Sufi Dervish Whirling Analysis
Sufi whirling is a form of Sama which originated among Sufis. It is a worship ceremony in which performers spin their bodies while listening to music, in an aim to focus on God. This essay will state the inner meaning, which is focusing on God, of the Sufi whirling through analyzing the ritual’s movement, symbols and mood. Sufi whirling is a ritual performed by dervishes, as it is originated among Sufis. They are usually performed inside or outside temples. Performers wear semazen’s camel's hair hat(sikke), a white shirt and skirt. The skirt is made of billowing material that flows out and around the dancer as they spin. Movement refers to the performers’ body movements, as well as their body gestures. Performers’ movement enables audiences to know about an inner emotive state or feeling of the performers. In the Sufi whirling ritual, the woman spins outside a temple while listening to music during daytime. Her spinning is stable and smooth, as her arms reach out to balance herself. It shows that she only concentrates on the spinning, as well as the God. As planets and stars circle the sun, and they are created by God, she turns counterclockwise around herself, to show her beliefs in God. The performers movement shows the inner meaning of the performance, which is focusing on and believing in God. (Mevlevi Order of America, 2009) Mood refers to atmosphere created by the performers, and also the feeling of both performers and audiences. Getting the mood of the performance is helpful to get to know the meaning of the performance. In the Sufi whirling ritual, the woman is spinning outside a temple during daytime, trying to focus on God. She is calm and relaxed, which shows the meditation and connection to God. The audiences do not applaud during the show, but watching the performance in silence with faith. The atmosphere, as well as the mood of the performers and audiences, shows that the Sufi whirling ritual is a spiritual act in...
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