Romanian Cosmogony III-Jidovi, the Carpathian Giants

The legends of many nations describe a bygone era when the world was ruled by giant humans. Some sources claim that this legendary era is not at all a story and that those giants indeed ruled the world at some point in time. Even if they did or did not exist, they left us beautiful stories about their way of living.

The Romanian Giants known as Jidovi, are probably one of the most beloved folklore creatures. Jidovii are described in Romanian legends as kind and patient, walking with huge steps from one hill to another. Their presence in Romania is well maintained by the multitude of places that were named after them: the Jidovi table, the Jidovi cave, the hill or the tombs of Jidovi, and also, there is jidovina, a measuring unit consisting of several meters, the equivalent of a giant’s step. Wherever you go, their memory is well preserved and you must not be surprised to hear that there are still many people who believe in their past existence.

In the Carpathians, Jidovii are often named Blajini, which means the Kind Ones, or Novaci, which means the Powerful Ones as they could snatch a tree without any effort. They lived in caves and thick woods, enjoyed talking and respected the little humans, which they considered their successors, the next owners of all the rivers and mountains.

At the beginning of 1900, there were still some people who claimed to have heard real stories about Jidovi from their grandparents who saw them in person. According to their stories, there were few giants left but lived in good communion with humans. When great floods came, Jidovii took care of people and their animals without asking for any reward.

Also, there is a story which repeats regardless of region, when giants seeing people plowing the land, took them in their hands as little toys, smiled at them and then put them back carefully. But the best legend ever is that of the famous agreement between the great Dacian king Burebista and all the Jidovi from the mountains. They were left to live in the mountains only if they promised to guard with their life the great Dacian gold treasures. So, it is believed, that in the deepest caves of the Carpathians Mountains may still live some Jidovi, protecting the treasures for generations to come.