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Touring and Automobile Club of Turkey

Karagöz – Hacivat Depictions

Karagöz – Hacivat Depictions is the art of leather processing in which leather is made to be used by subjecting it to physical and chemical processes.

Art of leather processing, one of the oldest arts of human history, has been used by various civilizations in many fields ranging from clothing, household goods, musical instruments to binders of books and ornaments.

Karagöz is an oral type of show peculiar to Turks, moved by means of wooden rods, based on the idea of reflecting figures to the white curtain with light given behind them. The play gets its name from Karagöz (Black Eye in Turkish). It is known that this play, commonly known as Karagöz, is also referred to as “Hacivat” by people. It may be technically defined as theater of object reflection. It is considered shadow theater in academic literature.

Although beginning of the shawdow theater is attributed to different sources, it is known that it, first, appeared in China, which was then transferred to Turks and European countries through Mongols.

The artist animates Karagöz, performing music and depictions is called Hayalî (Image creator). Hayalî artists are persons of rare talent and intelligence who can modify plays by way of improvisation depending on condition of the spectators, make depictions.

Karagöz shadow theater went on with Karagöz – Hacivat depictions. Karagöz – Hacivat depictions are the name given to two dimensional Karagöz – Hacivat puppets made of leather. It is made of translucent camel, calf, water buffalo, horse, donkey and goat leather and colored with natural dye. Depiction is one of our traditional handicrafts and is a cultural animation material that contributes to maintenance of art of Karagöz – Hacivat depictions.

Karagöz performed by their last representatives at Istanbul Sanatları Çarşısı, a Touring undertaking, was registered, in 2009, to UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Istanbul Handicrafts - Leather - Karagöz and Hacivat

Examples of the works of our artists;

The artist depicting Karagöz in the Istanbul Handicrafts Center is as follows:

Mahmut Güneş
Mahmut Güneş, who has been dealing with the art of Karagöz depiction since 1988, is regenerating ...
Mahmut Güneş
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Tukan Ajans