All 112 Styles of Folk Costumes of Romania

Romanian Folk Costumes: Tara Barsei or Barsa or Mocanii de Sacele, Transylvania What is a Mocan?        Scroll down for Maps       Click any of the images to enlarge

Mocanii of Sacele are sheep owners and shepherds. In the summer the shepherds take their sheep up in the mountains, and they winter in the plains, usually Dobrogea or along the Danube Valley. However, the rich sheep owners, during winter stay home, enjoy life, and dress following some of the latest fashion. The actual shepherds take care of the sheep and usually they dress in traditional folk costumes.

There is a famous saying by the Romanian politician Ion Ghica (1817-1897) takling about Ion Coletti (or Kolettis, 1773-1847, a Greek politician of Vlach / Romanian origin.) Ion Ghica said: " Coletti avea figura cea mai româneasca ce se poate vedea, ai fi zis ca e un mocan de la Brasov." ("Coletti looked as Romanian as Romanian could be. He looked like a Mocan from Brasov.")

What is a Mocan?

On this map of Tara Barsei, the seven villages marked in red make the town of SACELE, where "Mocanii de Sacele" live. A MOCAN is a transhumant shepherd (In the summer the shepherds takes their sheep up in the mountains, and they winter in the plains, usually Dobrogea or along the Danube Valley.) The shepherds of Sacele regard themselves as the only MOCANI . They say the name of Mocan comes from their very common last name "Moca" or "Moga." However, there are many "Mocani" groups in Transylvania. Scroll down and read more.
Orasul SACELE este format din cele "Sapte Sate" de "Mocani de Sacele": Baciu, Turches, Satulung (prima mentiune documentara in 1366,) Cernat, Tarlungheni, Zizin, Purcareni. Sacelenii considera ca numele de mocan vine de la "Moca" or "Moga" un nume de familie des intalnit in Sacele.

What is a MOCAN?
The "Dictionarul enciclopedic ilustrat" Bucuresti, 1931 gives the following definiton:
Romanian Language "Mocanii sunt ciobani adreleani de la poalele Carpatilor" Astazi, prin extensie un mocan este considerat orice locuitor din regiunile muntoase, mai ales din Ardeal.
English Language "Mocan is a Transylvanian shepherd from the Carpathian Mountains." Today, sometimes a MOCAN is considered any person who lives in the Transylvanian (Carpathian) Mountains.

There are several groups of MOCANI in The Carpathian Mountains

  • Marginimea Sibiului (Sibiu)
  • Tara Bârsei or Sãcele near Brasov
  • Mocani Valea Ariesului (Mocanii de Turda). See map
  • Mocani Valea Ampoilui. (Mocanii de Turda) See map
  • Mures / Câmpia Clujului with 3 sub-groups. See map
          a) Sieu, Sieut, Monor
          b) Filea, Vatava, Morareni on Upper Mures Valley
              around Deda (of The Mountain Pass Deda-Toplita)
          c) Mociu
  • Easterns slopes of The Carpathian Mountains, Vrancea Mountains (in Moldova) The people in this area call themselves MOCANI.
  • Southern slopes of "Carpatii Meridionali" (Retezat & Parang Mountains) around Târgu- Jiu (Dragoeni, Novaci)

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    2 Aprons, Either mostly black or red & black horizontal stripes. Sheepskin vest.
    Notice the "connecting" elements: back aprons are narrow with horizontal lines, just as in Central (Sibiu) or North (Somes) parts of Transylvania, while the front aprons are wider, but not as wide as those in "Tisa" or similar to Banat aprons