Mythic Analysis of the Shah Lifting Tradition of Karapapak Turks

Altunsabak E.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.112, pp.120-129, 2016 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.120-129
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Myths which find place in the collective memory of the society are still being used as a part of everyday life even though the origins are unknown. Traces of ancient beliefs are mostly encountered in the passage rites that show great effects on human life such as death, marriage and birth. Varying from region to region, marriage customs as rites of passage contain a rich cultural background. Sah Kaldirma (Shah Lifting) custom is one of these rich cultural backgrounded rites. This wedding custom have been kept alive by Karapapak Turks in Kars- Ardahan district. It's easy to detect some traces of ancient beliefs when looked how it's applied and what the components of the application are. When these traces are discussed in detail, it's easy to see that they provide integrity with ancient beliefs. First of all, in this study, the history and geographical information of this tradition-driven community is presented. Then, the application of the tradition is narrated relying on the information provided from literature search and informants. It is seen that the practices in tradition are similar to the beliefs in various periods. With this view, the semantic bonds of traditionally applied, practices with archaic beliefs are resolved and archaic beliefs maintained in the modern period are argued. When these practices are examined in the context of a marriage tradition, it seems that some of them have a semantic connection with the old beliefs.