Türkiye masallarında Şamanizm öğeleri
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Shamanistic beliefs were among the most significant elements of pre-Islamic Turkish culture. With the spread of Islam and Turkish migrations into Anatolia, the shamanistic elements were gradually replaced by the elements of the new culture based on Muslim civilization. Despite the fact that Islamization lasted for several centuries, some old elements have survived until recent times. Traces of these beliefs can be found in Turkish oral literature, especially in folk tales. Being deeply rooted in the past and having a great potential of transmission from one generation to another, folk tales provide useful material for an analysis of the surviving shamanistic elements. The thesis examines the existing research concerning the relics of shamanism in Turkish folk culture as such and it reconsiders major questions concerning the traces of shamanistic elements in Turkish folk tales. As there are only very few studies on the subject, the work is mainly based on an analysis of the source material through existing general works dealing with shamanism. The analysis of the universe of folk tales from the perspective of pre-Islamic beliefs is the focal point of this study. Major and secondary heroes, their characteristics and supernatural gifts, and the role they play in folktales are compared to similar characteristics of shamans. Moreover, references to birds, animals, and the supernatural sources of life are analyzed in order to trace their possible origin in shamanistic beliefs. Finally, the settings of the universe of the folktales are examined and the elements connected with shamanism are pointed out. The thesis advances the claim that shamanistic elements were by no means totally abandoned, but they have been preserved to a significant extent in Turkish folktales.