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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 , taṣwīr ), manipulated by the shadow player who, as in the puppet theatre, makes them move and talks from behind a screen whilst he himself remains out of sight. The characters are presented in caricature; as well as human figures, there are also schematise…

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. It refers to a legendary city which was to be the ultimate goal of Turko-Muslim conquests, and some versions explain the term from the resemblance between a red apple and the golden dome of a building—in this latter case it refers to a large churc…


(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 song in dialogue shape (see below) can give it a polystrophic nature. More…


(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…


(1,028 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
, term used in Turkey of a genre of popular poetry of religious inspiration, consisting of poems sung—without instrumental accompaniment—in chorus or solo during certain ceremonies; the ilāhī is thus distinguished from all other types of popular religious poetry by its melody and its use in ritual. Many texts not originally intended as ilāhīs may have become so later through the addition of an appropriate melody and been introduced in ceremonies which require the chanting of ilāhīs. Ilāhīs were sung mainly at sessions of d̲h̲ikr in the convents ( tekke ) of the …


(268 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
(t.), in Turkish society “troubadour poet/singer/story-teller”. The term comes from the verb oz- “to outstrip, go ahead in the race” (see Clauson, Etymological dictionary of pre-thirteenth century Turkish , 279), already attested in Kās̲h̲g̲h̲arī’s [ q.v.] Dīwān lug̲h̲āt al-turk (5th/11th century), as also in the living tongues of Kirgiz, Sagay and Koybol of Central Asia and in the Turkish of Anatolia. The term ozan was used for the singers who accompanied the army in Sald̲j̲ūḳ times. An Anatolian Turkish poet of the 9th/15th century c…


(623 words)

Author(s): Boratav, P.N.
, a rebel of the Anatolian D̲j̲elālī movement [ q.v. in Suppl.] in the 10th/16th century and the hero of a popular romance. The real Körog̲h̲lu came from the region of Bolu, and is probably the same person as the soldier-bard of that name who is said to have taken part in the campaigns in the Caucasus and Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān of Özdemirog̲h̲lu Pas̲h̲a in the years 992-3/1584-5. Until fairly recent times, Körog̲h̲lu remained a legendary personality, whose exploits were chanted by bards and story-tellers in Anatolia, Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān. Turkmenistān and Uzbekistān. Ma…


(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 the common Semitic root for “sameness, equality, likeness, equivalent” (cf. Akkad. mas̲h̲ālum “equality”, mis̲h̲lum “half”). In Arabic, to create a proverb is fa-arsala( t) , or d̲j̲aʿala ( t) hu mat̲h̲al an, fa-ḍaraba ( t) bihi ’l-mat̲h̲al a; to become proverbial is ḍuriba bihi ’l-mat̲h̲alu , mat̲h̲al un yuḍrabu fa-d̲h̲ahaba ( t), or d̲j̲arā / d̲j̲arat mat̲h̲al an, or, simply, fa-ṣāra mat̲h̲al an. 1. In Arabic i. Definition ii. Arabic proverbs (1) Earlie…


(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 ḥayawān , used as a singular or a collective, is an animal or animals in general, including man, who is more precisely called al-ḥayawān al-nāṭiḳ . 1. Lexicography. The fauna of the Arabian peninsula has been covered under al-ʿarab , d̲j̲azīrat …


(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 , in Türkiyyāt Med̲j̲mūʿasi̊ , i [1925], 11-12). In North Africa, however, the məddāḥ is a kind of "religious minstrel who go…
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