3 Mayıs 2013 Cuma

The Dances Accompanied with “Kemençe” In the East Blacksea Region

           The aim of this study is to express the terms that we used in the title and to reveal a list of the dances to create a database for the study by making a basic research. The field of the study that mentioned by “East Blacksea Region”, contains both seaside and mountain areas from Ünye district of Ordu to Sarp Border Gate. And, “Kemençe” is stating an instrument that used in the field which has a long but narrow shape with 50-60 cm of a length, has 3 or 4 strings on it and played with a bow. “İstanbul Kemençesi” (Kemençe of İstanbul) which is one of the Turkish Art Music instrument that is also known as “Fasıl Kemençesi” or “Kemençe-i Rumi” is not in the framework of this study. The local people living in the mentioned region is using only one word “kemençe” to refer “Karadeniz Kemençesi”, therefore, I will also use the word “Kemençe” that has to be understood as “Karadeniz Kemençe” in my paper. Kemençe is used in all      Giresun, Rize, Ordu, Gümüşhane and Artvin but particularly in Trabzon[1] and accompanied to horons, karşılamas, village plays and the local dances that not classified with a special category by the people of the region. The statements of this paper have etic approaches as I made the study with a view of an academic researcher and also emic approaches hence I am a local person who lived in the region for a long time. To reach the information of this study, field studies, literature reviews had been done besides the interviews with the people who lived and studied in the region.

[1] Mustafa Duman, Kemençemin Telleri, Trabzon Araştırmaları Merkezi Vakfı Publications, June 2004, 

       It is also important to tell the terminological difference of the use of the word “dance” in Turkish language. Local people mostly use the words “play” and “playing” for both dances and other village plays in Turkish. To help the international terminological understanding of these words, I would like to say that local people of the region I have studied are using the terms horon, karşılama and play, instead of the term “dance”. I think that village plays also can be regarded as theatrical dances with the same understanding of the local people. It is corroborated with the interview I made with Yusuf Kurt* that local people regarded horon as a dance. Horons, karşılamas and plays have structural differences in music and movement. All of the horons and karşılamas are a play but all of the plays can not be a horon or karşılama.

According to the Yusuf Kurt’s expressions that supports my opinion, when his grandmother saw a traditional dance in any genre as zeybek, spoon dance, halay or bar on television, she was asking “habu nerenun horonidur - which place this horon belongs to?”. Therefore, in some sources it is written that karşılama is also a form of horon. No matter how it is stated, in practice, the common point of both horon and karşılama is the accompaniment of kemençe while performing. 
            By the results of the interviews I have done, when kemençe is considered, it is widely accepted that the first think coming to mind is horon, but also I have witnessed some dances  

* Director of Cultur in Tonya Municipality, Tonya otçusu (the group move to uplands)  horon çavuşu (horon caller).
just with Tulum or accordion –without kemençe– in Rize and Artvin region. If we look over the condition by a diffusionist perspective, it is conceivable that kemençe should have brought to Artvin from Trabzon or Rize. It can be said that, in the centre of Artvin, kemençe is not a living local instrument, but on the way to the coast line, in some of the Laz villages of Borçka (a town of Artvin), there are dances existing which accompanied by kemençe. As a result of the interview I have done with Hasan Yazıcı, from Çkhala village of Borçka, I have learnt that, there are only three kemençe players living there; two of them are relatives (uncle and niephew) and were moved to Çkhala from Rize. Another information given from the same person is the horon “çift ayak” is performing with kemençe in Çkhala, that I think this horon might have been brought from Rize. Deceased Dursun Küçükal with the nick name –Simsar Dursun (Broker Dursun)– who lived in that village, was told me that he learned playing kemençe in Trabzon while he was doing his military service.

         My uncle’s wife İnayet Küçük, who moved to Borçka from Hopa (a town of Artvin) to live after her marriage in 1950’s gave me following informations about the life in Hopa in her youth: “kemençe ile pek horon etmeziduk da funduk ayiklemaya geturturduk, iş çabuk bitsun diye… –we did not dance horon with kemençe, but brought kemençe player to the work of sorting out hazelnuts for finishing the work quicker..” The only dance I can say that is widely performed in Artvin which has seven-eight beat time and similar musical structure features with the other melodies that played with kemençe is Hemşin. This dance, is staging in some competitions and performances with kemençe in organisations by the folk dance teachers but local community does not prefer to use kemençe in their local living practices. And that’s why for Hemşin dance, I think it is important not to consider using kemençe in tradition but to accept it as an altered situation. In the light of this information, the existence of the dances accompanied with kemençe in Artvin is still a question.

         On the west of Hopa in the coastline in Arhavi (a town of Artvin), local people are living with high Laz population and they dance horon with the instrument Tulum. They used kemençe for singing instead of dancing. But this situation changes in the centre of Rize. As a result of the interviews that I have made in Fındıklı, Ardeşen and Pazar (towns of Rize) in 2011, I found out that the culture of Rize shows changes on the two sides of Çayeli Tunnel and this change becomes effective in the choice of the instruments used with horons. Local people living in the towns of Rize which are on the east side of the tunnel prefer Tulum with horons. But in the towns that on the west side of tunnel people use both Kemençe and Tulum with horons as an accompaniment instrument. This statement refers to general practices but it may be possible to find out exceptions.  

        It is very clear that all the dances and plays accompanied with Kemençe in Trabzon region. But not just only kemençe is used, sometimes it is possible to see davul-zurna (drum-pipe) and kaval (end-blown flute) as well as Kemençe accompanied to the dances in the region. For example, in Sürmene, dances performed with horons but named Sallama in the region, which are types of karşılama, is preferred to perform with the accompaniment of kaval but it is possible to see sallamas performed with kemençe as well. 

      We can’t find any type of karşılama from the Centre of Trabzon to Görele but it is abount in the region from Giresun to the west coast of Ordu. Gökhan Hamzaçebi who is working as a lecturer in the Faculty of Education in Giresun University expresses the situation as follows: “The common culture shared in the uplands, spreads over low altitude places in the coast side about 100-150 km of a range. The routeing in the uplands is formed by following spring beds. The springs which are flowing to different sides of a mountain puts the people together in the uplands and gave a chance to share a common culture while they are living far away in the coast.” As a natural consequence, that’s why the karşılamas accompanied with bağlama (baglama) can also be performed with kemençe as well. 

       I would like to point out a dance which is very popular today and accompanied with kemençe. “Kol Bastı” is a dance performed in both Giresun and Trabzon. These two cities couldn’t come to an agreement about the city this dance belongs to. Both of them embrace Kol Bastı. Neither horon nor karşılama is similar to Kol Bastı in the structure. This dance can be regarded as higher metronomed form of the dances performed in Giresun by the name “Fingil” or in Ordu by “Metelik”. Besides, this dance is also called “Faroz Kesmesi” and “Hop Tek” in Trabzon. These dances were performed with bağlama in the beginning but it is started to perform also with kemençe later on because of the uplands life and increasing communications. In addition to the effect of uplands life, it can be a factor that Görele which is a town of Giresun, can be considered as homeland of kemençe and it is agreeable to see the dances performed with bağlama are accompanied by kemençe instead of bağlama. People of Görele and Eynesil, has a perception of kemençe in their plays and dances. We can say that their commute between city center and town effected the acculturation of karşılama and horon and combined together in the coast. It is possible to understand that, these kinds of interactions made kemençe which is irreplaceable for horons, also become an essential instrument for karşılamas as well. In the same diffusionist vein, we can give the examples of the dances “Fingil” and “Metelik” as an effect of “Zağma” and “Bildiş” dances of Tokat Amasya region to the coast. These dances are performing with kemençe and that can be related to the reason that they are performed in the towns of Giresun. 

          My opinion about conservation and wide-spread performing of the dances and plays must be under the initiative of the local people of the region. Therefore, I made observation on the people of the region whom I see the owners of the culture. Because it is hard to dope out the reaction of the local people about the dances and plays they have. For example; The performers, who referred to themselves as Coconut Dancers, or sometimes more familiarly as "Coconutters" or "Nutters," resisted this attempt to document and disseminate their much prized coconut dance (see Buckland 1989), but they later came to enjoy the patronage and increasing fame which association with the English Folk Dance Society brought them. Today, this same group, the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup, Rossendale, is proud of its unique dance, the origin of which, in true "folk" fashion, is reputed to be lost in ancient mystery.”[1] Performing horons in the different places[2] that are not naturally consisted, shows that the people of the region are not too much conservative about the place of the performance. 

[1] Theresa Jill Buckland, Black Faces, Garlands, and Coconuts: Exotic Dances on Street and Stage, Dance Research Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 1-12
[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPTb9uHOiOo ( Access date: 23.05.2012 time: 23.50)
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4yfX0mqHYw&feature=related ( Access date: 23.05.2012 time: 23.55)
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfolwzR5KyU&feature=related ( Access date: 23.05.2012 time: 23.57)

That’s why I found it necessary to do the identification and classification of the existing dances and plays. “For me, the important distinction to make about dances and their longevity is between 1) dances staying alive because of their own strength and popularity and 2) dances being consciously cultivated, taught and sustained by a desire to preserve, nurture or utilize.”[1] On the other hand, there are some dances that we can find information in the written sources but we can not find any practices as a living tradition in the field works. Plays performed with kemençe are classified in three titles on the table below. As a kemençe player and an etnocoreologist, I wish to see the list of the plays and dances that can be found in the written sources pass through the left side of the list -to the living tradition- with time.

[1] Egil Bakka, “Authenticity, Whose Tradition?”, Edited by László Felföldi and Theresa J. Buckland, European Folklore Institute, Budapest 2002, p.60.


- DUMAN Mustafa, Kemençemin Telleri, Trabzon Araştırmaları Merkezi Vakfı Yayınları, Haziran 2004.
- CİHANOĞLU Selim, Doğu Karadeniz Bölgesinde Oynanan Horonlar Karşılamalar-Barlar ve Halaylar, Trabzon Valiliği İl Kültür ve Turizm Müdürlüğü Yayınları, Aralık 2004.
- KALYONCU Hasan, Her Yönüyle Tonya, Topkar Matbaacılık Akçaabat-1989.
- Giresun Valiliği Turizm Müdürlüğü, Giresun İl Turizm Envanteri-2007
- Interview: Hasan Aydil – Pazar-Rize – 2011, Yusuf Kurt – Giresun– 2012, Gökhan Hamzaçebi–Giresun–2012, Çağatay Tahmaz – İzmir- 2012.
Names of the Dances and Plays on the Table
ARTVİN:                   1- Çift Ayak
GİRESUN[1]:               1- Giresun Karşılaması                       2- Sıksara
                                   3- Fingil                                             4- Metelik
5- Çeçen Kızı                                                6- Gürcü Sallaması
ORDU:                       1- Dik Horon                                     2- Gürcü Horonu
3- Kız Horonu                                   4- Melet Horonu
5- Sallama                                          6- Mısırlı Horonu
7- Perşembe Horonu                          8- Nalcı Horonu
9- Ordu Karşılaması                          10- Lazutlar
11- Temur Ağa                                  12- Tamzara
13- Hoynare                                       14- Hoş Bilezik
15- Kürt Ali                                       16- Mesudiye Horonu
17- Pıtık                                             18- Samah
RİZE[2]:                      1- Çift Ayak                                      2- Çinçiva (Kız Horonu)[3]
3- Sallama                                         4- Sıksaray
5- Bıçak Oyunu                                 6- Kardereli
7- Çarişka (Alizar)

TRABZON:               1- Horon Kurma[4]                               2- Sallama
3- Sıksara                                           4- Kozangel
5- Kozangel Atlama                            6- Sıva sıva
7- Parmakucu                                     8- Dik Horon
9- Dirvana[5]                                        10- Sürmene Sallaması
11- Sürmene Atlaması                       12- Çaykara Sallaması
13- Maçka İzme                                 14- Haçka Atlaması
15- Tuzcuoğlu                                    16- Can Temur Ağa
17- Ömer Ağa                                    18- Köçekli Sallama     19- Atlama

[1] Government of Giresun, Directorate of Tourism,  Giresun İl Turizm Envanteri-2007, (Giresun City Tourism Inventory - 2007)
[2] Interview with: Hasan Aydil, Pazar-2011
[3] İhsan Topaloğlu, Rize’de Eski Köy Düğünleri, Eser Ofset, Trabzon-2006, p.68.
[4] Hasan Kalyoncu, Her Yönüyle Tonya, Topkar Matbaacılık (Topkar Printing), Akçaabat-1989, p.81.
[5] Interview with: Çağatay Tahmaz, İzmir-2012

Living Tradition
Guarded Tradition
Information in the Written Sources
Oyun (Play)
Oyun (Play)
Oyun (Play)






3, 4




1, 2, 3, 5,

9, 10

4, 6, 7, 8, 16

11, 12, 13, 14,
15, 17, 18


1, 2, 3, 4





1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11,
13, 14, 15, 19

9, 10, 12, 18

6, 7




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