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CNAA / Theses / 2008 / June /

Genesis and evolution chromatics traditional in the Carpathic Danubian-Pontic Area

Author: Şofransky Zina
Degree:doctor habilitat of history
Speciality: 07.00.07 - Ethnology, Cultural and Historical Anthropology


The thesis was presented on the 6 June, 2008
Approved by NCAA on the 23 October, 2008


Adobe PDF document1.39 Mb / in romanian


CZU 39 (478) (043.2) + 39 (498.2)

Adobe PDF document 2.09 Mb / in romanian
360 pages


colour, dye, vegetal, mineral, animal, Carphatic-Danubian-Pontic, terminology, chromatics, source, mordant, pigment, tinctorial plant, natural colouring matters, ornament, wood, metal, rock, natural fibre, painting, Basarabia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Botanic, History, Geography, Animal husbandry, Archaeology, Flora, Fauna, Cosenila, antique purple, Indigo, Alizarine, Cosmetic, Manuscript, Miniature, Attemper, secco, fresco, church, monastery, cross, crucifixion, crucifix, icon, pharmeceutics


The work renders a complex interdisciplinary ethnological investigation.The theoretic aspect is based on the result of the domain accomplished through a contemporary scientific methodology founded on the published ethnographical sources(sometimes archeological, botanical, mineralogical, mathematical, physical, chemical), on museum materials, as well as on the field investigations carried on in all the ethnographic areas of Eastern Moldova and Bucovina.

The Introduction substantiates the up-to dateness of the topic and formulates the research problem, estimates the investigation degree of the problem, specifies athe aim and tasks of the work, argues the scientific innovation and theoretical and practical importance of the research, exposes the approvals of the research results by the national and international scientific forums.

Chapter I Historiography of the problem, Historical Periodicity and General Notions, field research, analyses the bibliographical (arheological, historical, iconographical) sourses; presents scientifically the chromatics of the archeological and ethnographical samples metals, rocks, ceramics, glass, wood, natural fibres, leather etc.) aiming at establishing the materials and the epoche of their manufacturing, of the performed chemical and mineralogical reactions in order to carry out a more detailed individualization and a more correct classification.

Chapter II Popular Titles of the Colours and Tints proposes an incursion to the origin sources of the cultural colours ‘and tints’titles, the origins of wich come from the neighbouring and the present-day civilization,from the inheritances and borrowings from the neighbouring and coinhabiting nations.The colour titles are classified according to their origin coming from the names of plants,animals,metals,precious stones or cromophore minerals, are systematized according to their inheritance from the Tracic-dacic and Latin languages, or borrowed from other languages (New-Greek, French, Turkish, Slavic etc.).

Chapter III Vegetal Sources and Colouring Matters in the Traditional Dyeing comprises two compartments: 1) Vegetal Sources and Colouring Matters in the Traditional Dyeing; 2) Wood: the colour of wood esenses of some trees and bushes (including exotic ones).

The topic presented in the first compartment of the chapter underlines the role and importance of the vegetal colouring matters that were conspicious especially during the centuries XVII-XIX. The chapter estimates the importanceof the character of the colouring matters (or of the dyeing mixturies), of the mordants and of the materials undergoing dyeing.

The second compartment of the chapter is meant for the wooden essences with specific colours and drawings, with adequate physical properties used at fulfilling ornamental pieces, householding or other utensils and constructions, of the furniture, musical, instruments, which evaluates the chromatic, ornaments of the wooden essence.

The use of the natural essences of different colours (from black to white), together with the ornamentation-painting technics of the wood renders remarkable artistical opportunities of the wood artisan to create an ornamental art of the wooden pieces, using the colour and drawing of the wood itself.

Chapter IV Colouring Matter s and Additives of the Animal Kindom emphasizes the colouring matters obtained from the human body or the animal kindom. It analyzes the use of the colouring matters in the past: cochineal,purple etc.It accomplishes a scientific classification of different classes of animal colouring matters, followed by indications regarding the natural sources that contain them and the domain where these where used : at dyeing natural fibres, at fulfilling different manuscripts, miniatures and printed works. Some animal colouring matters were used in cosmetics, pharmacheutics, alimentation and zootechny.

Chapter V Mineral Pigments within Ornamental Arts carries out an analytical synthesis about the cromophore metals ( iron, cobalt, manganese, cooper, gold, silver etc) including the cromophore structural groups (oxides, salts)that, n the past, were used at manufacturing some vessels; at carrying out different constructions ( houses, churches, fortresses), of some glass vessels.

Bassed on the theoretic –scientific analysis there have been formulated conclusions about obtaining and using vegetal, animal or mineral colour matters that contribute to the reflection of the chromatic upon all the field of the popular occupations, and certain recommnendations have been made .

Through the corroboration of the numerous data taken from tangent scientific disciplines: archeology, history as well as of the information provided by the exact sciences: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy the work has gone beyond the boarders of ethnological science, getting inscribed within the interdisciplinary original study