Universitatea din Viena, Institutul pentru Studii Est-Europene University of Vienna, Department of East European History
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6-7 / 2011
Travel Rituals and the Fear of the Forest at the Journeymen in Transylvania
An important aspect in the formation of the character of the young journeymen in Transylvania is defined by the paradigm of travel culture: the wandering years of journeymen. The moment of their departure on the journey was special, because it involved their initiation, their acquaintance with life by passing through several perils. That is why the moment of departure had an initiation role and represented an important event. For instance, the ritual described, narrates one of the most interesting and fascinating aspects from the life of a journeyman, that of the travel. It is about the speech the Father of smith journeymen held in front of a young journeyman who was about to start his journey to gain knowledge in the world. The forest also appears as the center of the projections of the individual and collective consciousness within a community. The main focus of the present article is the analysis of the perception of nature and the forest by means of a text on the “wandering years” of a journeyman. The secondary focus is the following of the manner in which group solidarity was forged within journeymen brotherhoods.
Keywords: fear, forest, journeyman, projections, rituals, travel.
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