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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Istanbul pictures Start page >> Istanbul pictures - Topkapi pictures >> Drawings, caligraphy and such > Demon dance
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Demon dance

Demon dance

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The most famous amongst the albums in the Top Kapi palace are the Mehmed Siyah Qualem collection., depicting monsters and the life of the nomads. There are 64 in all, and their style varies, so they must be from different masters. They are executed in black wash with occasional brushstrokes of faint colour. They come in two sorts, one of demons with human and animal attributes who wrestle, dance, play games and drink, thought to depict shamanistic ideas, where humans wearing masks act like demons. The second show the life of people of the steppes. There are thought to go back to the culture of Transoxania and Turkestan, influenced by Chinese and other Asian civilizations. They are probably from the 14th and 15th century, from an area where Shamanistic ideas were still alive in some sufi orders (from a text in the museum).

I found it very hard to get the colours right (from slides), I will try again later


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