Heyamo (Turkey)


Laz work song from the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. Heyamo was collected and arranged by Birol Topaloglu translated by Brenna Maccrimmon. Birol is a Turkish Laz musician. The Laz people are a minority group who live in the mountainous regions of eastern Turkey around the Black Sea. Their language is related to Mingrelian Georgian. It is very unusual to find harmonized songs in Turkey and the harmony in this tune is very much a part of the Georgian influence in their culture. As the borders were drawn up between Turkey and the Soviet Union the planners used natural boundaries like rivers and mountains to establish their lines. Some of these went straight through communities. Because of the tensions between the two countries it became impossible to carry on daily life on both sides of a river. To visit relatives on the Turkish side for example Soviet-siders would first have to travel to Moscow then Istanbul and Ankara and finally on an uncomfortable overland journey a total of thousands of miles-just to reach a destination that was in effect a stone’s throw away-or risk being shot at by border guards. The villagers used songs to communicate what was happening on their side of the border letting the other side know who was getting married how the harvest was going and so on. The songs were sent freely from one side of the valley to the other because their language was unknown to most soldiers posted at the watch points. Described and presented by Ahmet Luleci in 2007. Dance notes…

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