Music and Dance of Imagined Ancestors in (Re)constructing Afro-Turkish Collective Identity: Observations from the Revived Calf Festival in Izmir, Turkey


SENÇERMAN Ş.

Third Symposium of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group on Music and Dance in Southern Europe, Üsküp-Berovo, Macedonia, 17 April 2014, pp.192-198

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Üsküp-Berovo
  • Country: Macedonia
  • Page Numbers: pp.192-198

Abstract

This paper mainly aims to present a case where Afro-Turk identity- a rather 'invisible' collective identity- is attempted to be (re)constructed through the revival of the 'calf festival', a pagan festival celebrated by the first generations of black slaves brought to Anatolia in the Ottoman Era. The paper is based on interviews and very limited literature on Afro-Turks, but mostly on the observaitons made during the revived festival where a group of African- Americans and a group of Afro-Turks experienced a cultural exchange in İzmir, Turkey. The paper firstly argues the 'invisibility' of Afro-Turks and efforts to (re) construct Afro-Turk identity. Secondly, the observations are reported in terms of how African music and dance were performed, participated and reacted by African-Americans and Afro-Turks during the festival. In the conclusion, the potential contribution of the revived festival to the (re)construction of Aro-Turk identity is disscussed by analysing the data collected.