DEATH IN THE TRADITIONAL WORLD VIEW OF KAZAN-TATAR TURKS WITH EXAMPLES FROM PROVERBS

Fatma TEKİN

Death, which is a transition period like birth and wedding in an individual’s life, has a startling effect. This effect has made the individual sensitive to death, and as a result of this, beliefs related to souls, the dead and afterlife, and practices moulded by these beliefs appeared along with other practices which are thought to prevent death. Society gives some responsibilites to the individual about sending off the deceased to their last journey within the frame of cultural patterns, in this way, the individual becomes socialized due to the beliefs and norms circled around death. It is possible to see these beliefs and patterns of behavior not only in epics, legends and fairytales but also in proverbs. In this sense, proverbs reflect the traditional world view of a community, which are formed by their acceptance, beliefs, judgments and actions related to life as a whole.  From this point of view, the phenomenon of death in the traditional world wiew of Kazan-tatar Turks, which is the subject of this article, has been designated through proverbs. The material of this study consists of the proverbs about death, which are in the second volume of the three-volume series called “Tatar Halık Mekalleri (Proverbs of Tatar People)”, compiled by Nekıy İsenbet from oral and written sources. 325 proverbs have been examined in this study among 638 proverbs that are cited in the aforementioned work. The beliefs and practices related to the meaning of death, its features, before death, near death and after death in Kazan-Tatar Turks have been presented in the proverbs that have been examined here. It is seen that proverbs constitute the essence of the traditional world view and philosophy of society in Kazan-Tatar Turks; and carry certain codes in reflecting the cultural values and the system of norms regarding death; and they are didactic while conveying them, and they also have a directive and cogent function towards life owing to the life doctrine they refer to.

Keywords: death, proverbs, traditional world view, Kazan-Tatar Turks, folklore