The Whirling Dervishes are a spiritual order that originated in Konya, Turkey, in the 13th century. They are a branch of the Sufi order, a mystical sect of Islam, and are formally known as the Mevlevi Order. The founder of the order was the famous Sufi poet and philosopher, Rumi.
The Whirling Dervishes are best known for their unique dance ritual, called the Sama or the Dhikr, which involves a form of meditation and physical spinning. During the Sama, the Whirling Dervishes wear long white robes and tall hats, which symbolize their detachment from the material world. The dance involves a slow and deliberate spinning, with the right hand raised to the sky to receive divine grace, and the left hand turned down towards the earth to bestow this grace upon humanity.
The Sama is performed as a way of attaining spiritual enlightenment and connection with God. The music that accompanies the Sama is typically played on traditional Turkish instruments such as the ney (flute), kudum (drum), and tanbur (long-necked lute). The music and dance combine to create a powerful and moving experience that is both spiritual and artistic.
The Whirling Dervishes have a significant place in Turkish culture and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to Turkey can witness the Whirling Dervishes perform the Sama in several locations throughout the country, including Istanbul, Konya, and Cappadocia. The Mevlana Museum, located in Konya, is also a popular destination for those interested in learning more about the Whirling Dervishes and their history.
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