Volume 8, Issue 33 (2020)                   CFL 2020, 8(33): 27-55 | Back to browse issues page

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Bahrami Rahnama K. A Study of Folk Beliefs in the Novel of Fig Tree of Temples. CFL 2020; 8 (33) :27-55
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-41600-en.html
Assistant Professor of Persian Language and Literature, Islamic Azad University, Yadegare Imam Khomeini, Shahrerey, Tehran, Iran , bahareh.bahrami2015@gmail.com
Abstract:   (10770 Views)
Folk literature is an important tool for discovering the mechanisms of different nations' traditions, rituals, and customs in a social system that seeks to obtain sociological and anthropological data, and examine the elements of cultural identity throughout history. Hence, many folk themes can be studied in local literature, especially in the novel of fig tree temples. Therefore, the present study, borrowing a descriptive-analytical method, has investigated the elements and components of folk literature in this novel. The results indicate that Ahmad Mahmood sought to link the mythical roots with the popular beliefs in this novel, portraying the functions of novel's personalities versus nature. On another level, he has depicted the beliefs and superstitions of the southern people.

Keywords: Folk literature; fig tree of temples; tree worship; beliefs; superstitions.
Research Background
Many articles have been written in the field of tree planting, vegetation, and beliefs about it, among which the following can be mentioned: Aydanlow, Sajjad (2005) "The mythical theme of the plant's growth from the man and its reflection in Shahnameh and Persian literature"; Fazeli et al. (2013) "Cultural approach to plants and trees in mythology and literature"; Ansari et al. (2014) "Investigating and classifying the mythical idea of ​​the male tree in the folk tales of Hormozgan".
Aims, questions, assumptions
The purpose of this study is to explain the view of the marble vision of Ahvaz considering the elements of nature, especially the tree and the beliefs about it in the novel The Tree of the Temple of Figs, which are rooted in the myth of tree worship in ancient Iran. Therefore, the present study seeks to answer how nature has led to the formation of popular beliefs in this novel? What factors have influenced the formation of popular beliefs in this influential novel? Among the elements of nature, the tree has always been praised and sanctified by human beings due to its constant revival and the eternal forces it contains. Many factors such as customs, special the climate of Ahvaz, awareness of the future events, poverty, and ignorance in the form of public beliefs are significant in this novel.
Climatic literature reflects the characteristics of a particular climate that, in the light of sociological studies, can provide important information such as beliefs, convictions, words, terms, songs, proverbs, climatic conditions, cover, etc. The climate literature seeks to provide a natural picture of the network within socialism in the literary texts, and seeks to explain as much as possible the relationship between man and nature and the impact of both sides on the environment. In this line of study, an author's stylistic discernment as well as the discovery of elements that distinguish a particular climate from other climates could be achieved. Ahmad Mahmoud, creating a tree called "Temple Fig" which is one of the native elements of the South, has rotated the characters of this novel around the axis of this tree and tries to explain their thoughts and actions in the nature. In this novel, he seeks to show tree worship and the beliefs about it. Thus, the novel contains many mythical concepts such as tree worship, tree planting, vows for it, and healing, as well as popular beliefs such as amulets, hanging dates, and shelter. In this novel, the horseshoe was set on fire, the votive offerings were given on Tuesday, and so on.
Honoring the fig tree of temples is so significant that people perform special rituals such as bowing to the tree, engaging in closing, and making vows to meet the needs of the tree. Because the tree is the symbol of revival, and some trees and plants have medicinal properties, some of the characters in this novel have been directed to the tree to cure disease. The novel refers to the "burial of the fetus under the fig tree of temples " which refers to the human plant or the kinship of man with the plant. Hanging a doll from a tree is one of the rain-worshiping rituals portrayed in this novel by women.  In the ritual of rain, "a doll or a scarecrow or a person with a change of face is present. “Rain dolls are rooted in the Anahita myth, the goddess who has been revered and worshiped by the people of ancient Iran to the extent that many shrines and statues were built for these goddesses” (Zolfaqari,2016, p. 91).
Ahmad Mahmoud, in his novel The Fig Tree of Temples, refers to the man's inseparable relationship with nature, and therefore chooses the name of his novel from nature to double the man's attention to nature. Among the manifestations of nature, we can mention the "tree", about which many beliefs have been formed. The continual revival of the tree, its immortality, and its latent forces on the one hand, and man's inability to do so on the other, have led to the formation of sacred and ritual beliefs in different eras among the people, so much so that at a historical juncture, the tree and the manifestations of nature, as vegetative gods, were given serious attention by human beings, which can be observed in the novel The Fig Tree of Temples. The fig tree of temples, which is unique to desert cities and has an amazing growth, is considered as a prelude to entering the public beliefs of Ahvaz. It, then, depicts the various forms of tree worship that stem from the totemic connection of the man with the plant.
Most men and women engage in this behavior, which can lead to the groom standing on the roof of the hallway and the bride passing under it, the votive vow of Tuesday, the horseshoe in the fire, and the chanting. The author also mentioned carrying amulets, hanging donkeys, sheltering eyes, and so on. Factors influencing the formation of popular beliefs in this novel include culture, customs, beliefs, specific climate of Ahvaz, escapism, people's insight about nature, awareness of future conflicts, poverty, and ignorance.
  •  Ansari, Z., Jamali, A & Zareei, B. (2014). Investigating and classifying the mythical idea of ​​the male tree in the folk tales of Hormozgan. Mystical and mythological literature, 10(36), 35-65.
  •  Aydanlow, S. (2005). The mythical theme of the plant's growth from man and its reflection in Shahnameh and Persian literature. Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Mashhad. 15(13), 105-132.
  •  Fazeli, F., Nikouei, A & Naqdi, E. (2013) Cultural approach to plants and trees in mythology and literature. Literature research, 7(23), 9-33.
  •  Zolfaqari, H. (2016). Review and analysis of rain show and rain reading plays in the general literature of Iran (relying on shark tours and rain brides). Kohan Nameyeh Adabe Parsi, 7(4), 61- 99.
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Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Folklore literature
Received: 2020/03/25 | Accepted: 2020/06/22 | Published: 2020/06/30

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