14th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
At one with creation: Sema, the ceremony of the Dervish

The Whirling Dervish ceremony, called Sema, is a music and dance ritual born out of “love” and “respect” which are the primary ideals propagated by 13th century poet, theologian and Sufi master Mevlana C. Rumi, of Konya, Turkey. Rumi taught that the mere existence of the human being served as an axis point for all of creation and this itself was visible evidence of the Universal Creator. The axis is illustrated through turning or whirling, the most common movement in the Universe from microcosmic organisms like atoms to macrocosms like planets, solar systems and galaxies; therefore, mirroring this movement is a way to pray or reach the Creator.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2014
Date Uploaded: 04.2016
Photo Location: Istanbul, Türkiye
Camera: PENTAX K-7
Copyright: © Barbara Daly