This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Part I, by L. Baloianu GENERAL It is a pageant specific to Brasov (a city in Transylvania Romania) performed by the Romanians of the old Scheii Brasovului quarter • The name Junii has rather the meaning of the Juniors This is a tradition of the Romanians of Scheii Brasovului (Tara Barsei county also name Burzenland by Saxons) with old roots in the Getae-Dacian rituals This pageant (procession) was attested no later than 1728, but its content makes the researchers to consider it is related to the Getae Dacians of the Romania’s ancient times The Saxon chronicler Julius Teutsch wrote: • "Junii must be seen like a trace of pagan era, an old springtime fest that celebrates the nature revival, the sun overcoming the cold of winter, the beginning of a new life... and, the fest must be considered a religious cult that existed before Christianity that being confirmed also, by the fact that it takes place only on the top of hills, that was a custom known from Dacians"  The most recent and perhaps the best presentation of this Junii ritual and its content had been made by Vasile Oltean in his works “Junii din Şcheii Braşovului”, “Junii Braşoveni şi troiţele lor din Şcheii Braşovului”  There are just few attested documents about this customs that includes Ancient and Middle Ages elements  • It should be mentioned here the folklore study by Ion Muşlea (1931) and Al. Surdu • George Bariţiu, in 1839 and 1840 press “Gazeta de Transilvania, an II (1839 and 1840), p.53) wrote articles where he presented similarities between Junii custom and Căluşari ritual • In 1853 Romanian press „Telegraful Român” de la Sibiu presented this procession as well as the customs of Junii to put Fir-trees to the gates of the Church and of the Junii’ leaders • About other customs involving fir-trees that remind us of Arminden customs talked Orban Balasz o It could be noted that, among so many Brasov’s etymologies proposals, there is also a derivation from the word Brad (fir-tree) from its archaic form *bradzu  • Ieronim Barişiu, Serbarea sf. Pasci la Braşiovu wrote about their custom of waiting the Sun rise on the mountains (and eventually shooting against dark demons that would prevent Sun rise)
o It seems similar with Herodotus testimony about Getae Dacians who were shooting arrows toward the sky during storms • It seems similar with Herodotus testimony about Getae Dacians who were shooting arrows toward the sky during storms The priest Vasile Voina’s conference at Sibiu had been published in a theologian press preserved in archive where he analyzed and presented considerations for the Dacian origin of the settlement from Pietrele lui Solomon (Solomon Stones) and Junii’s ancient ethnogenesis He found ancient origins of Junii Brasovului, he found ancient GetaeDacians and Romans origins
1.1 The ritual name Junii (translated junior, young man) It derives from the Juni (meaning young as in Latin juvenis) seen as a group who is accomplishing each year a rejuvenating ceremonial fest. It is performed only in Brasov area • Today, this ritual combines pagan (before Christanity) customs with Christian customs for representing the old myth of the death and ritually revival of the time of the calendar  • Nowadays, this procession is performed each year, in the first Sunday next to Easter. Even though it is in a more modern fashion, Junis’ pageant has mythological, ritual, ceremonial, initiation and magical elements. 1.1.1 An archaic and similar form a Junii’ custom could be recognized among tribes the tribes of Ahei / Caucoensi Arcadians, Thracians from Crete, Asia Minor, and Peloponnesian Thracians), Romansh. • Generally speaking, it can be recognized among Indo-Europeans where people are split in group by the criteria of age and where are initiation and rejuvenating (aging) ritual 1.1.2 In the areas with seasonal pastoral transhumance of the Ţara Bârsei (Barsei land) and Sibiu county, young men were named Juni and their master was named vătaf. • They were also named "feciori" “juniors” 1.1.3 Their internal organizational names Their leader is named “vataf” (also named “Jude”, "ghirău" or "primar") • Leaders’ helpers used to be in various numbers and with different names, it depends on the area o In the area of Drăguş had: the “big leader” ("vătaf mare") and “small leader”("vătaf mic") o In the area of Şchei, Bucium, Copăcel şi Ohaba the vataf was named “Armas (“big leader” ("armas mare") and “small leader” ("armas mic") • Note: Armas corresponds to the PIE “AL” meaning “law”, “Jupiter priests” with Umbrians. This PIE root gave through a rotacism specific to Umbrian and Romanian, Armindeni, Armas • In other places vataf’s name was "crâşmar”
Other helpers of the Junii • Other additional helpers were elected for temporary or permanent situations. • Names "sutaşul" (In Schei, sutas= translated the bill of hundred) sameş", "chelarul", "colcerul", "butoierul" or "cămăraşul" in other places o Their functions a) collecting money or taking care of the food b) in 1894, in Schei, “sutasul “ to supervise the juniors, the controllers c) take care of the flag d) call people to the fests 1.2 In many respects, Junii of the Brasov ritual is secret • Any dialogues with the participants of the today pageant are just about the esthetic and temporal presentation of the custom without finding out from them the core meaning of the custom. • This custom originating from ancient time had been enriched and also had lost elements during such a long period of time Yet, one can recognize elements of springtime, religious and heroically meanings • There were also customs used to take place, but those had been lost. These might be reconstituted with the help of the elders’ testimonies 1.3 The presence of Sun-cult elements in in the ritual of the Brasov’s Juni • Elders still remembers another custom-element forgotten (a Sun-cult element) that reminds of the Saxon Chronicler classification as a Getae-Dacian custom, symbol of their immortality belief • Romanian people of Brasov, used to go and spend the night before the Rusali’s day  on to the near mountain Postăvarul o The master of the community ( vătaf ) with the help of some man knocked from gate to gate using a specific hammer (that was in a shape of a snake) existent to each. At the call of the master, people were going on the mountain and were waiting the sun raise. • At the moment where sun was appearing people were starting to shoot / throwing objects toward the sun but against the potential bad daemons "vârcolacii" that would try to stole the sun o See also here the Getae-Dacian Sun-cult and see also the similarity Zalmoxian cult and Pythagorean Sun-cult The sun-cult had been preserved in the Maramures’ Traditional Gate and in the Moldova’s emblem, too o It is known that Getae-Dacians believed that „balauri” (gigantic snake) were eating the life-giver Sun. They commemorated the Sun and the Sun-cult especially in the springtime. That might explain its presence in the ritual of the Brasov’s Juni 1.4 Customs that are still stake place o Burying the master (vataf) o The dance "căţeaua" (the dog’s dance) a burlesque dance o The presence of a masked priest
1.2 Age groups o Al. Surdu pointed out that there were age groups mostly among Proto-IndoEuropean (PIE) men comprising children group, juniors / young group and married men group o Romanian group of Juni included men between 17 and 46 years old o Greeks named this group "efebie", men between 18 ani and 20 y.o. (in fact, the age for the military service at Athena o Scandinavians named this period of the man life “Wikingertum” or “Beserkertum” (Beserkertum was an older term equated with "ulfhepner" meaning the one bearing a bear-skin or wolf-skin) The “Junia” (the period of time of the junior stage) was preceded by an “initiation period” where young were prepared to become Juni (Juniors) 1.3 Initiation o They used to choose an isolated place separated from children and women, at usually in the forests, special houses (named "andreion" by the Greeks) or even in caves. o Brasov’s Juni house was named gazdă" meaning “host” o Such a place for Juni was “Piatrele lui Solomon” “Solomon’s Stones” Solomon place is a forest opening surrounded by 5 immense stones and a cave attributed to the Mysteries’ Solomon (it may be related to the Solomonar’s mythological figures) o Some are relating today the Solomon with Solomonari (mitological Romanian characters considered Zalmoxis / Salmoxis’s priests by some) o Note the initial name of Solomonars was Zgremities (that went through PIE language changes) o Preparation for the young man to become Juni (Juniors) included tests like : to resist against: lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of water, torture and games like running and climbing 1.4 Groups of Juni Initially the Brasov Juni included only the age group of the initiated young man Today, there are 7 groups. Their names and the fact that these groups are less structured than they were before, confirms that some groups had been added later on, because of the Romanians need to fight for their historical freedom and rights There weren’t so many and various names and vestments before modern times Even though these 7 groups have common elements with groups (Romanian “cete”) of young men from Ardeal (Transylvania) and sometimes women are allowed in the context of dances (i.e. “hora”) the Brasov’s Junii have the following particularities o Each group includes, besides the belonging Juni, the “şerjele” (charge = subofficer in Austrian army), the master vătaf / armaşul mare, armaşul mic, sutaşul, stegarul and surlaşul
Vătaful o He is the leader, the most important and respected person of the group. o Vataf is elected by the vote of the Juni and is wearing a red band (leader sign), and three-colored strip at the hat and “buzduganul cel mare” “The big Scepter” (the baton borne by vataf as an emblem of authority) o The name vătaf, had been met also with other groups (named “cete” in Ardeal) In Middle Ages it was a title given to a leader Armasii o Armas, as it was proved by Ion Muşlea (p.294) couldn’t be but the deputy of the “vătaf” (The internal laws of the Juni from 1894 confirms it) o In Middle Ages it was a king deputy in Muntenia and Moldova o They carry “buzdugane” but smaller than the one of the Vataf o The color of their band is yellow (Big Armas), and blue (Small Armas) so that with the red of the Vataf they would form Romanian’s flag: the RedYellow-Blue that was not allowed back then when Romanians were not free in their country It is useful to remind the proto-Indo-European language approaches since it could be from the same language family of Arminden and might be related to the name (A)romanian PIE Root ario- (English meaning: master, lord) gall. PN. Ariomānus Old Indian aryamán n. `hospitality and PIE Root ad-2 ( to establish, put in order) References: WE. I 12, Devoto Mél. Pedersen 224 Material that established this PIE is the Umbrian arsie (*adio`venerable, august, divine, sacred, pure, holy) arsie (*adioUmbrian `venerable, august, divine, sacred, pure, holy; of a divinity, and of things in any way belonging to one) arsmor (*admon-`a form of religious observance, religious usage, ceremony, rite) arsmatiam (*admatio-`relating to religious rites or ceremonies, ritual) Armune (epithet of Jupiter from to *ad- `settle, order'; air. Ad `law', ) (Pl. ada `ceremonious customs', from it) adas (proper) 1.5 Today we see the group of Young Juni (Young Juniors, Junii tineri) o They represent the oldest group of Junii (“Ceata Feciorilor”) the ones that gave the name and the custom of Juni. o Their presence is mandatory in all rituals that take place during an year in the community of the Scheii The epithet „young” had been added to designate the different between the not married and the married ones. o The married ones had to leave the group . 1.5.1 Vestment: o In the past, the Young Junii were wearing simple traditional Romanian vestments: a white long shirt, until below the knee, no collar, long and large sleeves; specific
„cioareci” (white tight trousers tight to the feet) boots and / or sandals; hat with round brim o The most closer costume to the one of the Junii is the one in Orastie Mountains 1.6 Nowadays, the whole ritual takes place over a week. o Monday involves getting everything ready, where they gather to the leader, collect painted eggs and have a party. o One other ritual, "Junite" (Woman of the Junii), is also a strange one, in which the women only play a small part in the ceremony and it only happens on the Monday. o The Junii approach the women where they then receive eggs dyed red from them. After each of the Junii has received his red egg, he sprays the woman with perfume. o They all meet on Tuesday at noon and have a feast in the square, after which they throw the scepter-like mace into the air o Wednesday is the climax to the feast, although nowadays it has no significance. o Thursday everybody goes to the leader, where they perform the "Ingroparea Vatafului" (Burying the vataf) o 1) This ritual has been preserved from the Dacians. The tradition involves tying the leader onto a ladder and then carrying him around while a priest gives the funeral rituals. o 2) Another tradition is "aruncarea in tol". This is where up to ten Junii hold a blanket and toss a new June into the air, which is meant as an initiation into the group. o 3) In the beginning it was only the young men who were tossed. o On Friday and Saturday the Junii prepare for Sunday, with possible behind the scenes partying. o The most important day is Sunday, when, in the morning, all the groups prepare their suits and embellish the horses, they then gather in front of the St. Nicholas church in the order: 1. Tineri (the younger unmarried men) 2. Batrani (the older younger married men) 3. Curcani (the Turkey youths) 4. Dorobanti (soldiers) 5. Brasovecheni (the older Brasovians or the Junii of the old city) 6. Rosiori (the red young men or the horseman Junii) 7. Albiori (the young whites or whitish Junii) 2. Today, Today, the whole procession is opened by a marching orchestra, and heads from the church to the Muresenilor Street, then to the Balcescu Street and through the Schei gate and onward to the Pietrele lui Solomon (Solomon stones, today believed as a place of the Solomonari) where the procession ends.
The day is then full of games and more partying. The evening ends with all going to old City Hall Sfatului and making a circle around the house, after which everybody just goes home. Vasile Oltean, whose books are the basis for this presentation, asserts there are at least 50 specific Dacic ritual with Brasov’ Juni and the Juni Pageant is just one of customs that includes Dacians rituals
References  Braşov’s Şchei - Origins by Vasile Oltean (from the book Junii Braşoveni şi troiţele lor din Şcheii Braşovului by Vasile Oltean)  In Romanian Şchei means 1) defileu (gorge) 2) crucea-şalelor (with horses, meaning sacrum) as with Dicţionar de arhaisme şi regionalisme, Gh. Bulgăr şi Gh Constantinescu-Dobridor, Editura Saeculum Vizual, Bucureşti, 2002 See also ŞÁLE (anatomy.) 1. (popular) rărunchi, (reg.) şaucă. (Regiunea ~) 2. middle  Ion Muşlea, Obiceiul Junilor Braşoveni. Studiu de folclor, în: Lucrările Institutului de Geografie al Universităţii din Cluj nr. 4 (1930).  The Getae-Dacian language is attested just through Dacian names, plant names and toponimes But, even the attested Dacian words are being named “autochthonous” with the Romanians dictionary o The word brad (fir-tree) (*bradzu) is considered Dacian word by the linguists Hasdeu, I.I. Russu, I Olteanu, confer also Albanian Bradh / Bredh  Just a personal note: After a period of 50 days after the Easter, there is the Romanian Fest of the Rusalii (Latin Rosalia might have given the name to Rasnov)  Junii braşoveni şi troiţele lor din Şcheii Braşovului by Vasile Oltean Editura Semne, 2000 ISBN 9736540820, 9789736540820
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.