Karagoz & Hacivad Puppets
An unusual form of art which depicts traditional Turkish characters are the Turkish Shadow Play Puppets.
For centuries (prior to television and radio), shadow plays entertained Turkish audiences both in public and private houses.
The key characters were Karagoz and Hacivad. Legend has it that a mosque was being built in the then Ottoman capital of Bursa, and among the labourers were Karagoz and Hacivad who indulged in many humorous antics causing the other workers to abandon the construction of the mosque. Infuriated that the mosque was taking longer than planned to build, and having heard about their antics, the Sultan had them both executed. However, the pair of comedians were sorely missed by the townsfolk so images were made of Karagoz and Hacivad in puppet form and the shadow plays began.
Artists still make puppets today following the traditional techniques. Puppets are cut from camel hide and treated with oil to make them translucent. They are coloured with vegetable pigments and the joints are made by threading strings of gut through the perforations made with a needle. They are usually 35-40 centimetres high.
From traditional puppets, including Karagoz and Hacivad and street sellers, to framed etchings, at Dalyan Ìz… we have a unusual collection of Karagoz art.