2 TRADITIONAL COSTUMES IN TURKEY Clothing was first introduced to protect man from the elements. It has come by its present forms as a result of the influence of social and moral values. With the passing time, a wide variety in forms of clothing emerged. These differences were the result of social and economic structure, geography, the materials available and climate. In the very earliest times, everyone in a particular tribe would wear clothes that defined his or her social status. More than an obligation, this was an understanding carried on by tradition. Clothing and eben hair styles reflected this same conception.Traditional clothes and finery provide considerable information about the workings of a society. Clothes indicate whether societies are settled or nomadic, and are a source of information abourt historical events and ethnological origins. For example, in Yöruk or Turkoman villages, one can tell whether a woman is engaged, married or a widow from the way in which she does her hair.
3 TRADITIONAL COSTUMES IN TURKEY Daily, work and special day clothes are different. Hair styles during a wedding and after the bridal chamber differ. In markets, it is easy to identify which village people live in just from their clothes. Today in Anatolia, there are differences even between the clothing worn in different neighborhoods of the same village. It is therefore inadvisable for the art historian, sociologist, folk dance arranger or designer to speak in terms of "Traditional Turkish costume.” Research led by sociologists from the Folk Culture Research and Development General Directorate of the Ministry of Culture has revealed that Anatolia possesses a wide range of clothing.
4 TRADITIONAL COSTUMES IN TURKEY Men who leave their villages to do their military service or to take up employment inevitably adapt to city culture. Field research therefore faces problems when it comes to defining men’s clothing. But in rural areas, women generally have little contact with the outside world. They tend to dress in conformity with the lifestyle and traditions of the community of which they are a part. Dress and decoration tends to follow that of preceding generations. Children’s clothes also differ according to sex and age. The concept of the evil eye is widespread, and one can observe many amulets to ward it off in peoples’ clothes and hair. In conservative communities, each generation follows the clothing styles and customs of earlier generations, which is how traditional clothing and styles have come down to the present day. Yet it is nevertheless impossible to say that traditional clothing and finery are totally unchanging. The materials employed certainly do change, and the efforts put into clothes are no longer as painstaking as before. Contemporary conditions create different styles, and interaction between different fashions is quite intense.
5 TRADITIONAL COSTUMES IN TURKEY In rural areas, women spend most of their time with working. As a result, their daily, work and special day clothes are different. Special costumes and hair dressings are only to be seen at wedding ceremonies. Women’s hair styles differ in accordance with their social status, and whether they are married or engaged, or not. Hair style is an important feature of women’s lives.Clothes and finery are a concept of physical culture and are part of the way that popular culture changes, and are also affected by that same process of change.
6 JEWELLERY AND ORNAMENTS Embellishment, or the use of jewellery and ornaments, appeared in very early times, based either on a belief in or need for decoration, and has today become a living tradition. Jewellery was made by small tribes with the natural materials available where they lived, in accordance with their beliefs and customs. It became a part of their tradition and was endowed with symbolic meanings. Jewellery made of stone, metal, wood, bone, fabric, glass or leftover materials are examples of this cultural heritage. The tradition of using jewellery and ornaments to complement traditional clothing still exists in traditional societies. The jewellery and ornaments used at wedding ceremonies in Anatolia differ according to the importance of the couple about to be married. For example, on the "henna night" (a party for a bride-to-be during which she and the other guests henna their hands and fingers, generally held one day before the wedding ceremony itself) the bride wears no ornaments, her clothes and jewellery being worn by another girl. It is considered inappropriate for a young girl to adorn herself before marriage, although she will do so before leaving her father's house, either to give a favorable impression or for protection from the evil eye. Jewellry and ornaments are also worn by children and adult males. Although some traditions are about to disappear, there is a growing interest in using jewellry in accordance with authentic fashion.
7 TURKISH FOLK DANCETurkish dance refers to the folk dances of Turkey. On the border between Europe and the Middle East, facing three seas, straddling important trade routes, Turkey has an ancient and complicated culture, reflected in the variety of its dances. However its dance traditions are dominated by the influence of the Ottoman Empire. The dominant dance forms are types of line dance. Turkey is divided into these cultural regions, which have distinctive dance styles: Trakya (European Turkey), Marmara (on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, Karadeniz (North-central, on the coast of the Black Sea), Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, and Southeastern Anatolia.The costumes worn by the dancers are often very colorful is representing happiness, or either very dull when doing a slow, depressing dance.
8 TURKISH FOLK DANCEPlaces, Dancers, Preparations and Reasons for the Performance of Folk Dances: Folk dances are performed at weddings, engagement ceremonies, when sending young men off to perform their military service, at national and religious festivals, after victories, going to and coming back from from the high plateaus and at meetings such as ferfene, yaren talks, barana or sira gezmesi.Dances are generally performed in all suitable open areas, but may also be performed in close areas as well.People who enjoy reputations as good folk dancers are especially invited to wedding ceremonies. These are respectable people who have knowledge of that region’s music and folk dances. Folk dances owe their rich variety of moves to such people, who happily improvise while performing in order to show off their skills. In this way, dances are successfully passed on to people who may or may not be capable of dancing themselves, especially the young ones.
9 TURKISH FOLK DANCEFolk Dance Traditions, Beliefs, Legends and Stories:Some dances reflect natural events or daily life, and others treat social events and matters of the heart. For example, the Kimil dance from Urfa province portrays a kind of pest that harms the crops and the way that villagers attempt to deal with it. Other dances refer to other stories.
10 TURKISH FOLK DANCE Costumes, Instruments and Names of Folk Dances: People wear daily or special costumes in line with the reasons behind the particular dance.In Turkey folk dance is invariably accompanied by musical instruments. In some regions, women perform also folk dances to the accompaniment of folk songs.Folk dances are named after their creators, geographic regions, or the natural events or stories they relate.
11 TURKISH FOLK DANCE Folk Dances By Subject Matter : Folk dances may be divided into those that describe the relationship between man and nature,those that dealing with rain, mist and rivers, describing plants, defining numbers, describing the relationship between man and animals and taking social events such as fighting war, love and courtship as their subject matter. Then there are those that reflect the ceremonies performed when a young man is about to go to do his military service. There are dances about agriculture, the harvest and damaged crops. Other dances describe different occupations, such as shepherds. Men can perform dances that mirror the everyday lives of women. Then there are dances that describe daily tasks such as baking bread and milking, and others that describe a production procedure such as spinning yarn.
12 TURKISH FOLK DANCEDifferent types of group dances in different regions:There are many different types of folk dances performed in various ways in Turkey, and these reflect the cultural structure of each region. The bar in Erzurum province, the halay in the East and Southeast, the hora in Trakya, the horon in the Black Sea and spoon dances in and around Konya are the best known examples of these.