Reprezentări ale spaţiului în credinţele populare. Lumea cealaltă

Representations of space in folk beliefs. The Otherworld
The binary division of the Universe, divided between the visible and the unseen
one, between the human world and that of the Others (spirits, dead people), between
here and there dates back to ancient times, and is based on the binary oppositions,
which were within the reach of people, but also on their extension, as well as on the
contact places which changed once Man conquered the surrounding universe. At a
macrocosmic level, there is a world in which people live, this world, focusing on the
inhabited space, in other words, on the hearth of each house, around which one can
notice the expansion, in successive circles, of the other microspaces owned by Man,
which he has prepared through defense practices in order to be able to move freely
within them. The main elements which have spatial, but especially ritual values in
this first circle of the humanized world are the hearth, the stove, the oven, the chimney,
the beam of the house, the table, the bed (cradle), the lintel, the window, the
eaves of the house. As we move away from the house, there are other items which
Man consecrated and used in its own interest, both magical and household ones, as
the yard, the stable, the fence, the gate leading to the household entrance, and also
the frontier of the village, its borders which separated peoples’ plots of land, gradually
reaching the most dangerous places, such as the crossroads, the bank of the
river, the bridges, the forest, the mountains, etc. Beyond these transition places
which could be reached by people too as they needed to gather construction materials,
to travel, but also to earn their living, and, why not, dangerous entities, representing
various embodiments of the sacred world which lived in another space,
known as the Otherworld. This is not necessarily a world of the dead (which we are
to describe below), but a place where the Others, the anti-humans, the non-humans,
the super humans lead their existence.


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