Baia Mare, Maremureș
Our study, based mainly on field research, aims to address aspects of plague description in the Romanian folklore and, in particular, in the folklore specific to Maramureş area. After placing the plague in the family of anthropomorphized diseases, we recorded the plague epidemics in Maramureş and throughout the country. At the same time, we reproduced the oldest documentary evidence of the plague, belonging to doctor Rufus of Ephesus.
The research part of our study is the analysis of the physiognomic details of the plague, as well as its specific features, as they appear in Maramureş folklore and in the universal folklore. We paid proper attention to the way the plague acted, and to the diversity of its evil actions.
In our research, we have given a wider space to ritual-magical practices, as well as to other actions meant to improve and combat the plague actions. In analysing these ritual-magical practices of combatting the plague, we emphasized the most complex ones, such as making a ritual furrow around the village with the plough pulled by two black, twin oxen; or going around the village with black oxen. We have given appropriate space to the plague shirt, which is of particular importance due to its rich mythical-magic aspect.
Keywords: plague, physiognomic detalis, actions, magic, lads, girls, oxen, death, malefic.