Călușari – A lad’s dance in Romania

Traditionally, the Călușari group is a secret, male-only society associated with a spring rite, possibly a remnant of tribal warrior societies. The group leader (usually an older man) recruits a number of acolytes, always young, single adults chosen for physical prowess.

The group members take an oath of secrecy, whereupon they participate in an initiation rite and taught the forms of the dance. The groups of Călușari roam the country in spring-time, visiting villages by turns and taking part in the week-end dances.

Dancers wear white trousers and white tunics, with brightly coloured ribbons streaming from their hats. Bells are attached to their ankles, and dances include the use of ornate sticks held upright whilst dancing, or pointing at the ground as a prop. The dance itself is highly acrobatic, emphasizing extension and high jumps, much like the Ceili dance. (Wikipedia).

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One Word Sunday: heritage.

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