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6 INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHADOW PLAY (HACIVAT & KARAGÖZ): AN ENDLESS RAMADAN TRADITION

Hacivat and Karagöz are two important characters of Turkish-Ottoman theatre history. Hacivat and Karagöz show is indispensable especially during the month of Ramadan. Both characters are loved by the Turkish people. Yet many people are not familiar with the story of the duo. So what is the story of Karagöz and Hacivat and what are the features of this shadow play? Here are the answers...

 

What is the shadow play?

Gölge oyunu nedir

First of all, let's answer the question of what the shadow play is. Shadow play is an art category with a centuries-old history. In this art branch, animal skins are cut (different materials are used today) and various figures are created. The figures of human, animal and belongings created are played in front of the light. Shadows of these figures played are reflected on the tightly stretched curtain.

 

Who are Hacivat and Karagöz?

Hacivat ve Karagöz kimdir

Who are Hacivat and Karagöz and where did they live? The answer to this question is not known exactly. However, according to the findings obtained in the cultural studies, the strongest narration is that they were construction workers working during the building of the Great Mosque in Bursa. In this regard, it is believed that Hacivat is a bricklayer master and Karagöz is a blacksmith master. Of course, this information is not certain. There are many theories, narrations and information about the origin of Hacivat and Karagöz.

 

Stories about Hacivat and Karagöz

A rumour that Hacivat and Karagöz were construction masters has always been told. According to the stories, the construction masters constantly make funny battles among them. One time, Orhan Gazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire said to the architect of the mosque, "If the mosque does not end in time, I will take your head." The mosque architect complained that he could not finish the mosque because Hacivat and Karagöz were the reason. The duo was executed upon this situation, and many people were very upset about the situation. Sheikh Küsteri, who loves Hacivat and Karagöz, started to play their shadow play by creating their puppets.

 

Where do Hacivat and Karagöz originate?

Hacivat ve Karagöz’ün kökeni nereye dayanmaktadır

There are many rumours about the origin of Hacivat and Karagöz shadow play. The first view is that the puppet play "Kolkorçak" or "Çadır Hayal" played in tents in Central Asia is similar to this play. The second view is that this play comes with gipsies from India and Java. This belief is strengthened when the gipsies' arrival dates to Anatolia and the date of the Karagöz play emergence are related. The third view is that the origin of the game is based in Portugal and Spain. The fourth opinion is that after Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim captured Egypt in 1517, he watched a shadow play in which the execution of the Mamluk Sultan Tomanbay was displayed and brought the artists to Istanbul with him.

 

What are the features of Hacivat and Karagöz play?

The Hacivat and Karagöz game has very nice details. This play is a beautiful genre that belongs to Traditional Turkish Theater. In the general theme, Karagöz and Hacivat misunderstand the words they say to each other, thereby creating funny dialogues. The addition of dance and music to these dialogues makes the process even more enjoyable. The person who organizes the Hacivat and Karagöz show is called "imaginary" or "deceptive". In addition to his dream, there is also an assistant with names such as Sandıkkar, Dayrezen, Yardak and apprentice.

 

Karagöz and Hacivat characters

When we look at the Karagöz and Hacivat characters, the following features stand out; Karagöz is a very intelligent type who is not educated. He misunderstands what is said to himself and puts himself in trouble. Karagöz character, who has a livelihood, is unemployed in almost all plays. It can be said for Karagöz that he represents "people", who is a straightforward character. Hacivat, on the other hand, is a character who is educated, can show the education he got, smooth-tongued, and frequently uses Arabic and Persian words. The reason that Karagöz constantly misunderstands him is that Hacivat uses such words. Hacivat usually tries to get along with Karagöz. The emphasis for Hacivat in the game is "intellectual". Hacivat and Karagöz are accompanied by many characters such as Kayseri, Zeybek, Tuzsiz Deli Bekir, Himmet Ağa, Zenne, Beberuhi, Çelebi, Laz, Arap, Acem, Arnavut, Kurd.

 

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