The brides are getting their “faces” painted so they have good fortune and maintain happy marriages. Asst. Prof. Dr. Dilek Himam, Lecturer at Department of Fashion and Textile Design, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Izmir University of Economics, is bringing the art of face writing/painting back to life which is falling through the cracks.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Himam talked to Şerife Zorlu from Kösedere Village, Karaburun who is trying to keep the tradition alive at her village. Himam said that face painting was a face adornment tradition which was falling through the cracks among the traditional Turkish marriage rituals. Himam said, “Face writing/painting is also being mentioned in Reşat Ekrem Koç’s “Türk Giyim Kuşam ve Süslenme Sözlüğü (Dictionary of Turkish Costume and Self-Adornment)”. It talks about ‘Gluing’ of bridal face ornaments on velvet pieces cut in the shape of small flowers by using gold wires or pearls. My studies showed that this art was started to be forgotten. And those who represent this art claim that brides lately pulled away from this tradition. I want to keep this tradition alive and relay it to the academic literature.”
‘The exhibition is on its way’
Asst. Prof. Dr. Himam stated that she got inspired by the traditions and used her own version of face painting on 3 D faces. Himam reported that she would be opening an exhibition of her art work in Izmir soon.
‘The niceties of the art’
Face painting artist Şerife Zorlu also pointed that today’s brides chose to break with the tradition and she stated the following:
“Face painting is done at Hannah parties or weddings so women can have good fortune and maintain happy marriages. I am trying to keep this tradition alive for 52 years. I used to watch brides got their faces painted excitedly. They used to trim silver wires and glue them on. Now there is wide variety of materials to choose from. I use many ornaments and glitters. I use a certain type of glue I prepare with sugary water and draw the outline. Then with the help of a straw of a broom, I glue the glitter in. I draw a branch with leaves facing up and down on the forehead of the bride. I draw sun or flowers on her cheeks. I want this tradition to maintain and wish them good fortune.”