BOOKS: A Dervish In The Bazaar

dervishA flash from the past – Tirana’s Bazaar in 1848.  A man tries to paint as a whirling dervish “Twirled about, and performed many curious antics, he frequently advanced to me, shaking a long hooked stick, covered with jingling ornaments.” That night as the man tried to sleep in his hotel he heard: “A whirring, humming sound, followed by strange whizzings and mumblings which began to pervade the apartment.”

Peering through a hole he saw the dervish: “Spinning round and round for his own private diversion, first on his legs, and then pivot-wise and indulging in numerous other gymnastic feats. The old creature pulled forth some grapes and ate them, after which he gradually relaxed in his twirlings and finally fell asleep”.

[Painting by Neckla Erikci @ TrekEarth.]

lear 1The painter was Edward Lear, who the visited the Elbasan Road out of Tirana to find in contrast to the previous day:

“Charming scenes of quiet, among splendid planes and the clearest of streams. The afternoon was fully occupied on the road from Elbasán, whence the view of the town is beautiful. The long line of peasants returning to their homes from the bazaar enabled me to sketch many of their dresses in passing; most of the women wore snuff-coloured or dark vests trimmed with pink or red, their petticoats white, with an embroidered apron of chocolate or scarlet; others affected white capotes; but all bore their husband’s or male relative’s heavy black or purple capote, bordered with broad pink or orange, across their shoulders.

Edward Lear ‘The Pass Of Tyrana.’


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This entry was posted on August 28, 2014 by in Art and tagged , , , .
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