Muma Pădurii

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In Romanian folklore, Muma Pădurii (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈmuma pəˈdurij]) is an ugly and mean old woman living in the forest. She is the opposite of fairies such as Zână.

Etymology[edit]

Muma Pădurii literally means "the Mother of the Forest", though "mumă" is an archaic version of "mamă" (mother), which has a fairy-tale overtone for the Romanian reader (somewhat analogous to using the archaic pronouns like "thou" and "thy" in English). A few other such words, typically protagonists of folk-tales, have this effect.

Characteristics[edit]

Muma Pădurii is a spirit of the forest in a very ugly and old woman's body. Sometimes she has the ability to change her shape. She lives in a dark, dreadful, hidden little house.

She is thought to attack children, and because of this, a large variety of spells (descântece in Romanian) are used against her.

This (step-) mother of the forest kidnaps little children and enslaves them. In one of the popular stories, at some point, she tries to boil a little girl alive, in a soup. However the little girl's brother outsmarts Muma Pădurii and pushes the woman-monster in the oven instead, similar to the story of Hansel and Gretel. The story ends on a happy note when all kids are free to go back to their parents.

In modern culture[edit]

Instead of saying "She's ugly", Romanians sometimes say, "She looks like Muma Pădurii". Muma Pădurii was adapted into a monster for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition: http://www.lomion.de/cmm/mumapadu.php

References[edit]

  • Lăzărescu, George, Dicţionar de mitologie. Dicţionarele Editurii Ion Creangă, Bucureşti, 1979.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]