It is not known exactly how the Iele appeared. Some say they are daughters of the Moon. Others say daughters are Alexandru Macedon's daughters who drank the living water that he kept for old age. Girls have become fairies, immortal factions that have flown in the desert and in places where the foot of man has never fallen.
The Iele are feminine mythical creatures in Romanian mythology. There are several different descriptions of their characteristics. Often they are described as virgin fairies, with great seductive power over men, with magical skills and attributes similar to Nymphs, Naiads and Dryads found in Greek mythology. They are similar to the Samodivas in Bulgaria.
They mostly appear at night by moonlight, as dancing shindys (called horă in local language), in secluded areas such as glades, the tops of certain trees (maples, walnut trees), ponds, river sides, crossroads or abandoned fireplaces, dancing naked, with their breasts almost covered by their disheveled hair, with bells on their ankles and carrying candles. In almost all of these instances, the Iele appear to be aery.
In the village of Plopeni, in Constanta County, there are countless legends about them. Most often they walked around the village by night and stopped at the gates of the courtyards and call out those who lived there.
The Iele are too beautiful to be looked at. Their diaphanous presence and their dazzling play should never enjoy the human eye. But if the happening makes a mortal nose in their nose, the beauty is to punish the one who dared to look.
Legend says that whoever answers to the Iele’s song, remains speechless. In this village the Iele look like some huge brides, with ankle bells and very seductive. At Bârbuleţu, in Dâmboviţa, there is an area called “La Omul Mort”, where the Iele are said to gather and dance on the night of St. Andrew.
A curious man, a shepherd, wished to surprise them during a dance, but he returned from there hideous and mute, which convinced people that the legend of the place is, in fact, a reality.
The Iele are attracted especially by the young ladies who suffer from love. Legend says that on a summer night, while a young lady was working in the yard with their parents, the Iele came and called out her by her name, but she did not answer. The whole family locked itself in the house but for many minutes the Iele continued to sing and dance on the roof.
The Iele or nymphs are supernatural feminine creatures that belong to the Romanian folklore, being considered some of the most feared fantastic creatures on our territory. At the same time, there are some of the most fascinating creatures in Romanian mythology.