13-17yrs, 18 & over, 8-12yrs, career exploration, commentary, Education, personal development

The lives of Natives in Cappodoccia, Turkey


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Illara Valley teahouses
Illara Valley teahouses

Well it is down to the last few days after an amazing month in Cappodoccia, as we leave early on Wednesday morning just a few more days to work and wrap things up. We did a day trip to the Illara Valley southwest of Ibrahimpasa, our village.  A place with a beautiful stream running through the bottom, lush vegetation like willows and poplars very green then very quickly rising steeply into very high canyons with Christian churches everywhere from 6 to about 13th century. We were with a professor of art history who specializes in these early church paintings- muslim of course- which made it really interesting. She knew so much so was really amazing to have along. She had been hired by a Brazilian artist who is here doing a film about St George- as he is a very popular figure in Brazil and he also occurs here in many of the early paintings. It was fascinating so many different images that you dont see in Western Christian iconography. There is a really beautiful image of the death of the Madonna and Christ is standing over her and is taking her soul which is in the shape of what looks like a baby, or maybe as our expert said, a homunculous- sort of a tiny being. Very interesting… One fresco of Christ in the lotus position with his hands in a buddhist mudra postion- and the three kings portrayed as whirling dervishes…

village mosque
village mosque

The place was also interesting as it was Biram the celebration after Ramadan , so many families were there to walk and see things and eat. There are these beautiful little house/tents built out over the stream with kilims and cushions and all the families spread out and eat, drink tea, dangle their feet in the water. So interesting to see them going around to look at the churches. Many of the eyes of the saints are scratched out mostly due to muslim fear of the eyes but as our professor said also early Christians would take out the eyes and use as medicinal remedies for illness as they were considered to be the souls of the saints and therefore possessed of healing properties.

See the orange things hanging on the line( in the middle of picture)? They are apricots that have been pressed into paste and into squares.
See the orange things hanging on the line( in the middle of picture)? They are apricots that have been pressed into paste and into squares.

 

You/MeSeni/ Beni, Turkey
You/MeSeni/ Beni, Turkey

 

 

Kate Temple is an visual artist who has been awarded many residences. Learn more about her www.katetemple.com/onstallations

 

 

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