Cultural Heritage of Mankind
one of the earliest settled areas of the world. Archeological
evidence suggests that Adiyaman's history stretches back some 40,000
years. In fact cave paintings (those at Palanlı Mountain), and stone tools
(those found in Gıre Moza) in the region indicate a history that is around
100,000 old. At the end of the last ice age, about 10 to 15 thousand years ago,
the receding ice left behind very fertile land. Agriculture slowly replaced
hunting gathering as a way of life, resulting permanent settlements around the
region. According to archeological records, domestication of animals and
cultivating grains like barley and wheat started about 8-9 thousand years ago.
About this time too, one-room cone shaped houses, still present in Harran Valley
started to appear.
Names Used for Adiyaman: Adiyaman is the name used for the province
since the establishment of the Turkish Republic. The name is a derivative of the
phrase, Vadi-i Leman (Pretty Valley) which over time through permutations of
pronunciation resulting in Adiyaman.
The ancient name of the region was Perre (Pirin). During the Islamic period it was called Hısnı Mansur, Semsur for short. During the Roman period the city was also called Klolzya in honor of the emperor Klozyos.
Shortly after the disintegration of Alexanders Empire,
Kommagene emerged in the west of the Euphrates River as a buffer kingdom between
the Persian and Roman Empires. The kingdom included current day provinces of Adiyaman,
Gaziantep, Maraş, and Kilis and existed between 162 BCE and 72 ACE. The
kingdom, whose capital was the city of Samasota, lived its golden age between 69
BCE and 36 ACE starting with the rein of King Antiochus I. Antiochus claimed
blood ties to the Persian emperors from his fathers side and to Roman the
emperors from his mothers. The name Kommagene comes from the local dialect,
which means everybodys kingdom.
Antiochuss biggest achievement was the construction of
a temple and tumulus on Mt. Nemrut 7,500 feet above sea level, considered the 8th
wonder of the world. From this site other significant monuments, including those
at Arsemia (kingdoms summer capital), burial sites at Fırlaz village and
Karakuş, and the tumulus at Karadağ.
The discovery of Mt. Nemrut was by accident. In 18383
Helmut Von Moltke, who was assigned to the Taurus army of the Ottoman Empire
came upon the statues during a field trip. He reported this the Prussian king;
the rest is history. Systematic archeological study of the mountain started in
1938 with the digs conducted by Otto Puchstein and Karl Sester. But the mountain
owes its worldwide reputation to two dedicated archeologists, the German Karl Dörner
and the American Theresa Goel. (Ms. Goels ashes were strewn on top of the
mountain after her death.)
Kommagene started out as a kingdom that contained many ethnic groups. The early rulers knew that to rule effectively they had respect other cultures and especially other religions. This is the reason why so many reliefs of that period contain ceremonial handshakes. The official language of the kingdom was Greek, a language most likely alien to the local population. The language suggests that Kommagenes kings intended to bring civilization, Hellenic civilization that is, to this part of the world. Although they started out on a positive vein, eventually they alienated the locals, whom they viewed as inferior. When the Romans took over these lands, it is easy to imagine that the locals didnt put up a lot of resistance. Adiyaman has been the host of many civilization throughtout its history. Being a melting pot socially and culturally, it has valuable features related to customs about different periods of life, hospitality, folk dancing, carpets and kilims etc. Adiyaman is famous for its folk songs, folk dancers and tombs. Different kinds meatballs such as "cig kofte, icli kofte, mercimekli kofte" and hitap (stuffed hot pie) are special local foods in Adıyaman.The region of Adiyaman has throughout its history been witness to many different cultures. The first cultural development started with the Hittites when they decided to settle in this region. The Hittites laid the basis for the cultural development not only of Mesopotamia but also the cultures of the Mitannis, Urartus, Assyrians, Medes, Persians and Greeks all of whom left their traces behind. Later the Kommagene and Roman Empires enriched this cultural structure. Among the traditional dances the Halay dance has a very special significance. The most popular dances are: AgirHalay, DuzHalay, Berde, Derika, AGirhava, Dikhava, Lorke, Pekmezao, Tirpano and KurderoHalay. Songs like Uzun Hava are especially loved by the people because in them are expressed their sufferings and love.
Wedding Ceremony in Village
A young lady
Adiyaman Region Dances and Costumes
Adıyaman is located between the upper Euphrates of
eastern and the middle Euphrates of southeastern Turkey. The province stretches
to the Euphrates valley in the east and the Aksu depression in the west. It is
bounded by the Malatya Mountains on the north and in the south it is made up of
valleys between countered hills.
and the surrounding area was conquered in 1084 (13 years after the battle of
Malazgirt) by Buldaçı Bey , one of the commanders of Selcuk kingdoms
the founder, Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Şah. The region
frequently changed hands between various powers in the region until finally it
was Turcofied by the Memluk Turks. Ottoman sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim made
Adıyaman a part of his domain in 1516. During the Ottaman rein, Adıyaman
was one of the 5 sancaks (like a county, with Samsat as the capital), of the
Dulkadir province. In the late 19th century, Adıyaman was made a
sancak in the Malatya province. In 1954 Malatya was carved up into two provinces
resulting in the creation of the Adıyaman province with the city of Adıyaman
as its provincial capital. Adıyaman has 8 provincial districts (counties):
Besni, Kahta, Samsat, Gölbaşı, Gerger, Çelikhan, Tut, and Tokaris.
Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main economic activities of the
is one of the most significant places in Turkey archeologically as well as in
folk arts. Among archeological sites are the caves of Pirim in the capital city,
fortresses at Gerger and Samsat (now under the waters of the Atatürk Dam), and
the Cendere Bridge north of Kahta. But the most significant ruin in the province
is Mt. Nemrut, a ceremonial and burial tumulus for King Antiochus I of the
Kommagene kingdom. The site, about 7,500 feet above sea level has two terraces
(east and west) with gigantic statutes of the king and various Roman and Greek
dances of Adıyaman usually depict daily life or cultivation of the land.
Coeducational groups usually perform these dances, contrary to the Moslem
tradition of keeping sexes apart.
are however dances only for women or only for men. The live music for the dances
is usually provided by a drum and a Turkish oboe, called Zurna. The locals use
the term Gofend to describe a dance group. Sergofend is the term used for the
male at the head of the dance line, Başgofend for the female leader.
dances that that are more forceful and rigorous the performers are shoulder-
to-shoulder tightly clasping hands with dancers on the either side. For lighter
numbers the dancers join each other by hooking little gingers together. Shoulder
holding or shaking arms are not a part of Adıyaman folk dances. The
Chanting in Adıyaman dances is different than the ones in Gaziantep, Kars,
or Erzurum. Dancers belt out Tısss
during their performance.
Dancing & Everyday Costumes:
Men wear, under their caps, a hand-decorated colorful cloth called a Terlik
(sweat cloth) in order to absorb moisture during the dances. In some regions the
term Arakçin (in Arabic in meas sweat gatherer) is used for terlik. The dancers
wear a long-sleeved collarless, white or cream colored striped shirt with slits
along the sides. Over the shirt they wear a
black or brown vest, kırkdüğme
(forty buttons), with woven fabric on the sides, silk material in the back. As
the name implies, the vest has forty buttons. For pants the men wear a black or
brown plain baggy trousers, called şalvar that is usually sewn from rough
goat hair fabric. These şalvars usually have no pockets and have wool
drawstrings strung through a silk housing by the belt area. A wool sash, usually
red, is tightly wrapped around the waist. The outfit is topped with a rough
hand-sewn half-sleeved brown coat, called aba. The front of aba is hand
decorated with various motifs. Hand-made wool socks with colorful decorations
are worn under leather moccasins. Men usually carry a white handkerchief.
Women wear a crown that it bordered by a chain around the lower circumference.
Decorative coins (in the olden days gold) dangle from this chain. A gilded sash
is wrapped around the crown; a white cotton scarf (called Keten), is tied
crosswise in the front, is worn over the crown, leaving its front open. (An
unmarried woman does not wear the scarf.) Women braid their hair in two to six
strands; a decorative ditty with tassels, called Kezi, is worn across the
braided hair in the back.
wear a loose, long-sleeved, knee-length cotton undershirt that is decorated in
various patterns. Mountain villages call this a Çit. Over the undershirt they
wear a long ankle-length, long-sleeved colorful dress. The striped dress, open
in the front, has slits in the sleeves as well as along the sides. The side
slits extends waist-high from the bottom dividing the lower half af the dress
into three pieces. This is the reason the dress is called üç etek (three
skirts.) Under the dress a pantaloon (red or rose colored), of silk or another
shinny material is worn. An apron, designed with wax-press tops off the outfit.
Hand-made wool socks of bright colors and moccasins complete the outfit.
also wear decorative jewelry consisting of a silver or gold belt, a gold
necklace as well as matched bracelets and earrings.
the villages women wear a dress called Çotu or fistan. Decorative patches
usually adorn the dress around the waist. Under the dress they wear a long
cotton undershirt called kıras that is secured with a belt of the same
material. In all modes of dress, a long pantaloon, usually of shinny material is
worn as underpants. More recently, rubber shoes are worn instead of moccasins.
Women in the villages do not cover their faces.
modern dress is the usual mode of dress in the cities, there are still women who
wear traditional outfits in the cities. But when they go out they cover
themselves, and their dress with a black wrap called çarşaf (shador in
Persian). Women covering themselves is a religious tradition.
of the Region: There are many dances of the Adıyaman region. Although it is not
possible to list them all, following is a partial list of them.
|1. Simsimi||2. Düz (Çeçen Kızı)||3. Sevda||4. Ağırlama|
|5. Teşi||6. Göçeri||7. Çap (Takayak)||8. Halay|
|9.Rişko||10. Galuç||11. Kımıl||12. Darık|
|13. Hellican (With song)||14. Göftan||15. Tırgi||16. Serjiri,|
|17. İkiayak||18. İriş||19. Köfanjan||20. Dıngi (With song)|
|21. Fatmalı||22. Sal(Boat)||23. Keriboz||24. Barış|
|25. Kardeş Yolu (With song)|
of Some Dances:
Sal (Boat): This dance depicts an ancient tragic event when a
boat, carrying a wedding party
(from a village in Samsat to Urfa), including the bride, capsizes in the
Euphrates resulting in the drowning of all in the boat.
At the start of the dance, men representing the
wedding party appear in a back-and-forth waving action representing the boat and
the people in it. Later the dance depicts the boat being caught in the current
and the attempt of the men to save it. Women appear, on heir knees, beating
their knees and chests while wailing (locals call it zılgıt) a
high-pitched lamentation. In the main dance line however, there is only one
woman, representing the bride. The dance concludes (after the symbolic sinking
of the boat) with the dancers singing a folk song, Euphrates, holding oars in
mother hears of the
shooting and races to the marsh where the couple has fallen. She reaches them just as Bekiro and Emine are dieing. The song
he sings before his death
accompanies the dance.
Tırgi: Nomadic people spend their summers in high
grasslands, Çayi, and winters in lower elevations, Bozik. The legend takes
place in one of the permanent settlements of these nomads (called Yörük in
Turkish), Mıdın. A young woman, Aybekiris daughter Tırgi falls
in love with Seybe. Although it is not time yet to migrate to grasslands, her
family escapes to their summer home to escape rumors.
While there a rich family asks for Tırgis
hand for their son, and her father ascends. As tradition dictates it, Tıgri
accepts her fate without complaint. While she is taken to her betrothed however,
she asks to dismount her horse to pray. While praying she beseeches God to turn
her into a stone. Her wish is granted and she is turned into a mountain. This
mountain is called Tırgis Mountain to this day. The mountain is
considered sacred nowadays with young women tying wishing ribbons and other
ornaments to the trees on the mountain.
Sevda: This dance depicts the bounty of nomadic life. After
the milking of livestock, young women return to their tents in a merry mood.
They start to dance chanting tilili. Other young people of the camp join
the dance, making the dance a merry occasion of celebration.
Teşi: Teşi is an instrument used to spin wool. The
dance, performed in a line like hora, symbolizes the washing and spinning of the
Göçeri: This is another dance performed by nomadic people who
celebrate their arrival to a new place with a lovely dance that is performed by
a line of men and one of women facing each other.
Çep: This dance, performed in the mountainous regions,
symbolizes the grace and movements of a deer. The dancers keep rhythm to the
beat of a drum.
Halay: This dance is performed by the families of a couple
about to be married. The families show their joy of the impending event by
Rişko: This dance is performed during the harvest season to
celebrate the bounty of the land. Man and women dance in a line across from each
other. The characteristic of the dance is the graceful movement of the arms and
shoulders, especially at the start of it.
Galuç: This dance is from the Hallun village of Kahta and
depicts the struggle of the villagers fighting a poisonous weed called Geliç.
Village men get up early in the mornings before planting season to eradicate the
weed from the fields. At noon their women bring their lunch in buckets and water
in gourds. After lunch is consumed, men get back to work.
When finally the field is cleared of the weed, men
celebrate the occasion by performing the dance. Women joined them too. Women
carry the gourds on their shoulders during the dance and men go through symbolic
motion of chopping the weed with their sickles.
This is a fine dance that has won many awards in
international folk dance competitions.
Goftan: This dance tells the story of a young woman who falls
in love, during a wedding, with a man wearing a kaftan. She doesnt know his
name or identity but creates a dance in memory of the event.
Hallaç: Hallaç is a person who separated (before the
invention of cotton gin) cotton from seed by beating it. In the old days a hallaç
traveled from village to village, separating cotton from seed. One hallaç falls
in love with a young woman in a village of Kahta. He asks for her hand, but her
father refuses resulting in the elopement of the young couple. Her father upon
hearing this, has both of them shot
The dance, performed to the rhythm of cotton being
stroked, is accompanied by a sad song telling the tragic story of the young
Barış: This lively dance celebrates the peace that is struck between two feuding clans. The two families, to strengthen the bond between them, also inter-marry creating even more opportunities for celebration. The dance is performed by both men and women, and nowadays it celebrates love and friendship.
Go back to about Adiyaman / Geography / Social / Economy / Health / Education / Tourism / Sport / Transportation / Municipalities / Where does the name come from? / Adiyaman Museum / Local Newspapers / Wildflowers / Wildlife / Adiyaman Forum
Home | Ana Sayfa | All About Turkey | Turkiye hakkindaki Hersey | Turkish Road Map | Historical Places in Adiyaman | Historical Places in Turkey | Mt.Nemrut | Slide Shows | Related Links | Guest Book | Send a Postcard | | Disclaimer