Whirling Dervishes

This item appears on page 65 of the February 2009 issue.
We enjoyed seeing this Whirling Dervish perform his elegant ritual dance. Photo: Eisen

In Konya, Turkey, we visited the Mevlana Mausoleum, where Mevlana Rumi, the founder of the Whirling Dervishes, has his tomb. The Dervishes practice Sufism, a mystical form of Islam founded in the 13th century. The building, which is also a museum, contains many artistic and religious treasures and is very popular with the Turkish people.

One evening we attended a performance by the Dervishes. The 50-minute presentation upended our preconceived ideas about this group. They whirled at a steady and stately pace accompanied by haunting flute music. They seemed to float around and around in peaceful ecstasy.


Ponte Vedra Beach, FL