“Ozan And Dengbej: The Lost Voices Of Oral Tradition In Turkey”

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Barlık M. M.

Social Sciences Studies Journal, vol.63, no.6, pp.2186-2201, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.26449/sssj.2314
  • Journal Name: Social Sciences Studies Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Other Indexes
  • Page Numbers: pp.2186-2201
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Since the Grimm Brothers, folklore studies returned to respectability through the second half of nineteenth and twentieth century to uncover, decipher and save the folkloric remains including the oral traditions. But, as the first decades of the new millennium are being scribbled, the 'modern new' versus the ‘needless old’ is still burning in the back burner, and is, unfortunately, eroding the original, authentic and traditional ‘lore’. The creators of insatiable modern culture are also the directors of the ambiguous route of consumerist culture that encourage societies to condone the residue of authentic traditional tissues that have vital social and psychological communicational functions on folk groups and individuals. The “Ozans” and “Dengbêjes” have been the performers of Turkish and Kurdish oral literatures in Turkey until the last decades of the twentieth century, but, are face to face with the danger of being extinct, because of the new technological innovations that let the audience have the advantage of being able to access the recorded replicas. Besides, the consumerist life style has made the individuals so busy that they would not attempt to attend any traditional oral performance as it was ‘once upon a time’, because they have the alternative of watching them at any time, any place they like. For hundreds of years, the “Oral Tradition” of Anatolia has been represented and performed by Ozan-s and Dengbêj-es who are live archives and performer artists of oral culture; the last representatives of Anatolian oral folklore.

In this paper, it is aimed to bring forth and discuss the social role of Ozan-s and dengbêj-es, and illustrate the possible reasons of their loss of value and audience.

Key Words: Ozan, Aşık, Dengbêj, Turkish Oral Tradition, Kurdish Oral Tradition