Revealing the Secret Sounds and Movements

Presentations of Alevi-Bektashi Nefeses and Semahs from Bulgaria

Authors

  • Rumiana Margaritova Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Art Studies, Sofia, Bulgaria

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.58.1.123-144

Keywords:

Alevi-Bektashi ritual, nefes, semah, Bulgaria, virtual tour

Abstract

The article examines how public and audio-visual media presentations of Alevi-Bektashi ritual music and semahs in Bulgaria act as a bridge between the community and outsider audience. Special attention is paid to the advantages of using the innovative format of the virtual tour for revealing a little known and still somewhat closed ethno-religious minority that is apprehensive about outside scrutiny.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

References

Birge, John Kingsley. 1937. The Bektashi Order of Dervishes. Hartford, CT: Hartford Seminary Press.

Buechsenschutz, Ulrich. 2000. Maltzinstvenata politika v Balgariya: Politikata na BKP kam evrei, romi, pomatzi, turtzi (1944–1989). Sofia: IMIR. [Minority Politics in Bulgaria: The Politics of Bulgarian Communist Party towards Jews, Romani, Pomacs, Turks (1944–1989).] [Бюксеншютц, Улрих. 2000. Малцинствената политика в България: Политиката на БКП към евреи, роми, помаци, турци (1944–1989). София: МЦИМКВ.]

Dressler, Markus. 2008. “Alevīs.” Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, edited by Kate Fleet et al. Accessed June 16, 2022. DOI: 10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_0167.

Georgieva, Ivanichka, ed. 1991. Balgarskite aliani: Sbornik etnografski materiali. Sofia: Universitetsko izdatelstvo “Sv. Kliment Ohridski.” [Bulgarian Aliani: Collection of Ethnographic Materials.] [Георгиева, Иваничка, съст. 1991. Българските алиани: Сборник етнографски материали. София: Университетско издателство “Св. Климент Охридски.”]

Gramatikova, Nevena. 2011. Neortodoksalniyat islyam v balgarskite zemi: Minalo i savremennost. Sofia: IK “Gutenberg.” [The Non-Orthodox Islam in Bulgarian Lands: Past and Contemporaneity.] [Граматикова, Невена. 2011. Неортодоксалният ислям в българските земи: Минало и съвременност. София: ИK “Гутенберг.”]

Gramatikova, Nevena. 2016. “Rolyata na poetichno-muzikalnata traditzia s religiozno-mistichen harakter za sahranyavaneto i izyavata na aleviysko-bektashiyskata kultura v Ludogorieto.” In Iz zhivota na evropeyskite provintzii na Osmanskata imperia prez XV–XIX vek, edited by Stefka Parveva and Olga Todorova, 531–591. Sofia: IK “Gutenberg.” [“The Role of Poetic-Musical Tradition of Mystic-Religious Nature for the Preservation and Manifestation of Alevi-Bektashi Culture in Ludogorie Region.” In From the Life of the European Provinces of the Ottoman Empire in the XV–XIX Centuries.] [Граматикова, Невена. 2016. “Ролята на поетично-музикалната традиция с религиозно-мистичен характер за съхраняването и изявата на алевийско-бекташийската култура в Лудогорието.” В Из живота на европейските провинции на Османската империя през XV–XIX век, съставители Стефка Първева и Олга Тодорова, 531–591. София: ИK “Гутенберг.”]

“Grupa za Semah – ritual na alianite.” [n. d.]. Chitalishte “Prosveta – 1944.” [“Semah Group – Ritual of the Aliani.”] [“Група за Семах – ритуал на алианите.” Читалище “Просвета – 1944.”] Accessed April 12, 2022. shorturl.at/iyZ14.

Margaritova, Rumiana. 2010. “Etnokulturnoto mnogoobrazie v muzikalnite proyavi na edin religiozen praznik v Iztochnite Rodopi.” In Izkustvo i kontekst 5, edited by Ruslan Stoychev and Marina Koleva, 207–218. Sofia: Institut za izsledvane na izkustvata. [“The Ethno-Cultural Diversity in the Music of a Religious Feast in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains.” In Art and Context 5.] [Маргаритова, Румяна. 2010. “Етнокултурното многообразие в музикалните прояви на един религиозен празник в Източните Родопи.” В Изкуство и контекст 5, съставители Руслан Стойчев и Марина Колева, 207–218. София: Институт за изследване на изкуствата.]

Margaritova, Rumiana. 2013. “Muzikalno-folklorni praktiki v multietnicheska sreda.” PhD diss., Institut za izsledvane na izkustvata – Bulgarska academia na naukite. [“Traditional Music Practices in Multi-Ethnic Environment.” PhD diss., Institute of Art Studies – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.] [Маргаритова, Румяна. 2013. “Музикално-фолклорни практики в мултиетническа среда.” дисертация, Институт за изследване на изкуствата – Българска академия на науките.]

Margaritova, Rumiana. 2016. “From Meydan Evi to the Stage: Continuity and Change in Meaning and Uses of Ritual Music of the Alevis/Bektashis in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.” In Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe Myth, Ritual, Post-1989, Audiovisual Ethnographies: Proceedings from the Fifth Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe, edited by Ivanka Vlaeva, Liz Melish, Lozanka Peycheva, Nick Green, and Ventsislav Dimov, 61–65. Blagoevgrad: University Publishing House Neofit Rilski.

Margaritova, Rumiana, and Nevena Gramatikova. 2020. “Insider and Outsider Perspectives of Field Research on Alevi-Bektashi Ritual Music in Bulgaria.” In Past, Present and Future of Ethnomusicology in the World and Turkey: Book of Symposium Proceedings, edited by Özlem Varlı, 131–144. Bursa: Association of Ethnomusicology Publications.

Marinov, Vasil, Zahariy Dimitrov, and Ivan Koev. 1955. “Prinos kam izuchavaneto na bita i kulturata na turskoto naselenie v Severoiztochna Bulgaria.” Izvestia na Etnografskia institut s muzey, no. 11: 95–216. [“Contribution to the Study of Manners and Culture of the Turkish Population in North-Eastern Bulgaria.” Bulletin of the Ethnographic Institute with Museum, no. 11.] [Маринов, Васил, Захарий Димитров, и Иван Коев. 1955. “Принос към изучаването на бита и културата на турското население в Североизточна България.” Известия на Етнографския институт с музей, кн. 11: 95–216.]

Marinov, Vasil. 1956. Prinos kam izuchavaneto na bita i kulturata na turtzite i gagauzite v Severoiztochna Bulgaria. Sofia: BAN. [Contribution to the Study of Manners and Culture of Turks and Gagauz in North-Eastern Bulgaria.] [Маринов, Васил. 1956. Принос към изучаването на бита и културата на турците и гагаузите в Североизточна България. София: БАН.]

Markoff, Irene. 2002. “Alevi Identity and Expressive Culture.” In The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, vol. 6: 793–800. Routledge.

Markoff, Irene. 2009. “A Cross-Cultural Examination of the Expressive Culture of Turkish-Speaking Alevi/Bektashi and Alevi/Babai (Bobai) Communities in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains of Southern Bulgaria: In Search of Origins and Parallels with Turkish Alevis/Bektashis and Tahtacis.” Tu˘rk Ku˘ltu˘ru˘ ve Hacı Bektaş Veli Araştırma Dergisi 52: 39–51.

Markoff, Irene. 2016. “Veneration of Bektashi and Baba’i Saints in Bulgaria through ­Nefesler and Local Lore: Demystifying the Intersection of Legends, History, and Mystical Poetry.” In Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe Myth, Ritual, Post-1989, Audiovisual Ethnographies: Proceedings from the Fifth Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe, edited by Ivanka Vlaeva, Liz Melish, Lozanka Pey­cheva, Nick Green, and Ventsislav Dimov, 50–60. Blagoevgrad: University Publishing House Neofit Rilski.

Markoff, Irene. 2018. “Reflections on the Construction of Alevi-Bektashi Rituals and Ritual Space in the Transnational Perspective: Performing Spirituality, Navigating Identity.” Bulgarian Musicology, no. 3: 23–31.

Mikov, Lyubomir. 1988. “Ritualnoto piene na alcohol pri aleviite v Bulgaria.” Bulgarski folklor, no. 3: 28–36. [“Ritual Drinking of Alcohol at the Alevis in Bulgaria.” Bulgarian Folklore, no. 3.] [Миков, Любомир. 1988. “Ритуалното пиене на алкохол при алевиите в България.” Български фолклор, кн. 3: 28–36.]

Sökefeld, Martin. 2008. Struggling for Recognition: The Alevi Movement in Germany and in Transnational Space. New York: Berghahn Books.

Sözer, Hande. 2014. Managing Invisibility: Dissimulation and Identity Maintenance among Alevi Bulgarian Turks. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Trimingham, John Spencer. 1989. The Sufi Orders in Islam. Moskva: Nauka. [Тримингэм, Дж. Спенсер. 1989. Суфийские ордены в исламе. Москва: Наука.]

UNESCO. [n. d.]. “Semah, Alevi-Bektaşi Ritual.” Accessed April 12, 2022. https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/semah-alevi-bektai-ritual-00384.

Vannini, Phillip. 2020. “Introduction.” In The Routledge International Handbook of Ethnographic Film and Video, edited by Phillip Vannini. London: Routledge.

Vlaeva, Ivanka. 2008. “Internal Practices of the Muslims in Bulgaria and Their Music.” In Music from Turkey in the Diaspora, edited by Ursula Hemetek and Hande Saglam, 131–138. Wien: Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie.

*******

Filmography

Dobreva, Mira. 2016. “Otblizo – Alianite.” [“Up Close – Aliani.”] [“ОТБЛИЗО – Алианите.”] Sofia: Bulgarian National Television. January 24, 2016. YouTube video, 23:26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amrA1i9WDvA.

Kostadinova, Verginia. “Ru˘ka na su˘rtseto.” [“Hand over the Heart.”] [“Ръка на сърцето.”] Bulgarian National Film Center, 1996.

Mishkova, Elena. 2018. “Alianite ot selo Bisertsi.” [“The Aliani from the Village of Bisertzi.”] [“Алианите от село Бисерци.”] Sofia: Bulgarian National Television 2. February 18, 2018. TV Video, 29:27. https://bnt.bg/bg/a/alianite-ot-sbisertsi.

Radulov, Stoyan. 2011. “Mezhdu polumesetsa i kru˘sta.” [“Between the Crescent and the Cross.”] [“Между полумесеца и кръста.”] Sofia: Television Tourism. May 18, 2022. YouTube video, 17:27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEvnQkDOtOM.

Simeonov, Tzvetan. 2020. “Siyanieto na Dvanadesette.” [“The Radiance of the Twelve.”] [“Сиянието на Дванадесетте.”] Plovdiv: Sim Stone Studio. February 28, 2020. YouTube video, 58:01. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrWmKpGMG98.

Downloads

Published

29. 07. 2022

How to Cite

Margaritova, R. (2022). Revealing the Secret Sounds and Movements: Presentations of Alevi-Bektashi Nefeses and Semahs from Bulgaria. Musicological Annual, 58(1), 123-144. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.58.1.123-144