Shaving as a Social and Religious Ritual in the East on the Basis of Historical Records


MILLI FOLKLOR, sa.119, ss.86-99, 2018 (AHCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Dergi Adı: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.86-99


Shaving, which is discussed under issues of aesthetics, health and fashion today, was seen to be practiced in Eastern societies in the past for purposes such as leaving the society and going into seclusion, mourning or initiations and rites of passage to religious orders, starting a new life following the obligation of pilgrimage; or in today's words, re-socialization. However, in addition to this, shaving was included in several records as an act induced on slaves, captives, criminals and convicts as a punishment or insult. One way notice that there is a relationship between shaving given to disciples and pilgrims for initiation into religious order or as a conclusion of pilgrimage by consent and shaving given to convicts, slaves and captives by force, in terms of insulting, or curbing pride and selfishness. Likewise, some records also report that it is a ritual that is regarded very highly to shave the head of a respected religious figure or being shaven by a leader of a religious order. This article investigates records regarding shaving in historical and religious texts such as chronicles, astrology, epics, travel books, social decorum, statute books and archive documents, as well as fiqh, hadith and Quran, and the purposes of application of this ritual in Eastern societies. While reviewing records of shaving in the sources in question, it was seen that this ritual was performed in certain times and spaces in Eastern societies. Even texts that determine the timing of this ritual were written under the name of Ttrasname (book of shaving). Verses, hadiths and provisions in the Quran, hadith and fiqh books also show that shaving has been a ritual paid importance to by the Islamic society. On the other hand, when one traces this ritual back into the past, it may be seen to reach from ancient Turk, Uighur and China cultures to Buddhism. It is observed that the timing and purpose of shaving still have a place in the traditions and customs of the people living in Anatolia and they still have importance.