RITUALS OF CULTURAL MEDIATION: THE MEDIATING ROLES OF PROFESSIONAL ROMA(N) MUSICIANS OF BERGAMA IN THE RITES OF PASSAGE

Abstract

Author(s): Hasan Devrim KINLI ?brahim Yavuz YKSELS?N

From past to present, Roma (Gypsies) living around the world have been on the agenda especially with their musical skills and the way of life they weave around these. However, among many different ethnic and cultural groups which they used to live, the importance of Roma is not limited to musical skill and service. In order to survive through music, Roman musicians always needed to gather information about different cultural identities (on their traditions, gender roles, musical preferences etc.) whom they offer their service. This article aims to give a detailed analysis of the performances of professional Roman musicians from Bergama during the ‘rites of passage’ such as wedding, circumcision and soldier farewell ceremonies asserting that, the musical and social performances of the Roman musicians during these occasions can be defined in the context of ‘cultural mediation’. Being able to survive in a multicultural area like Bergama through generations, it is clear that these musicians have developed their musical and mediational skills simultaneously. The ethnic and cultural diversity which the Roma(n) population is still a part of, prevails today in Bergama. Offering their musical service to different cultural identities in the region, Roman musicians inevitably contribute to the preservation, transition and expression of the crucial aspects of these different identities. This contribution, constitutes the three main dimensions of their mediational practice. This article exemplify and deal separately with each of these dimensions and contribute to the literature of cultural mediation

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