Romanian Mythology I

excerptsTHE MAKING OF THE WORLDAbysmIn the beginning, before Old Adam and even before God, there was nothing in this world but pitch darkness. Nothing whatsoever, no Earth, no Sun, no Moon, nothing but a great stretch of water taking up the endless chasm. Wherever you turned or looked only water. And this water was motionless like a mirror. At a moment, nobody knows when and how for nobody witnessed the thing, the waters started to ripple slowly as if somebody was blowing over their surface. Big circles cropped up as it happens on a lake when a stone is thrown across or a frog dives in. As these circles kept on overlapping they formed waves, foamy waves that emerged on the dark metal-like table of endless water, flowing from here to there. The waves rolled their foam into white wavelets like soap bubbles in a basin. The never-ending movement of the waves pushed them into the middle of this vortex where all the foam exploded like a huge water-lily. Then a butterfly and a worm roamed this froth, coming, as they say, from the world under, from a different world. GodAfter a time, the butterfly shed its wings and turned into a young, handsome lad, lighting up the darkness around him. And this was God. Then, the worm too turned into a creature, into Satan or the Devil. At first, he was human also but did not shine light. And since they had been born the same way and were the only beings living in this endless immensity of water and darkness, they got on well together. The DevilAs the Devil saw it the two of them were equal, and therefore called he God "Brother" but God did not like that and called him back "Not-my-brother" or "My-no-good-brother." Most likely the Devil preserved something of the worm features for envy consumed him, and he wanted by all means to be God's brother, yet God kept on calling him "not-my-brother." Now, the Devil blew his top when he saw God turn into a dove that started to fly across the waters – for God can change as he pleases. Therefore, he made himself three pairs of wings, and cuddling up in the waters said bitterly: "You take the air, I take the water!" So much he wanted to be the master of something.That was how these realms came into being…God, after having made everything in heaven, on earth and in water continued to live on earth. Only when a woman cast garbage before him and bawled out aster him did he realize that it was not befitting to mingle with the likes of these folks, and so he built himself some palaces in heaven. Still, he kept on visiting earth of which he had become fond, and together with Saint Peter, now and then he tested the mettle of people's souls.These stories date from that time. At night, before retiring, God made Saint Peter tell him a tale so that he could sleep better. But in time, as people's nature grew meaner and meaner and he himself got older he no lounger descended on earth: some say that occurred at the deluge, others say later on. God's CountenanceGod is represented as an old, savvy man since wisdom comes only with age. He has a beautiful white face, surrounded by snow-white beard and rich hair, flowing on his back as meek old priests do. Though ancient, he is vigorous, and runs the affairs of the world as smoothly as he did in the beginning. How the Earth Was BuiltGod walked across the waters, and the Devil stuck to him like a bur. Once the Devil complained to God that he had not even a single sliver of dry land to rest his bones for all that wide expanse of endless water. He had tried to make himself a bed out of foam but foam being foam, it washed away from his hands. Then God ordered him to dive to the bottom of the sea, and bring hence a handful of dust in his name. Old Scratch dived into the deep straight like an arrow but ambition would not leave him, so he picked some clods in his name not in that of God, and then rose up to the surface of the water. With the waves hitting from all sides, grains of sand started slipping from his fingers, so by the time he came before God he was empty-handed. And God scolded him:"See, that happened because you didn't obey me! You did not fetch the dust in my name."And the Devil stayed in the water to his knees.Enraged, he swam a second time to the bottom, and said: "I take these clods in my name not in that of God." God heard him and blew softly so that the surface of the water turned into ice. The Devil, afraid to lose the dust again, closed his fist tight. But when he wanted to come up he was prevented by the layer of ice, and fighting to get free, he let the grains slip form his hands. Now, he managed to get out of water solely to his waist.The third time he said: "I take these clods in my name and in that of God," but again he could not take the least bit to the surface, and stayed in water to his neck.The fourth time God blew harder and the ice was ten inches thick and the Devil, seeing he could not break it and fearing he could drown, said most enviously the words that God had told him: "I take these clods in the name of God" but on his way up he could not help himself and added… "and my name." For this, when he got to the surface only a few grains were left in his hand. Then God picked his nails with a straw as Satan had long, dirty nails like naughty children, so God found enough material to make a small cake. He blew up on it, folded it and kneaded it to the point that it became a quite comfortable coach."Well, now," said God, "we have a bed to rest in when we are tired.""We do, Brother," replied the Devil who, like the fly returning from the field, attributed to himself the desert of having created the earth.When night came God lay in the bed he had concocted, making room for the No-Good-Brother to cuddle up next to him."Don't we bless it, now that we've made it?" the Devil asked God."We don't do anything for it's late. We'll bless it tomorrow," and God stretched his limbs, and made believe he had fallen asleep. The SunGod had made the earth and was smiling contently at his feat. But the Devil kept on mumbling and protesting unhappily. The entire world was still plunged in darkness as there was no light. Certainly, God could go wherever he pleased as his eyes could pierce all darkness and even the soul of the Devil. Satan complained of having to grope like a blind creature through marshes and pits, stumbling all the time."Why don't you make light, God, so that I and the other beings on earth can see where we go and distinguish one day from another?" The Making of the SunGod did him this favor too. He sent the Devil to the four points of the world to bring flint, precious stones, and gold. When he had brought him everything God put them aside and as he did not want to create light with his no-good brother witnessing (so that the Devil could not copy him later on, or, as he was all thumbs, he might set the world on fire) he sent the Devil to bed on account he was tired and would get to work the following day. All said and done, they went to bed and when God heard the Devil snoring, he got up slowly and set to creating the sun. The Sun's CarriageTo be able to travel better on the highways of heaven, God turned out a carriage, with wheels and axle, and seven magic horses drawing it. The driver of the carriage is the sun who is an archangel – the holy sun – handsome and for ever young, with such a brilliant face than one cannot look him in the eye. The Sun's PalaceThe sun inhabits a crystal palace in the first sky. One has never seen or imagined such a wondrous construction. Only God's palaces are more beautiful. That's where he keeps his golden carriage and the magic horses that eat live coals, and pull the carriage every day from east to west on the invisible heavenly paths. Some say 12 oxen draw this carriage in the morning, when the sun leaves home until he reaches midday. That is why the sun rises so slowly in the morning. And the morning is longer, more fruitful. At the middle of the day the oxen return home alone, and the sun lingers behind a little, to rest. Then he puts seven hares to his carriage, which accounts for the fact that the carriage now rides faster, and evening sets in.When he dismounts at night, the sun takes a small wafer and a glass of wine. Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Sun The sun's mother, who, according to some people was the Virgin Mary, tends to his palaces. She prepares his food which he takes before leaving, and the victuals for the road, the little snack of 10 and the big lunch of midday. She also prepares his bath of dew which he takes to steel himself, before setting out for the road.The sun was blessed later on by God for all the good he does to people, shining light on their labor and warming up their bodies. Therefore, it is a sin to speak evil of or to throw dirt at the sun. The Making of the MoonPeople got wind that God was about to give them something for their own use and benefit, and they wandered what it could be. The Devil brought the things God had asked for, but as before God did not want to work with Satan present at all."What else do you want me to do?" the Dickens asked reluctant to leave."Go and raise hell," God advised him to get rid of him. "Encircle it with solid walls, and lock it up with many iron gates so that nobody may escape it." Old Scratch went away happily to achieve something all by himself.Seeing himself alone, God struck a flint against a precious gem and there came forth light: a virgin. Human MoonThe Moon is human: at first she is small, lithe like a babe, and you can barely see her in the sky; like a nail she grows, her wings spread all around like a turkey's or a peacock's tail when it gyrates it, and she is round like a coin. She is like a creature in the prime of her life. But from this moment she starts getting old and becomes smaller and smaller, her wings seem clipped until she is again as small as a nail. Finally, she disappears from the sky just like man's life fades away. And then she gets born anew. The Moon's FaceThe moon is an extremely beautiful maiden, called Ileana Cosanzeana but she is now proud and cold after having been unhappily in love with her brother, the sun. She is dressed all in white. Her wings are made of sterling silver strewn with gems. Her carriage is also silver, drawn by seven white horses. Some believe that seven devils draw her carriage, and do it gladly since the Moon being cold they get to cool off some of the heat that scorches them in hell. The Sun's LoveThe sun was a handsome lad, and his mother wanted to get him to marry. So, she sought wide and far, all the kingdoms where she heard there were marriageable girls but the sun didn't fancy any of them. He traveled the earth and the sky and did not found a more beautiful girl than his sister, Ileana Cosanzeana. The Sun's WeddingAnd the sun left his sister, to prepare a big and pompous wedding ceremony They then started for the church. But when the priest was about to declare them husband and wife, all the lights went out all of a sudden, all the bells grew hoarse and then remained muted, the saints hid their faces, looking away, and the clergy fell to their knees. How Heavens Was MadeThe saints and the seven apostles rejoiced very much because God fulfilled their will and allowed them to make the sky, only that people should help and support them by fasting all the time. (Because when people eat meat saints lose weight.) That is why there are seven days of fast since at first there were seven saints who created heavens. God gave wings to the seven saints so that they could go beneath the core of the earth and bring forth a gem more precious than anything found on earth. The saints fetched so much stone, limpid like glass and blue like chicory flowers and the eyes of the angels, and they made the sky from it like a vault above the earth, placing under it seven pillars also made of precious gems. They prop up the sky and this is a most difficult task for the sky is heavy and big like a bell. The apostles asked God to command people to fast in perpetuity seven times a year, one time for each of the pillars, so that these do not become frail and allow the sky to tumble off. Nine SkiesThere are nine skies one on top of each other, all made of gems. God abides in the ninth together with Saint Nicholas with whom he consults in the running of the world. The Holy Trinity inhabits this place, too.The holy sun, the holy moon, and Saint Elijah live in the first sky. The others are inhabited by the other saints according to their rank. In the ninth sky there is very much light and long tables can be seen when the skies open. That is paradise. The skies open only once a year, on Epiphany Day. One year in heavens seems a day. When it is midnight on earth, bells in heavens chime for God, and the angels dance around the Holy Trinity. The Making of the AngelsAfter God made the world and everything there is in it with the help of the Devil – that is why it is only half good, and why there is also evil in this world – the Creator went to wash his hands as is proper after having finished working.The drops from his hands gave birth to the angels. The Making of the DevilsThe Devil, seeing this also washed his hands and from those drops there came the devils. Ambitious as he was Satan washed his hands several times and that is why there are more devils than angels.At first the difference between devils and angels was not so big, only that an angel was white and a devil black. They all lived in heavens and the angels served God, while the devils served Satan. But God no longer willing to mingle with the rubble of the Devil climbed to the ninth sky, and the Devil, to be closer to the earth he craved and to God's creatures whom he wanted to enslave, remained in the first sky. The Angels' FacesIn people's minds, an angel resembles a child of 10 to 14, very beautiful, with hair blonde like the fields of wheat, with chicory-blue eyes, dressed in white garments, chasubles and wings. The angels dwell in heavens and in paradise and they glorify God with songs and hymns. Angels are invisible to us. God in his kindness gave each of us a guardian angel to teach us what is good and to save us from what is evil.After a battle with the Devil, the angels became fewer and therefore God resolved that all children who die before they turn 7, that is all those who stay innocent and have not experienced sin should turn into angels.The angels are the servants of God and paradise is full of them, waiting for God's commands, to fly wherever he sends them.To be able to fly mothers make a split gown for their small children. The Army of AngelsIn heaven, they make up an army on three rows, according to their rank. This army is led by archangels Michael and Gabriel. Their service in heaven goes on like this: they dress in white angel's chasubles and during the night they carry flames and chime bells, dancing around God's throne. At midnight they sweep the world off unclean spirits. At that hour the roosters crow and all miserable spirits or devil run away to hide in hell or in graves where their resting place is. Every Saturday they go to confession. The night of Jordan, God calls them to him, thanks them for the work they did all over the year, and sends them off thus:"This is your night, go and do whatever you please for once." And then the angels sing and dance and frolic as they used during their earthly life.Angels keep their child's face and body, but have wings. God often entrusts them with missions on earth but nobody can see them and our eyes perceive them. THE DEVIL'S SCHEMES AGAINST GOD'S FEATSThe Making of All Creatures After God made the earth he did not like seeing it empty and barren. Then he began to plant grass, flowers, and all sorts of seeds from which tall and beautiful trees sprang. But the Devil stuck to God like usual never letting up, just to get in his hair. So, he planted his seeds of his own, weeds and ugly sticks. Where God sowed wheat, the Devil scattered cock weed, where God planted flowers, the Devil put thistle and henbane. God cultivated fir trees, oak and beeches with thick foliage, while the Devil made grow all sorts of crooked and useless plants like dwarf elders and knee pines. The Making of AnimalsWhen God decided to make the animals, the same story all over: the Devil was keen on being able to boast "when we made the world…" as the fly did about working the field. Anyway, the Devil tried hard to embroil things and ruin what God had done. Because he did not want the earth – which he had so much longed to steal from God – to be inhabited by godly creatures that had nothing to do with him. Also, he did not wish it to be too beautiful, given that it was not his. Therefore, when God made the horses, the oxen, the sheep, the deer, the singing birds, the diligent bees and the ants, the fish and all the beetles in the air and in the water, the Devil invented all the wild, noxious things in the woods that pry on man and feed on the other animals. Owls and hawks, flies and all the nasty bugs, worms and caterpillars were unleashed on earth by the Devil's crooked mind bent on evil, ugliness and destruction. So, from the beginning there was a distinction between good and bad animals, good and bad plants and flowers. No matter how much they mingled still what was made by the Devil would go bad, wherever you put it. Just like good fights evil in man, so it is in the animal kingdom, and in the realm of plants. Weeds try to spread over grains and wolves to gobble up sheep. That's how it has been since the beginning of time and that's how it will be to the end of the world. THE CREATION OF MANThe Creation of ManAfter God made the earth, he also created all sorts of animals, birds and creatures to live in the air, on earth and in water. Then he made the trees and the grass in the field and the sweet smelling flowers. And the whole world was like a glazed vessel, so beautiful you felt like living and never getting old. God strolled happily all over and like a good administrator if he found a hill too small pulled it higher, he deepened a valley if he thought it too narrow for a river to flow, or smoothed out a plain to get a better, wider view. Well, like any man who wants his creation to be solid and useful. The Devil accompanied him, close in his tracks, lest God could do something and he missed it. He kept on finding fault: "This is no good; that would go better there; water should run uphill not downhill." Well, just to say something. God kept silent and laughed in his sleeve. But for once the Devil was right."God," he said, "so wide and big is the earth and there's no not a creature to work and enliven it. As far as you see only land." God looked and nodded."You're right, my No-Good-Brother. But what shall we fill the earth with?"The Devil, happy to hear God think him smart, told him he could come up with something to God's liking. But in his mind a perfidious thought dawned. He decided to make a creature to resemble him, and when there would be two or more they could get rid of God more easily. God saw through his scheme but made believe he liked his proposal, and allowed him to set to work.The Devil picked up some clay and shaped a dummy that he thought looked like him, and after endowing it with a mouth, nose, eyes and ears, put it on its feet and barked at it to start moving. But the dummy would not budge. It gaped and stared like an apparition and remained stock-still. The Devil struck a reed into its mouth and started to blow air into its chest but still he could not make it breathe. So his efforts were vain for the devilish spirit could not bring the dummy to life. And the Devil was so angry he blew his top. But then God passed by:"What are you creating there, Devil?""A man, God!""Well, well!" God seemed to wonder. "And does it move?""No, God. I instilled so much spirit into it, and it's still clay.""Well, you did not create it right. Come tomorrow to see how I do it."And God set to work. He took bone from stone, flesh from clay, blood from dew, hearing from wind, beauty from the sun, spirit from the holy ghost, and mind from the glory of the angels and made man after his liking. And he commanded him to move, and man did.When the Devil saw that God had succeeded in doing what he himself had wanted to do, and now he would no longer have any help to overthrow God from the helm of the world, he got very mad and cursed and swore he would not relent until he got man out of God's sway. So, to this day the Devil tries all sorts of tricks to get hold of man. And because man's body is weak as it is made of the same clay that the Devil used for his dummy, it is the flesh that the Devil most leads into temptation. As long as man lives the Devil torments him in all sorts of ways, sending diseases upon him and various kinds of boils and ailments. Then he separates man's body from his soul, and dumps it in the earth to rot and fall pray to worms. Whereas the soul, a speck of the holy ghost, is constantly fighting against Satan's wiles, and when the Devil takes sway of man's flesh, crushing it, the soul rises to God. The Making of EveThe earth was silent. All creatures lived in peace and plenty. Plants grew at will. Man saw to his garden, not troubled by anybody. He did not rejoice though for he did not understand what joy was, because he had not lived any days of disgust. He lived in absence of pain and did not feel he was surrounded by displeasure. The Almighty paced the world, caressing his beard contently at having carried his task thorough.After a time Adam began pouting though. He saw that the lion had a lioness, a horse had a mare, the eagle had its pair, and no creature whatever was alone. Everybody had someone to help, to play or while away time. Only man was alone. He rambled to and fro and had nobody to talk to. God saw him walking aimlessly, deep in thought, and no longer caring for his food or the splendid sights in the matchless paradise. He had had enough of too much good. For this reason God decided to give Adam a mate. He put him to a sweet, heavy slumber, and wanted to detach a piece form his forehead to make a woman. But that did not seem right to him for then the woman would have been more clever and stronger than man. Then he thought of taking a piece of his soles but that meant the woman would be too slim, too nimble and would go all day from here to there like counterfeit money. So God chose Adam's ninth rib in the left side and made Eve out of it. After blowing holy spirit into her, he awoke Adam who was mighty frightened at finding a pair next to him. And he sighed: "Oh, God, what is this?" God assured him: "Don't panic, Adam, this is bone from your bone, flesh of your flesh, and blood of your blood. This woman will be your wife to the end of time." And then Adam took her by the hand to show her the beauties of paradise. THE LIFE OF MANGiving BirthIf a woman is heavy with child the first thing she has to do is put on a girdle. During the pregnancy the woman has to avoid certain chores, deemed harmful for the child and the birth.Thus, when she takes the garbage out she must say:"Let me have my child as easily and quickly as I throw out this garbage."A pregnant woman should not eat twin fruit if she does not want to give birth to twins. The same she should not bake twin cakes, or eat peanuts with two cores.A pregnant woman should not forget her nightgown out drying on the fence overnight for an envious neighbor could cut out the shadow cast by the sleeves on the ground. Then the child to be born will have severed hands.The woman who picks sticks in her lap will have a child with spotted skin, and if the wood comes out of the plane the child will get curly hair. If someone overpasses a pregnant woman resting in the shade or spinning in the threshold her child will be born with the navel around its neck. If the pregnant woman takes off the shoes of her husband or of any of the folks in the house or helps him out of his trousers she will not be able to give birth until she drinks water of the shoe or the boot of the man. She should not blow into the fire for her child will be dumb. She should not go under the loom for she will give birth to twins. Neither should she eat stringed beans for her child will be dull. The same she should not have unchopped meat for her child will lisp. She should not taste thick broth on a fasting day for her child will get red pimples. Learning the Sex of the ChildIf the woman wants to know the sex of her baby then when she finishes weaving she will send one of her children out with a cloth. The child must go out with his eyes closed and open them only on the road. Whatever he lays eyes on first, man or woman, rooster or hen, male or female animal that will be the sex of the child to come. Cravings of the Pregnant WomanIt is common knowledge that a pregnant woman has cravings for food she sees or dreams about. It is a great sin to refuse to give a pregnant woman to sample the food she sees and craves. That is why if a pregnant woman comes visiting a house at meal time she must be invited to taste every dish and drink, lest she abort. Body MarksIf a woman yearns for something and cannot have it then she must not put her hand on her face or body otherwise her child will be born with a mark representing what the pregnant woman wanted. The same if the craving prompts the woman to steal a fruit or other food, she should not touch her face or body with her hand lest her child will get fire-red birthmarks.If she accidentally stumbles upon a funeral she should not look at the dead person or if she unwillingly glanced at a dead relative or someone she used to know she must say right away: "I see two not one" lest her child get a livid, deadly pale face.She must not kick a dog with her foot lest her child gets a mean heart. Or beat a cat for then the child will have a hairy body. If someone lays an axe on the threshold where a pregnant woman has sat then her child will get a cleft lip. She must neither walk across a string for her child will come out with the navel round its neck. If, being tired she rests on a sack she will have a difficult birth. The same if she rests on the steps of a staircase. If she sits down on a washing basin to rest she will have a girl.A pregnant woman should not sponsor a wedding for she will give birth to a stillborn child. The same will happen to the pregnant woman who is ashamed to say she is pregnant when asked. If the woman has an easy pregnancy she will have a girl, if a difficult one she will have a boy. If the woman wants to give birth easily she has to put under her pillow The Dream of the Virgin.She should not knot her tresses for her child will get to lisp. She should not wear a flower at her belt for her child will get birthmarks. She should not look long at ugly or deficient people (lame, blind, one-armed) for her child will get the same defect. Removing BirthmarksIf the child is born with a mark the first Sunday (after new moon) while people are at church, about the middle of the liturgy she will sit with her child in the center of one room in her house, and breast-feed it. At the same time, she must think of the thing that most amazed her and she thinks responsible for the mark on her baby. After some three minutes she should get up and go to the fireplace and do the same: from there she must walk to the end of the corridor and pray to God: "Dear, Almighty God who made man after your likeness, remove from my son (daughter) all the unusual, inhuman habits and qualities. Let him (her) remain clean and bright like solid gold, like the Holy Virgin, like field dew, like the star in the sky. Amen!" She then will repeat this three times on three Sundays. Relegating PainIf a woman is unwell before her time the folks at home first smoke her with a fox muzzle and if she still doesn't feel good they call quick the midwife or a skilled woman who takes 8-9 seeds of cucumber or melon and two twigs of savory, and mixes them together. Then she pours a little glass of brandy over the mixture and gives it to the woman. After having drunk, the midwife puts some onion skins in a pot with live coal and smokes the pregnant woman with the spicy fumes.If necessary the drink and the smoke are repeated. Aborting the ChildNot to have a miscarriage – for, besides the peril this represents for the mother, it is deemed a bad omen – you should pound some nut cores and melon seeds or burn wool tussles or peacock tail and then mix the lot with brandy.There are other remedies as well. Heat a brick, then pour brandy on it. The steam coming from the brick will get to the woman and do her good. The icon with the Virgin can be washed and the wash be given to the woman to drink. Or one takes a scythe, opens a window and places the scythe so that its point is directed at the earth. One pours water over the blade of the scythe three times, so that the water drips into a pot placed at the point of the scythe. If the woman drinks this water the illness will pass.If she feels better she takes spinning hemp, spins it, wets it a little, and places it over her belly. She must keep it there 3 days. The Time for Giving Birth Draws NearWhen the time is near, the pregnant woman should go to church make her confession, and take the holy Eucharist. Then she goes home, pours water in a pot and casts it over the eaves, trying to catch it in another vessel under which she has placed a bowl. Meantime she says: "As long as the water sits on the eaves that long shall the boy or the girl linger." She drinks water three times, crossing herself, then whets her belly. Furthermore, she takes an egg and places it in the fire, and when it blows up she repeats the mantra: "As long as the egg…" Then she goes to a bridge with a string upstream and says: "As long as the water dwells under the bridge that long should the boy or girl linger." Difficult BirthingIf the woman has a difficult birthing then she will rest on her knees and pray to God for help. When the woman is in pain and the parturition appears to be difficult, she will be made to drink water poured over the icon of the Virgin, her man will shoot a rifle over the house, while the midwife will kick the door three times. Thus evil spirits that prowl around the house and prevent the woman from giving birth are relegated.For the same reason, two axes are thrust into the house pillars, all things are turned upside down, incense from Easter, Christmas or Epiphany is lit, and the whole house is thus smoked, while the woman prays to the Holy Virgin. Swaddling. The Things Needed…The child, if male, is wrapped in a shirt of his father or of his mother, if female, to get dry. Then the child is swaddled. The things necessary are one wrap, a girdle, several strips, clothes, a little blanket, and a cap.Among the swaddling clothes, actually in a woolen or cotton girdle, there should be sewn three twigs of garlic, three berries of pepper, 3 grains of spring wheat, 4 of autumn wheat, 3 grains of incense, 3 of salt, 3 crumbs of bread and 3 splinters from the child's house, all in all 9 kinds, so that the child should not get the evil eye (9 is deemed a magic number, with beneficial influence, just like 7). Against the Evil EyeNot to be jinxed, the baby should get a red bow and a red wool bracelet on its right hand. Against the evil eye a sign can be made on the forehead. The midwife lifts her right foot with the heel backwards and with her thumb she takes some dust, kneads it with spittle, and then puts a mark on the child's forehead: "Don't get jinxed!" and spits three times. DimplesShe also puts a finger on the child's chin and cheeks for the child to get dimples. Influence of the Future…the midwife does some things to influence the child's future. She sweeps, sews or spins or cuts wood with an axe, writes, hammers, according to the sex of the child. Saeculum I. O., Bucharest, 2003

by Marcel Olinescu (1896-1992)