REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Folk Economy

Folk economy is one of the main components of popular culture, and also plays a major role in cultural structure.

In rural parts of Anatolia, economic life mostly depends on agriculture and livestock raising.

The term of folk economy refers to the all various ways in which people try to make a living. Altough popularly regarded as a single factor, in fact, it covers the whole of social life, including even folk architecture or beliefs, and directly shapes social structure.

Beekeeping, activities in mountain pastures, migration, hunting and handicrafts are supplementary parts of the folk economy.

The folk economy also influences popular beliefs, as in the examples below:

- Seed sowing must be carried out in April. Approximately one month before

sowing, the different seeds are taken from the house and placed in the garden. (In order for the crop to be plentiful)

- People do not give seeds to their neighbours before they sow their own gardens. (It is believed that this will protect the prosperity of the household)
- The seeds of sweet-tasting foods are put in the garden first, and hot and bitter-tasting food seeds are put in after. (in order to make the year sweet and peaceful)

- Woman do not sow seeds or plant young trees if they are menstruating. (In order for the crop to be plentiful)

- Ribbons of different colors are tied to cows’ tails. (In order to masintain the cow’s milk output)

- Old people go outside their houses when it is hailing, shake to the noise of the thunder and shout: “Let my churn be speedy”

- During, and three days before religious festivals, people do not cut branches off trees, since they believe that the branches are performing their ritual prayers.

- People let their oxen enter the house on New Year’s Eve. If the ox enters the house with its right hoof first, it is believed that whole year will be plentiful.
- On New Year’s Eve, women throw beans at the walls. (In order to live in prosperity)

- People come together and pray for rain. If there is too much rain, however, then they pray together for it to stop.

- Anyone who draws water from a fountain on New Year’s morning is believed to become rich.

-A few days before the New Year, mills are prepared and all flour pots are filled. It is believed that if the pots are full on New Year’s Day they will remain full for the rest of the year.