Jacob 3/2009

Sociologie Românească, Vol. VII, no. 3/2009, pp. 121-134.




Comunicarea prin simboluri în arhitectura populară românească

Communication through Symbols in Popular Romanian Architecture

Andra Jacob


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Abstract: There is a difference between a symbol and a sign. The latter is a convention; it represents a certain object or a message. But the symbol has a much deeper meaning and is directly connected to the human soul. The symbol attributes (layers of meaning, dynamism, affection, lifespan, instrument for knowledge and communication) differentiate it from the ordinary sign. The article underlines the main symbolic motifs (geometric, vegetable, anthropomorphic and cosmic designs) in Romanian traditional architecture and suggests some of their possible significations. It also shows that, no matter the ethnographic area, there were some preferential places where the patterns (either carved in wood, painted on wooden surface, plaster or metal moulded, or shaped by cutting the boards) were positioned. Those strategic places were the wooden posts of the door, gates and fountains, the door face, window frames, porch posts and balustrades, the gable and the ridges of the roof and always the troytsas and crosses. The usage of symbolic patterns enriches the Romanian traditional architecture and hand over to the future generations its myths, religion and beliefs.

Keywords: symbol, sign, symbolic motifs, traditional architecture, ornamentation.

Cuvinte-cheie: simbol, semn, motive simbol, arhitectura populară, ornamentică.