The symbolistics of Iele in Romanian mythology Cover Image

Simbolistica Ielelor în mitologia românească
The symbolistics of Iele in Romanian mythology

Author(s): Gherghina Boda
Subject(s): History, Essay|Book Review |Scientific Life
Published by: Institutul Patrimoniului Cultural al Academiei de Științe a Moldovei
Keywords: Iele; mythology; fantasy; symbolism; magic; ritual dance

Summary/Abstract: Fantasy creatures, with supernatural powers, very beautiful, immortal, cheerful, exquisite dancers and singers, sometimes mean and vengeful, beings of light, who either attract mortals to capture them in their dance or to punish them. THey are part of Romanian mythology, the symbol of both renewal, as well as cosmic vision of the dance they enact for all eternity. On the one side, they converge into a centipede movement, forcing the world into perpetual movement, on the other, they converge towards a centrifugal movement, dissolving into non-being, the dance’s circle symbolizing cosmic totality, but also the eternal return. Feminine mythological characters manifest themselves in the hot and light season of summer, between the sacred holiday of Easter and Pentecost. They are invoked under several names, the true one, “Iele”, being avoided in order not to bring about revenge. Only witches who have the power to make peace with them through different practices and rituals use it. The superstitions linked to these mythological beings are related to their nocturnal activity, which can be countered by certain spells and using plants that annul any vengeful action of the Iele. They are part of the Romanian mythological Pantheon from ancient times, some specialists considering that they were present in the Dacian mythology as well, as devoted servants of the forest goddess, Bendis.

  • Issue Year: XXI/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 35-38
  • Page Count: 4
  • Language: Romanian