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"Sama dance"

"Sama dance" (Sky dance) is the a dance performed only by residents of Aslanbeyli village. It resembles a religious ritual or meditation.

The Sama dance is performed in days of movlud. Movlud is a free meal given in honour of deceased person. On that day, they gather at the home of the dead man and eat together. They lights candles on the tables and offer prayers in honour of spirits. After the meal, they sit on the floor with their legs folded and recite philosophical poem in honour of dead man's spirit and the greatness of God. Someone with a daf (drum) in their hands run the ceremony. They recite melodic Aruz poems. Those who sit around repeat what he says and clap their hands. Gradually, the speed increases. At this moment, those sitting on the floor stand up and start to dance. This dance is very different from others. The dancers slowly raise their hands and turn around. It looks as though they are sliding into a trance.

The Sama dance lasts several hours. It resembles the famous Semazen dance by students of Movlana Jalaleddin Rumi's school in Turkey's Konya province. They say that these dances have the same roots.