Monday, 28 November 2022
Whirling Dervish for 44 Years Continues His Grandfather's Profession, Felt Making.

Whirling Dervish for 44 Years Continues His Grandfather's Profession, Felt Making.

Celalettin Berberoğlu (53), who has been a whirling dervish for 44 years in Konya, continues felt making which he has learned from his grandfather. Berberoğlu stated that “the Felting profession, which is on the verge of extinction, has been reborn from its ashes. In this workshop, we make maybe 30-40 different products from felt. We also train students. There is a tremendous similarity with the stages that wool goes through until it turns into felt and coin, and the time that human passes until s/he becomes mature.

What does “coin” mean?

The coin made of felt carries deep meanings in the whirling dervish dress and whirling ritual. Just as the white dress (tennure) worn by the whirling dervishes symbolizes the shroud of the soul, the coin in general terms symbolizes the tombstone of the soul. In other words, it is the tombstone of the love soldiers who want to kill and silence the self and the ego while they are living, as in the hadith "Die before you die", which the Sufis adopt.

Berberoğlu explaining the use of coins and felt: "The original coin is wool. Everyone knows that the word Sufi is also derived from the Arabic word suf (wool) and that the ancient dervishes wore clothes of wool, and that the word Sufi also means this. After the wool has undergone some processing, it first becomes felt, and then coins. Felt is more of an exhibition that was previously used instead of a carpet or a dress (shutter) worn by shepherds staying on the mountain. Why did shepherds who stayed on the mountain or in the open field wear some kind of dress made of felt? Felt has a feature. Poisonous animals, such as snake scorpions, can not move on the felt, which is pressed wool, and they can not approach it. The shepherds would go completely inside this garment (shutter), sleep and be protected from the dangers of poisonous animals."

A book by Celalettin Berberoğlu called Mistik Yalancı was published. Until today, what he told to his guests and friends who came to his workshop and his conversations were recorded by his relatives. And these Sufi conversations, stories, parables, the master's own adventures are transferred to the book. As for the title of the book, it certainly has a story: "You also know that friends, truth does not fit into the word. I used to say to my guests who came to my workshop, 'Let's see, let the mystical liar tell you something!' My guests would say, 'We've come to listen to lies!' That's why my book was called The Mystic Liar."