Creating Communitas Through Playing: A Study on the Horon Practice in Turkey
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- Institutt for musikk 
Horon is a rural-originated collective movement practice, particular to the Eastern Black Sea Region in Turkey. This dissertation is concerned with the habitual practice of the Horon and concentrates on the special form of communication generated among its practitioners during performance. The discussion is based on a six-week fieldwork period conducted in the summer of 2013. Considering the fact that the Turkish verb used by Horon practitioners to denote their activity is “to play” and aiming to constitute a research approach that takes the emic viewpoint into consideration, the dissertation looks at the Horon as play and asks what kind of a communication it generates. The first part of the dissertation discusses the fieldwork as a process. It does not only aim to present what has been found during the research, but also to display how the findings have been attained by putting emphasis on the in-between insider/outsider position of the researcher in the field. The second chapter concentrates on the movement and the specific characteristics of playing the Horon. It demonstrates that a Horon performance follows a specific structure that is governed by certain rules, which prioritise a haptic and kinaesthetic form of communication and aim the emergence of a special kind of experience that is distinct from ordinary life. This experience, which is characterised by a strong sense of collective enthusiasm and joy, is interpreted as a special form of communitas.