of Events for Neamt
Other useful informations
Offices of Touristic informations
| Choreographic folklore| The
folk costume in Neamt county | Masks |
Trades in Neamt county | Traders
| Etno-Folk Centre in Neamt county
Neamt County inscribes in the central Moldavian area, having in North
the influence of Bucovina area, influence felt in the old songs belonging
to the shepherds’ repertory and in West receives the influence of Ardeal
area, having Bicaz Valley as crossing area.
Taking into account the geographical layout of Neamt county as well
the historic conditions in which the Romanian people lived, one can
distinguish three folk areas, with no rigid borders.
The first and the largest one is the area of Bistrita Valley which starts
from Borca and reaches Costisa. It includes two parts, the first situated
on Bicaz Valley and the second on Tazlau Valley. The repertory of songs
that exist in this area has three distinct aspects:
a) shepherds' songs, sung especially on folk instruments (little whistle,
long shepherd’s pipe, violin, kobsa, Alp horn).
b) lyrical vocal songs which resembles with the first category.
c) play songs which are varied, too, by their form; the most frequent
ones are: Coragheasca, Hangul, Hora, De-nvartit, Triliseste, Batuta,
The second area extends on Ozana Valley, in the place guarded by Neamt
Fortress where we meet influences from the Northern Moldavia (Bucovina).
There exists, too, a reach and varied repertory of songs, beginning
with the shepherds' ones, doina (melancholy Romanian folk-song), ballads,
and finishing with play songs. In this area there can be found: The
Outlaws' Doina, The Round, The Little Shepherd, Coragheasca, Sarba,
Ruseasca, Batuta, Nemtisorul, etc.
The third area is met on Siret Valley. The changes and the fluctuation
of the people were greater in this area by the arrival of "ceangai"
(a population that emigrated from Transilvania to Moldavia, who speak
Romanian and Hungarian). But their influence did not alter the folklore
in the area; the songs and the dances from this part of the county are
settled and there is a varied and rich repertory in which the unity
of the musical speech is better felt, the differences are not essential.
The most frequent songs and play melodies are: Arcanul, Triliseste,
Coragheasca, Ruseasca, Zdrelea's Sarba, Batuta, Hora pe batai .
In order to characterize the folk dance in Neamt
county, we should present the area first. Neamt county is a part from
Moldavia centre folk sub-area. It has as neighbours in North - Bucovina,
in West - Ardeal and it is under the influence of these ethno-folk areas.
The round from Neamt county as a main characteristic - diversity. So,
from a village to another, the round is different in rhythm or choreographic
In some villages, the influences of the neighboured folk areas are fully
felt. So, on Bistrita Valley the songs for "hora" (round)
have a strong influence from Ardeal. As examples: "De-nvartit"
("For turning"), "For leading") in Bicaz Chei or
"Purtata fetelor" ("Girls' Carrying") in Damuc.
After their way of developing, the rounds are classified in rounds for
groups and for pairs. In the first category there are included: Nemtisorul,
played in Pipirig, Bargaoani, Garcina, Coragheasca which is a dance
with a large spreading, Hora ("The Round") - met on the whole
area of the county: Hora pe batai (Botesti), Hora fetelor ("Girls'
Round" - in Damuc), Hora in doua parti ("Round in two parts"
- in Garcina), Hora schimbata ("Changed Round" - in Borca),
Sarba (a lively folk dance), Ruseasca, Baitaneasca, etc. Kept from one
generation to another, transmitted from grandparents to grandchildren,
the folk rounds still accompany the most important moments in the life
of the villages, in this area. More often, they are accompanied by epigrams,
which give a partiwithlar charm to the round.
Another category is the one of the rounds that takes place on the occasion
of winter holidays. Here is the country of the following rounds: The
Goat, The Bear, The Little Horses, The Masked . Played by children,
by young or old people at the brink of the years, these rounds are over
than 2000 years.
THE FOLK COSTUME
IN NEAMT COUNTY
The folk costume in Neamt county, the
female and the male as well, although, it is the same with the one in
Moldavia, presents some characteristics determined by the geographic
and historic conditions specific to this area.
The folk costume in Neamt county keeps ancient elements of the Romanian
costume, as, for example, the Dacian shirt, wrinkled at the neck.
THE FEMALE COSTUME consists in:
- shirt (wrinkled at the neck)
- catrinta (a piece of the costume that serves as skirt or apron and
consists in a rectangular piece of cloth often ornamented)
- barneata (a narrow and long belt)
- bundita (fur coat without sleeves)
The shirt , richly ornamented with geometrical, floral, zoological motifs,
was worked on the linen woven in the house. This old type of shirt can
be found on Traian Column. The ornaments were done with wool or "arnici",
in one, two or more colors, according to the area.
The hems ornamented only down, respect the same model with the shirt.
Apart from the costume used at work, in the ordinary days, which is
more sober and less ornamented, the costume for holiday is richly ornamented
and has a great number of colors.
"Catrinta" is the piece that dresses over the hems and covers
the body from down the belt. Woven in the house, in 4 or 2 threads from
wool, with silk, golden or silver threads (the costumes for holiday),
catrinta is met all over Neamt county. Its place is taken, in some villages
from the plain, by "pesteman" (in Trifesti commune) or crinkled
skirt (which we find in localities as Trifesti or Ion Creanga).
Over the belt, women wear "barneata", woven in four threads,
in colors assorted with the ones used for catrinta. In some villages,
women used to girdle with a belt, under the catrinta.
As all the peasant women in Romania, the women from Neamt area used
to cover their head only after the wedding (marriage ceremony), the
young girls walking with the head uncovered. Specific for Neamt area
is "casanca", a black or adorned headdress. In some villages
there was also "bariz" (an adorned headkerchief). In the Extra
Carpathian area, there was also worn the headkerchief in the corners,
ornamented with beads and lace. In the old times women covered their
heads with towels. This kind of cover is worn only by the old women.
As concerns the footwear, till the middle of last century, women and
men also wore peasant sandals. These were made by pig or cattle leather
and were worn over "obiele" or over "coltuni" (knitted
THE MALE COSTUME is similar to the one in the whole Moldavia, a few
chromatic or decorative motif distinctions.
The costume consists in:
- fur cap
- fur coat without sleeves
- "chimir" (belt)
- itari (long, narrow trousers made by cotton )
In Neamt area there exist three kinds of male skirts:
- shirt for old age
- shirt with skirt
- shirt with long collar
The shirt for old age is seldom worn, in some villages it totally disappeared.
The shirt with skirt is compounded from two pieces – the shirt and the
The embroidery was made with "arnici" and silk, with geometrical,
vegetal and zoological motifs, in one or more colors.
The ornament was less rich than the female shirt, being made on the
collar, on the shoulder, at the end of the sleeves. The same model appears
at the end of the skirt.
The belt - woven in two or four threads, girdle the waist of the man
over the shirt. The richest men wore "chimir" - a belt made
by leather and ornamented with knitted leather bands, and in some cases
"Itarii" ("cioarecii") - are trousers, old from
the Dacian times. Made in the house from a special, white cloth, they
had a length bigger than the leg, so that, when they were dressed, they
wrinkled on the foot.
" Opincile" - made by pig leather, gave their place, in time,
to the boots.
"Bundita" - is the common piece of clothe, worn by both women
and men. It was worked on fine lamp leather, and it is a fur-coat, no
sleeves, richly ornamented with geometrical and vegetal (floral) motifs.
In Neamt there are two types of "bundite": the short one,
met often on The Mountain Valley and in Pipirig area and the long one,
met in villages as Tazlau and Ghindaoani. The main characteristic of
this piece is the number of chromatic elements.
During winters, in Neamt area, as in others parts of Moldavia, the peasant
used to wear "sumane" - coats of thick homespun cloth - among
which the most famous were worn in holidays, named "sumane"
"Saradul" was embroidery made with fine wool threads, and
was richer according to the person that wore it. Another characteristic
of this piece of cloth, and not only this, is the witht of it. The gussets
of it gave the name of "suman" with gussets or "suman"
Another piece of cloth is "spenterul" a short fur-coat, with
sleeves, made by leather, ornamented with floral motifs.
Besides the mentioned traditional clothes, there are two pieces worn
as accessory: the headkerchief and the sack.
The headkerchief is worn at holidays and at special occasions (weddings
and funerals), made by linen and adorned with various motifs, made during
the weaving or after it, by sewing.
The headkerchiefs could be worn by all the people: young and old, women
and men. These pieces of the costumes were offered as gifts or given
"alms" to the participants at special events in village life
(engagements, weddings, funerals, etc.).
The sack - is a part of the costume, which, as a distinction, is often
worn nowadays. Woven in 4 threads, the sack met in Neamt area is the
same as the ones met in Moldavia.
We meet the "checkered" and the "striped" sack.
The prevalent colors are white and black but nowadays the Romanians
appeal seldom to the folk costume. Used by the old people in the holidays
the folk costume has become a rare thing. These phenomena appeared as
a result of "the civilizations" process of the Romanian village,
that brought not only the giving up its wearing but also its manufacturing.
Taking into account all these there exist trade centres in which folk
costumes are made, at order. The most known centres in the county are
in Pipirig, Targul-Neamt, Borca and Bicazul-Ardelean.
THE WORK TECHNIQUE OF THE COSTUME
With all the differences of ornaments from
one village to another, the costume in Neamt county is the same as the
one in Moldavia; it appears as an ethno-withltural unity, transcribed
from the old times, the Dacian age.
From the old times till now the folk costume suffered transformations
imposed by the progress of the society, and tied of the fabrics used
to make it. That is why, the linen made in the house was replaced by
"the ret linen" made in factories. Also there was a renunciation
to wear "sumane" and fur-coats, being replaced with the clothes
manufactured in factories, and "opincile" were replaced with
shoes, boots or high boots.
Taking into account all these, the folk costume kept its beauty, authenticity
and refinement. The tourists who visit our country are very impressed
by the folk costume. The art of the hand work remains unequalled, the
Romanian women being recognized for their gift in ornament the pieces
of the costume and the house: "The poverty of the little houses
is animated by the richness of the woven things… You cannot enter such
a house, without respect for the energy of such women who work hard
on the fields, are careful mothers with their children, wave most of
the clothes of their own and still have time to make this house industry
flourish" ("The Moldavian Folk Costume" - Emilia Pavel)
We can really talk about a house industry when we refer to the manufacture
of folk costume pieces.
All the stages in making a folk costume took part in the house. The
spinning, the warping, the twisting, the weaving, the painting, the
sewing were made with the hand, with tools ore or less developed. The
techniques used in ornamented the shirts and the fur-coats are remarkable.
The embroideries characterize by a special refinement. The most used
sewing techniques are the "little cross", “behind the needle",
technique used in realidayng "the front and the back chickens".
After the Second World War, there were used the beads, in ornamented
the shirts, especially the ones for holiday.
The motifs used in ornamented the folk costume are various: geometrical,
zoological, cosmic and even the one that represent people. Among the
most used one there are: "the flower", "the bud",
"the grape", "the vine leaf", "the oak leaf",
"the mutton horns", "the little flies", "the
stars", "the snail", the fir-tree branch","the
THE CHROMATIC OF THE FOLK COSTUME
As the folk costume from all over the country, the folk costume in Neamt
county characterizes by the use of the white linen (for shirts, hems
and skirts) to which they were embroidered traditional motifs in different
The embroideries are realized, most of the parts, in one color, the
most used ones are: black, red, cherry and blue. Besides these, a wide
use have also the shades of yellow and orange; in case of the use of
the floral motifs the color range is wider; a part from the already
mentioned colors, we have shade of green, violet, brown, etc.
The technique of the threads painting should be mentioned. From the
old times the Romanian women used the vegetal paints in order to obtain
the needed shades. The most used shades were obtained from: alder bark,
common marjoram, nut, birch, mulberry leaves, green nuts husks, onion
husks, primula flowers. The recipe used, although very old, are kept
even today, but the area of spreading of this trade is reduced.
The masks - represent a representative segment in the folk
withlture of our county. This carries a rich emotional value, giving
grotesque, realistic copies of some animals: goats, horses, bears, wolves,
stags or characters from the folk mythology or from the folklore.
TRADES IN NEAMT COUNTY
The trades practiced by the Romanian people are proved to have existed
from ancient times, from the Neolithic period; the oldest ones have
a domestic character: spinning, weaving, pottery, processing of wood,
bone, stone continuing in the bronze period with processing the iron.
The trades developed in the early Middle Age in connection with agriwithlture.
Later there appeared craftsmen that were peasant fur-traders, tanners,
shoemakers, joiners, blacksmiths, coopers, potters, carpenters, masons,
etc. Later, in the next centuries, there appeared villages specialized
in producing partiwithlar objects that were traded in markets or other
The peasant fur-trade - the peasant fur-traders were divided, according
to their work in:
- "light" peasant fur-trade, "without flowers"
- "hard" peasant fur-trade, "with flowers"
The products processed by the craftsmen are: fur caps, the fur coats
without sleeves, peasant fur-lined coat, leather blankets (layer for
shepherds, hunters, forest-guards, raftsman), one-finger gloves, leather
The carpentry - as a trade it developed in the 19th century, the carpenters
built near the houses: gates, bridges, wooden objects, chairs, wooden
handles, wheelbarrows, swings, baskets for fountains, sledges, stands.
The joinery - appeared and developed in markets and towns from where
it passed to the villages. The furniture in an old house consists in:
the withpboard (blidar), the shelf, the bed, the wardrobe, the table;
later, the craftsmen took in carts, for sale, in the markets, dowry
chests, cradles for children, chairs, pegs, door or window cases, too.
The cooperage - this trade developed due to the multiple necessities
of the people. For the pots he brought to the market, the cooper demanded
in exchange agrarian products and seldom did he demand money. The coopers
made two categories of pots: carved in one piece and from staves: wooden
pails, buckets, tubs, barrels, casks, spoons.
There also existed a trade of wood processing for the roofs of the houses,
The lime work - a trade specific for the mountain area
The iron-working - with the help of this trade there are made different
categories of products needed in house keeping: witht tools, knives,
pocket knives, parts needed in construction and for shoe horses.
The pottery - trade of producing clay pots for different uses: for making
food, for keeping food or pots with strictly decorative purpose.
The weaving and sewing are trades that know a great variety of styles.
The wealth, the originality and the specific in realidayng fabric and
weaving is materialized to a wide range of interior pieces (blankets),
of popular costumes, of objects used in the house-keeping: blankets,
hemp carpets for the walls, cords carpets, napkins, pillow cases, double
The creations of folklore art constitute one of the domains of folk
withlture in which the Romanian people have made, from the old times
till now, very impressive values in all the kinds of made objects; useful
combines with agreeable. The constant application of the decoration
rules on the objects of folk art has as consequence the realidayng of
remarkable artistic objects and this makes many creations of folk art
become values of the thesaurus of our folk withlture.
Among the masters known today with exhibitions and published works that
brought honour to our county, we can enumerate the most representatives
- Nicolae Popa - Tarpesti
- Ion Albu - Timisesti
- Vasile Gaman - Vanatori Neamt
- Alexandru Gaman - Damuc
Nicolae Popa - born in 1919 in Tarpesti, Petricani commune, he is nowadays
a folk craftsman well-known by his masks for New Year’s Eve or the ones
swithlpted in wood, inspired by the ordinary life, succeeding in giving
new, original descriptions that suggest a humour, grotesque folk performance.
Nicolae Popa displayed his creations in cities all over the continents
and published two books. The Book of My Life, "Timpul" Publishing
House, Iasi, 1996; The People of The Old Tarpesti , "Nona"
Publishing House, Piatra-Neamt, 1998
Ion Albu– born on 7 June 1948 in Timisesti, Neamt county; he is a well-known
creator of masks, being a member of The Association of Folk Creators
and member of The Academy of Traditional Arts in Romania. "The
beauty of the masks and dolls, which I created in evenings of spiritual
peace was rewarded by the participation in more than 150 exhibitions
in the country and abroad" - said Ion Albu.
Vasile Gaman - born on 9 January 1939; he is a well-known craftsman
by his swithlptures in wood and by the reredos of churches.
Alexandru Gaina - born in 1934 in Damuc village; he has been working
swithlpture in wood for 14 years; he makes besides wooden statues, frames,
hangings worked with a lot of good taste. He has participated in national
exhibitions where he won prizes for his naive paintings. He has written
a volume of poems and prose, inspired by the life of shepherd, by nature
and by love. He worked, together with his wife, peasants fur-trade.
He said: "It was so dear to me to wear the national costume".
IN NEAMT COUNTY
Agapia, monastery - centre of weaving (carpets);
Baltatesti - centre of weaving, Maria and Iulian Mihalachi;
Bicaz Ardeal - centre of weaving, ARTPOP;
Birgaoani - centre of fur-traders;
Botesti - centre of weaving (carpets, towels);
Ceahlau - centre of weaving (carpets), Maria Porfir;
Damuc - centre of fur-traders, Alexandru Gaina;
Petricani - Tarpesti - centre of masks, Nicoale Popa ;
Pipirig - Dolhesti - centre of fur-traders, Nicolae Dolheswith;
Raucesti - centru cojocarie, Ioana Varvara;
Razboieni, manastire - centre of weaving (carpets) and objects for withlt;
Sabaoani - centre of weaving (carpets);
Tazlau - wood (gates); T
imisesti - centre of masks, Ion Albu;
Tolici - wood;
Vanatori, Lunca - wood, Vasile Gaman