An Alevi ceremony


The Alevis are a community of a Shiite deviation with mystical elements and are found mainly in Turkey. The ceremony shown here originates from the region of Konya and displays a ceremonial hall decorated with iconographic themes which feature the figure of Ali as well as the family of the Prophet Muhammad and Hajji Bektash Veli, the founder of the Bektashi order.

During the ceremony, called jem, men and women sing together hymns to the sound of the baglama, recite prayers and before the ritual dance the men carry out the symbolic "girding with the belt" as a sign of spiritual bonding and obedience.