The role and the power of women in Macedonian and Turkish folk literature

Denkova, Jovanka and Celik, Mahmut (2014) The role and the power of women in Macedonian and Turkish folk literature. Bal-Tam Turkluk Bilgisi 21, 11 (21). pp. 209-221. ISSN 1452-2179

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In Macedonian folk poetry, the woman’s character is the most present in relation to the other characters. Often, the woman is shown in a positive role. However, there are number of examples that reveal her "dark" side. Moreover, the lyrical songs and ballads for the separated families and the personal and family relationships often portrait the most common image of the dark woman as that of a stepmother, a sister as a murderer of her own sister, mother- murderer, etc... The most impressive example of a sister as a murderer of the other sister due to the prohibited love to her sister’s husband is the character of the heartless Neda, who not only smothers her own sister, but she makes a lot of heartless decisions trying to kill the two orphans who are constantly reminding her of the crime. Thus, Neda manifests as the most monstrous and the most heartless female character of this type in Macedonian folk poetry. The sister also appears as a murderer of her brother when he interferes with her relationship with the man that she loves so much and on the advice of her lover she murders her brother by poisoning him. The most monstrous of all is the character of the mother-killer, mother-murderer of her child who appears as a real obstacle to the realization of her passionate relationship with another man. In Macedonian folk ballads, a character that stands out as a murderer of her daughter-in-law is the mother-in-law. Sometimes, after a curse failed and didn’t make her son kill the daughter-in-law, the mother-in-law resorts to the latter, monstrous decision and does it herself. After which, she witnessed the suicide of her son and becomes his indirect murderer. Sometimes, the two sisters become murderers of their brother’s wife. Such crime is mostly motivated by the great love of the sisters towards the only brother. And the wives of the brothers sometimes appear as murderers of the youngest brother’s wife. The murder is usually motivated by the jealousy because of the great beauty the youngest brother’s wife possesses, so they kill her by poisoning. In this paper, the women`s role, power and place in the Turkish folk literature, beginning from the past up until present days, i.e. in the pre Islamic period, during the rise of the Islam and in the period of increased western influence, will be taken in consideration. Way back in the distant past, the family represented the most important social community in Turkish societies. The woman as a central and fundamental part of the family is beyond admiration and in the Turkish epos and philosophy is represented as a magnificent hero both of the culture and tradition.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Philology
Depositing User: Jovanka Denkova
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 11:14
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2014 11:14

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