Karagöz Effigy Making

Karagöz Shadow play, which is one of the important elements of traditional Turkish theater, is our cultural heritage that has been kept alive from the Ottoman period. Karagöz effigies are made using tanned camel hide, cowhide, goatskin, gazelle skin and donkey hide. The specially prepared, cleaned leathers without traces of blades are selected and scraped with cleaning knives, wetted with water and thus “"sweating" process of the leather is provided. The molds of the figures to be depicted are drawn on the leather with the tool called “Awl”. After cutting with steel scissors, holes are carved on the line parts of the effigy traditionally with nevregan knives (a sharp pointed knife used for Karagöz effigies). The holes are carved on the upper and lower parts of the leather then the burrs that come out are cleaned with the cleaning knife. After the other carvings on the effigy are opened with a Nevregan knife, it is contoured by being drawn using a thin brush with ink or black dye to make the carvings visible. The colored sides of the effigy are painted using traditionally prepared natural herbs and roots such as lahor indigo, indigo, indigophere, turmeric roots and synthetic dyes. After the paint dries, the round piece called “button” with a diameter of one and a half centimeters is sewn onto the hole, which was opened with an “awl” to the place determined as the center of gravity of the effigy and the place of movement, with waxed thread. During playback of the image, the button is punched with a stapler to attach the stick. Apart from the figures used in the plays, showpieces used as decor on the curtain called "mirror" are also made with the same method.

Other effigies of typologies used in Karagöz plays such as Rum (Greek), Ermeni (Armenian), Frenk (Frank), Arnavut (Albanian), Laz, rumelili (rumelian), Kastamonulu muhacir (immigrant from Kastamonu), pehlivan (wrestler), celebi (gentleman and well-mannered person), cazular (witches), Tuzsuz deli Bekir, tiryaki (addicted), zenne, hamamcı (bath attendant), bozacı (boza maker or seller, boza: a slightly fermented thick millet drink), bolulu (a man from Bolu), aşçı (cook), kahveci (coffee maker or seller), ciğerci (liver cooker or seller), çalgıcı (musician, instrument player), dansöz (dancer) etc. are also made similarly.