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(2,834 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
(Tk. “black eye”), the principal character in the Turkish shadow play, and also the shadow play theatre itself; the shadow player is called a ḳaragözd̲j̲ü or k̲h̲ayālī . The ḳaragöz theatre is played with inanimate actors and flat, two-dimensional figures ( ṣūret ,


(281 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
, the name of a plain surrounded by mountains, mentioned in the legend of the origin of the Mongols. An associated legend in the Chinese Chronicle of Pei-shih (ed. in about 629) explains the origins of the Tʾu-chüeh as follows. This people lived on the shores of the Western Sea, Hsi-hai. They were massacred by a neighbouring people. Only a young boy survived, …


(12,086 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Bausani, A. | Boratav, P.N. | Ahmad, Aziz | Winstedt, R.O.
(a.), verbal noun of ḥakā , originally meaning “to imitate”, but which, in consequence of a readily explained semantic evolution, came to acquire the meaning of “to tell, to narrate”; similarly the noun ḥikāya , starting from the meaning of “imitation”, has come to mean more specifically “mimicry”, and finally “tale, narrative, story, legend”. In classical Arabic the intensive form ḥākiya meant a “mimic” and modern Arabic has adopted the active participle ḥāk


(1,095 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N. | J.T.P. de Bruijn
(p., t. peri , borrowed into English as peri, French péri ), a supernatural being of stories and legends, and likewise forming a whole category of popular beliefs. The word stems from Pers. par “wing”; and the being is sometimes pictured as being winged. Turkish tradition considers it as a beneficent spirit. However, amongst the Kazaks it is sometimes represented as an evil genie. In the Anatolian tradition, it is conceived as a being belonging to both sexes, and the compound form peri kizi “girl peri” is used for peris of the female sex. It was believed that marriage with human beings was possible. Peris form the main characters of the action in a whole category of tales of marvels; they bring aid to good persons but punishment for the evil ones.…


(14,502 words)

Author(s): Sellheim, R. | Wickens, G.M. | Boratav, P.N. | Haywood, J.A. | Knappert, J.
(a., pl. amt̲h̲āl ) proverb, popular saying, derives—similarly to Aram, mat̲h̲lā , Hebr. mās̲h̲āl and Ethiop. mesl , mesālē —from…

Ḳi̊zi̊l-Elma (or Ḳi̊zi̊l-Alma)

(870 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
, “Red Apple” is an expression which occurs in written sources from the 16th century onwards; it also occurs in Turkish oral traditions from Anatolia and Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān as well as in modern Greek, Bulgarian and Rumanian folklore, current to this day. I…


(895 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
(<a. maʿnā ), a form of Turkish popular poetry. The mani is, most usually, a piece of poetry made up of heptasyllabic verses rhymed on the pattern a a b a; each quatrain may be sufficient to fulfil a certain function or to transmit a certain message. This norm of a self-sufficient unity, as well as those in regard to the ordering of the rhymes, the number of verses and the metre, does not impose an absolutely watertight rule. The use of the māni , in certain circumstances, to form a…


(837 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
(in Turkish, Hidrellez), is the name, in Turkish tradition, of a popular festival in the spring and celebrated on the 5-6 May, this date being considered as marking the beginning of the season of summer, extending from then till 7 November ( Kasim ). The two dates correspond respectively with the feastdays of St. George (23 April) and St. Demetrius (26 October). K̲h̲iḍr (Tkish. Hizir) also symbolises in Turkish tradition the renewal of vegetation in the spring. It is believed that, when this personage shows himself upon the face of the earth, the dry veget…


(13,196 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Sourdel-Thomine, J. | Elwell-Sutton, L.P. | Boratav, P.N.
“the animal kingdom”, Arabic word derived from a Semitic root (cf. Hebrew ) implying a notion of life ( ḥayāt [ q.v.]). It is attested only once in the Ḳurʾān (XXIX, 64), where it means “the true life” and is used of the other world; the dictionaries state that a spring of Paradise is also called by this name, but the most usual meaning of


(2,568 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
(Turkish meddāḥ ), an Arabic word which means "panegyrist"; the term was used by the Ottoman Turks as a synonym of ḳi̊ṣṣa-k̲h̲w ān (Arabic ḳāṣṣ ) and s̲h̲ehnāme-k̲h̲w ān to designate the professional story-tellers of the urban milieux; it was used in the same way by the Persians, but more rarely; as for the Arabs, they used it, in a fairly late period, to designate the "begging singers of the streets" (see Köprülüzāde M. Fuʾād, Meddāḥlar…
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