Social Representations of Religiosity in the Two Săpânţa Cemeteries

Pop-Curşeu, Ioan (Articol)

“This paper analyses the signification of popular religiosity in the two well known cemeteries from Săpânţa (Maramureş, Romania). The cemeteries, fruit of the artistic vision of Ioan Stan Pătraş (1908-1977), contain many ranks of richly decorated blue crosses showing, in verses and images, episodes of the villagers’ lives. First, through iconographical analysis, I criticise the idea spread by communist propaganda that Pătraş leaves behind the tradition of religious art in favour of a laic and profane approach to death and the sacred. Then, I propose an interpretation of religious characters painted on the crosses of Pătraş and of his disciples: Christ, the Virgin, angels, death, white doves, Saint Elias… Before the conclusions, I try to understand why the universe of religious practices is seen in the rural community of Săpânţa (but also in other social groups) as a mainly feminine one.”

Cuvinte cheie: folk culture, iconography, Maramureș, Merry Cemetery, popular culture, religious representations, Săpânţa, and social representations

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2015, nr. 1-2, p. 131-150