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Cobham, Claude Delaval (transl.): Travels in the island of Cyprus, translated from the Italian of Giovanni Mariti. London, Zeno, 1971.

 

 

 

Dancers at a procession in Nicosia

 

 

 

Cyprus, 1760-1767

Circumcision among the Turks is performed after the completion of the boy's seventh year: but at a child's birth a little salt is put in its mouth, with some words from the Qur'an to the effect "precious to thee for the gift of life be the name of the true God, to Whom thou shalt give honour and glory." For eight days before they get up feasting and merry-makings, then, on the appointed day, the boy is clothed in gala dress, and led through the city on a horse with gay trappings. The green banner of Islam precedes him, and singis or dancers. Followed by various instruments and the crowd, he is conducted to a mosque, where prayer is said, and then to his home, where an expert performs the operation, while the patient repeats their confession of faith, lifting the thumb, and using the words "La ilaha illa Allah, wa Mohammad rasul Allah" - there is no god but God, and Mohammad is His prophet. The function over the guests make presents to the new Muslim, and the festival ends with a sumptuous dinner. Women make a simple confession of faith, as above.

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