AUTHORS
& Abstracts

SYMBOLISM AND FUNCTIONS OF THE FIREPLACE IN TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES. CASE STUDY: THE ROMANIAN SPACE

Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2021 N 4

Simona Lazăr
“C. S. Nicolăescu Plopşor”, Institute for Research in Social Studies and Humanities form Craiova, Romanian Academy, Romania

Anca Ceauşescu
“C. S. Nicolăescu Plopşor”, Institute for Research in Social Studies and Humanities form Craiova, Romanian Academy, Romania

Abstract: The fireplace is the centre of the traditional house, a sacred space that relates numerous beliefs, practices and customs to it. From Prehistory, it has been perceived as a symbol, and even a pillar of steadfastness, a domestic shrine, a convergent point of the internal space, specific to the dwelling. The fireplace has always constituted the centre of the family life, being the place where the food is prepared, a sacred place in which there is still preserved the connection with the ancestors, with divinity, the protective gods of the house.

Along the time, the form and the dimension of the fireplace has varied, tightly connected to the traditions and the customs of the communities. Thus, there have been found fixed round and rectangular fireplaces, positioned in the floor of the houses or on a higher base (20-30 cm). There have also been identified portable fireplaces, with similar functions.

Key words: Cultural Anthropology, Fireplace, Prehistory, Traditional Societies, Sacred Space, Symbolistic.