POMAKS AND PENTATONICSM IN THE PESNA TRADITION

Abstract

Author(s): Berkant GENKAL, S. Sehvar BESIROGLU

There are many debates, now and then, on the Pomak issue; the origins of their ethnic identity, whose language is Bulgarian, and whose religious practice is Islam. Today, in the European arena they are coined as Bulgaromuhammedans while many of them are disturbed being labeled as Bulgarian.

This article touches on Pomaks’ ethnic identities in Balkans (mainly in Southern Bulgaria) and Turkey (Kaz Mountains). It also deals with the pesna as a tradition, folklore product and narrative expression of this community. The main reason is to proof that ethnic identities like folklore, language and musical elements are fluid, rather than fixed. In order to demonstrate the fluidity two elements are juxtaposed within the same framework in a binary fashion. To support this notion a pesna which is an oral tradition is given as primary sample that correlates the link between the internal entities of the ethnic organism.

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