romanian literary monthly

Dr. Ion Ghinoiu: “Ethnographic atlas of Romania”

He is presently the Scientific Secretary of the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore (Bucharest) and has been at the Institute since 1967. He is also Associate Professor since 1991 at the University of Bucharest where he lectures in Ethnography-Folklore in the department of Sociology and Social Assistance. His Ph.D. was awarded in Geography at the University of Bucharest in 1978. His main fields of interest are customs and feasts, mythology, the ethnology of habitation, ethnographical cartography, and the taxonomy of popular culture. He is widely published in these fields including one hundred scientific studies, The National Atlas of Geography, and Days and Myths: Calendar of the Romanian Peasant 2000.


Volume 1 – 2004

Volume 2 – 2005 (Winter)

Volume 3 – 2006 (Summer)

General Background

Some of the methodological and thematic features of the ATLAS project are listed below:

1. The field data was collected from 18,000 peasants in 536 villages selected from a total of 13,000.

2. The ethnographic questionnaire contained 1,200 questions and 3,000 sub-questions. Answers allowed us to record the popular culture as it existed at two moments of the XX century: around 1900 and the period of the field research, between 1970 and 1980.

3. The fieldwork took 14,500 working days to complete.

4. In villages more than 7,000 questionnaires with around 6 million entries were filled; 150,000 ethnographical photos, drawings and sketches were gathered.

5. More than 600 ethnographical maps were drawn as a result of this fieldwork.

6. The findings are grouped in five volumes: The Habitation (The Village, The Household, The House, The Interior); The Occupations (The Tillage, The Animal Breeding, The Apiculture, The Hunting, The Fishing, The Transportation); The Popular Technique (The Trades, The Popular Equipment); The Popular Art – Costume; Customs – Mythology (The Birth, The Wedding, The Funeral, The Calendar Holidays).

7. The complete raw field data, drawn on the maps using cartographic symbols, is published in full in a corpus of documents of oral history in 25 separate companion volumes.

8. Presented in Romanian, English, French and German these two works – (1) the thesaurus of Romanian spirituality, and (2) the Atlas and accompanying corpus of documents – project an unadorned picture of the real popular ethnic-Romanian culture.

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