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From Khams/Shamans of Turkestan to Heads of Halay
The people whom the Tungus named "shamans" and whom the Turks named "kam", "bard", "baksı", "bakşı" were people who organized and conducted religious rites and rituals in the pre-Islamic Turkish belief system. As a result of the social division of labor, new occupational groups had been formed in time. As a consequence of this situation, shamans performed their duties under new names such as sheikh, minstrel (bard) and enchanter. Turkish shamans, gentlemen and alps used to offer a sacrifice to the Turkish khan Tengri before going out to hunt, while taking the souls of the deceased to fly (to heaven) or to the abyss (to hell). They performed various dances, singing enchanting words accompanied by special melodies with their drums. With these qualities, shamans are the representatives of the collective spirit in Turkish social life. They had the most important role in Turkish society after khans. Today, halay and its chief performer, halay heads, play an active role in the collective ceremonies of Turks such as weddings, soldier farewells, and circumcision festivals. The head of the halay is the person who directs the halay, gives the command, imitates the movements of various animals, especially the eagle, which is the representative of God and heaven, in ecstasy by going up in the middle of the halaysurna. They utter various words resembling shamanic prayers and determine the rhythm by giving instructions to the drummer and the zurna player. There are some commonalities between the shaman—who drove out the evil spirits that have haunted societies and people for thousands of years and had undertaken many duties such as magician, healer, actor (dancer), and spirit guide—and the halay head—who plays an important role in collective activities such as weddings, engagement ceremonies, circumcision feasts, soldier farewells and welcomings, which are the most important social activities of Turkish society. The shaman's directing the ritual—with his drum, his dress, his play (dance), the sounds he makes and his prayers—and the halay head, with a handkerchief or pieces of wood in his hand, his beautiful dressing, his hand, foot and body movements being imitated the halay dancers, especially the drummer—give these actions a ritual atmosphere. The shaman’s driving the evil spirits away with the drums and the halay head’s playing to the rhythm of the drum may be driving the evil spirits that may haunt the marrying couples, young people going to military and children who will be circumcised away. In this study, whether there is a relationship between shamans and halay heads is explained.

Shaman, Halay Head, Play, Enchant, Ritual

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    Dergimizin Eylül 2023 Sayısı (Cilt: 13, Sayı:3) yayınlanmıştır. Tüm hakem ve yazarlarımıza katkıları için teşekkür ederiz.

Derginin Yeni Adı (2020 yılı 10. ciltten itibaren)
Journal of Humanities and Tourism Research
Derginin Eski Adı
Karabük Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi (2010-2020)
ISSN: 1309-436X eISSN:2147-7841 (2013-2020)

Adres :Journal of Humanities and Tourism Research
Telefon :0370 418 86 00 Faks :0 370 418 83 33
Eposta :nturker@karabuk.edu.tr

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