THE UNCLEHOOD TRADITION IN THE NUSAYRİYE AS INTRODUCTORY RITUAL TO RELIGION

Hüseyin TÜRK

Nusayries live in Lebanon, Syria as well as in Southern provinces in Turkey including Adana, Mersin and particularly Hatay. Among several religious and ethnic groups living in Turkey are Nusayries who adhere to a particular religious sect based on the principle of secrecy. The most distinguishing features of Nusayriye are the deification of the Caliph Ali, the strength of Khezr and the shrine belief, reincarnation, the influence of Christianity and “the Unclehood tradition”. The Unclehood tradition emerges not only as a means of enculturation but also as an ritual of puberty, whereby teenage boys are given by “ the Uncles” the religious knowledge on Nusayriye and the forms of social behaviours. The Uncle is determined by “the boy’s”. The Unclehood tradition is not only a form of conjectural relationships but also an educational process in which the boy acquires the cultural identity of Nusayriye.

Keywords: Hatay, Alewism, Nusayriye, Unclehood Tradition, Enculturation.