries, but which features of picturesque myths and ethnography deeply characteristic of Romanian popular life and thought.

I had fun reading some encapsulated Romanian riddles like " The bee = has no horns, but still stings; has no feathers but it flies; It is smaller than an ox and bigger than a flea Albina = N-are coarne, si tot impunge; n-are pene si tot zboara; mai mica decat boul si mai mare decat purecele" Romanian Riddle, Artur Gorovei

On the eve of the celebration of 60 years since his death, I want to recall some of the  Arthur Gorovei's remarkably works about Romanian Art and Folklore, that have enriched his life (February 19th, 1864,-  March 19th, 1951).

Artur Gorovei (Arthur Gorovei) was Romanian writer, folklorist and ethnographer which liked to explore the metaphor between formal and functional, to play with intuitive concepts and to make parallels between Romanian folklore and rituals  or religious customs inherited from Roman and Thraco-Dacic ancestors.
He is renewed for publishing in 1898 the first collection of "Romanian's Riddles / Cimiliturile Romanilor"  (with 1960 types of riddles and hundreds of variations of them collected from Balcanic region) and also for his collection of Romanian ancestral incantations (Descantecele Romanilor).

He became "Doctor Honoris Causa"  of the University of Cernauti, and was the founder of "Sezatoarea" magazine in 1892, the first magazine of Romanian folklore. In recognition of his merits in the researching of ancient traditions, customs, rituals and Romanian folk-tales, he was elected in 1940 an honorary member of the Romanian Academy.

I know that the art-stream changes which banished the folklore is a phenomenon in the natural order of things, but is nice to understand  the characteristic values inherited from ancestors by reading his books:
"Liabilities and Rights/ Datorii si drepturi"
"Romanian Art/ L'art Roumain"
"Folklore Basics / Notiuni de folclor"
and ...
why not, because the Easter is so close...
Romanian Easter Eggs Canvas Print / Canvas Art - Artist Sophie De Roumanie if reading his  book "Easter Eggs/ Ouale de Pasti", to remember how were painted eggs (regular ones or wooden eggs) by rural artists using ancient techniques and traditional chromatic code.
I thank him sincerely for his dedication and perseverance to gather and carry out the spiritual rituals and ceremonies inherited from forefathers.


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