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Ion Albu: Local Artisan from Timisesti commune, Neamt County

27 December 2010 No Comment

local-artisan-ion-albu-timisesti-neamtOne of the local artisans from Neamt County that keeps alive Romanian traditions related to New Year’s Eve is Ion Albu from Timisesti commune. The celebration of New Year’s Eve is the most important moment when we celebrate the ending of another cycle in a traditional folkloric way.

From generations, people from Neamt County welcome the New Year with joy, gifts, traditional parties and traditional dances. These traditional manifestations are a symbol of the trust we put in the following year. The beginning of a new year it’s also a new start for everything around us: nature comes back to life and with it a new cycle begins.

Google Maps location of the workshop

Ion Albu creates traditional masks for New Year’s Eve for more than 40 years. His creations are not just works of art: his masks are used by bands of masked men in the night between years to perform traditional dances. Ion Albu creates his masks by following traditional procedures and decorates it with imagination and humor: the results are true folkloric works of art.

Ion Albu is the founder of the traditional band “Asa-I datina la noi” and a member of the Romanian Academy of Traditional Arts. His masks are specific to Neamt area and together with music and special dances define this tradition for New Year’s Eve. Different dances performed by people wearing masks represent a symbol of the cosmic order’s reborn. Zoomorphic masks that represent the goat, the deer and the bear symbolize the reborn of nature.

Local Artisan Ion Albu, Timisesti commune, Neamt County

Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu
Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu
Ion Albu Ion Albu Ion Albu

The masks are of two types: zoomorphic and anthropomorphic. The anthropomorphic masks represent the face of man in different moments of life (happy, said, young, old). We see masks that represent elders, gypsies, common people, ugly people, devils and so on. The masks are handmade from cloth, wool, fur and hemp.

The costumes have many small bells on them. The person wearing the suit has to dance according to music so that the evil spirits will leave the village. The zoomorphic masks are made of natural fur, cloth, sculpted wood, beans (for teeth), beads and small mirrors. Depending on the complexity a mask can be handmade in three days.

The traditional dances are performed in the night between years and continue until the next day when the Orthodox Christians celebrate St Vasile. On the first day of the year there is a custom called “Semanatul” (The Seeding). The best-whish song is usually performed by children that come and through wheat inside houses. This wheat is a symbol of hope that a wealthy year will come.

You can visit Ion Albu in Timisesti commune, Neamt County
The phone numbers: 0040 722 689 084, 0040 233 781 813

See the accommodation possibilities from Neamt County

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