Momârlanii are a small community in Romania, a population said to be descended from Dacians who were located in the Jiu Valley. Their number is estimated to be somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000.

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Some researchers say that the name derives from Latin, from momo (peasant) and chain (native). Others argue that momârlan is a relatively new term that emerged after 1870 with the start of exploration and mining in the Jiu Valley. The name is derived from Hungarian, and it is assumed that the origin of the name was the Hungarian authorities. Because the Momârlanii’s native costumes are similar to that of the Dacians represented on Trajan’s Column, Hungarian authorities had concluded that “These are remnants of the Gauls”, the remnant is called maradwany. Locals, who heard the Hungarian authorities speak, but did not know the language, transformed the word maradwany into “momârlanii“, thus adapting the Hungarian word in Romanian.

Momârlanii now build their homes similar to how was done in the time of the Dacians, using uncut rustic ended beams with rectangles. Momârlanilor clothes feasts consist of tight pants and shirt to the knee. This population has retained a number of pre-Christian practices, including the habit of burying their dead in a yard near the house.

The custom of burying the dead in the garden near the house has its roots back more than 500 years, when there was the belief that the dead and the living must be near family, even in the afterlife. Thus, the dead could have some quiet and not turn into evil beings or become ghosts. The place where people were buried was known as a “grave yard”.

The specific holidays include Christmas carols momârlanilor piţărăilor and Neda.



Vagabond in tara Momirlanilor
Masuratul oilor in Tara Momarlanilor


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