Cluj region

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Cluj region in Romania

Kalotaszeg Hungarian ethnographic zone

Călatelor ethnographic zone

Dealurile Clujului ethnographic zone

Mocănimii Gilăului ethnographic zone

Mocănimii Hăşdatelor ethnographic zone

Hungarian villages in Cluj region

Cluj region archaeological sites

The regions around the city of Cluj include a number of ethnographic zones representing a continuum in Transylvanian folk culture from the Sălăj and Codru areas across to the Transylvanian plain, and to the south west of the town an interference zone which stretches into the mountains occupied by the Moţi cultures.

This region is bounded to the west by the narrow valley into Bihor, to the north west by the Sălăj regions of Valea Agrijului and Valea Almaşului, by Valea Someşului to the north, and the Someş Mic valley and the Transylvanian plain to the east, and Ţara Moţilor to the south.

The lower lands have been populated from pre-history with significant numbers of sites from the Roman and age of migrations periods.

At the centre is the city of Cluj (German: Klausenburg; Hungarian: Kolozsvár, Latin: Castrum Clus), however, the majority of the surrounding villages are Romanian apart from the Kalotaszeg area of Hungarian villages between Cluj and Huedin.


The Hungarian Kalotaszeg region is a compact area of Hungarian villages situated in the Huedin (Bánffyhunyad) basin and along the valleys towards the town of Cluj (Kolozsvár).

See separate page Kalotaszeg.


This is the Romanian name for the zone situated in the Huedin basin, along the Căpuşului valley up to the village of Aghireş. It includes predominantly Romanian villages which surround the Hungarian Kalotaszeg region. This zone appears to be a continuation ethnographically with the Almaşului valley.

Dealurile Clujului

A mostly Romanian area between Kalotaszeg, Sălăj, Someş and Someş Mic.

Mocănimii Gilăului

(also known as zone Măgurenilor)

This zone is situated in the high table lands (~1200m) along the Răcătău, Someşul Clad, and Someşul Rece rivers and mainly supports forestry with some agriculture. The villages are predominantly Romanian with a long and continuing immigration from the lower Huedin basin into these higher valleys.

Mocănimii Hăşdatelor

This zone is situated in the river valleys south of Cluj which flow into the Arieş river to the west of Turda, and is primarily along the Agriş and Iara rivers. This is an interference zone between Ţara Moţilor and Mocănimii Gilăului.


Urban and western influences have led to the music and dances being less archaic than those found in the Transylvanian plain.

The Transylvanian lad's dance (Legényes in Hungarian, Fecioresc in Romanian) is the most developed dance in this region. It is most often performed as a solo and has a clearly constructed formula and a large range of figures . It is danced to a melody with a forceful dotted rhythm.  Similar less brisk melodies of this type are found throughout Transylvania and  represent a more musical fashion.

The girls dance in a small circle formation during the lad's dance (Legényes in Hungarian, Fecioresc in Romanian), shouting verses in rhythm (csujogatas in Hungarian, strigături in Romanian). Such girls dances are found across Transylvania, mainly in the Romanian repertoire, and may be a descendent of a medieval fashion. The shouting verses in rhythm is a generally a feature peculiar to Romanian dancing.

The Hungarian Verbunk dance has gained popularity, although Verbunk melodies have been adopted for other uses.

The Hungarians, and to a lesser extent the Romanians, dance the Hungarian Csárdás followed by a fast couple dance called Szapora to either old style melodies or 19th century Csárdás music.

The Romanian couple dances are the slow and fast învârtita, the slow being in asymmetric rhythm, plus De-a lungu, Muiereasca, Mureşana, and De doi.

Line dances
Balkan 3 measure 4 measure Hora uni-directional bi-directional small circle
Men's dances
Ritual dances Brâul Group men's dances Lad's dances Verbunk
      Legényes, Fecioresc  
Couple dances
Processional walking dance Turning dances Column dances Csardas Germanic & central European Others
De-a lungu slow and fast învârtita, Târnâveanca   Csárdás, Ceardaş

Szapora (fast) 



The music in most villages was supplied by gypsy musicians. In the past the first violin was accompanied by a second violin playing harmonic rhythm on the lower two strings. More recently this accompaniment function was taken over by the contra which enabled three string harmonies, and, with the addition of a bass and a second melody violin the "traditional" taraf is formed.

During the 20th century the harmonic structure has developed, possibly due to urban or western influences, and now is distinct from the more archaic music of the Transylvanian plain.

The newer Hungarian music dominates the Hungarian song repertoire and much of the Hungarian dance melodies.

The more developed musical style forms a continuum through the Hungarian and Romanian regions of Cluj and Sălăj counties, with some shared melodies and some specific to each ethnicity.


Women's costume
Shirt Aprons/skirt Headwear Belt Overgarments
Men's costume
Shirt Trousers Headwear Belt Overgarments



Bodiu, A, Munteanu, S (2002), Portul Traditional Românesc din Judeţul Cluj, Mediamira, Cluj

Bodiu, A, Munteanu, S (2003), Portul Popular Maghiar din Judeţul Cluj, Mediamira, Cluj


Original village music from Kalotaszeg - István Pávai FONO FA-113-2, FONO 102-2

Original village music from Kalotaszeg Szaszfenes (Floresti) - István Pávai FONO FA-113-2

Maygar népzene Erdélyböl Méra - Syncoop 5755 CD188

Clacă de Tors din Valea Drăganului - Electrecord EPE 01440

Jocuri din Călata-Inuc (Inaktelke) - Electrecord EPE 01799

"Someşul - Napoca" din Cluj -Electrecord SE-EPC 01848

Kalotaszegi Magyar Nepzene - Kallos Archiv 5

Méra - Syncoop 5755 CD 188

Autentikus Nepzeve 1 - DANCS Market DMR-23a


© Eliznik2007, First issue Mar-07