What is Sahmeran? The Story of the Shahmaran Legend

Traditional Turkish culture, mythology and folklore are full of many interesting characters. Perhaps one of the most interesting and curious figures is Şahmeran. Şahmeran is depicted as half snake half human and occupies a very important place in Turkish folk beliefs. The Shahmaran figure is associated with many stories and traditions that are still alive in Turkish culture.

So what exactly is Sahmeran? How did the story of the Shahmaran come about? As you search for the answers to these questions, get ready to enter an interesting world. Learning more about the origin and significance of the Shahmaran figure means taking a closer look at Turkish culture.

What is Sahmeran?

Şahmeran is a creature in Turkish mythology. Described as half snake half human. The name Şahmeran is formed by the combination of the word “shah” and the word “meran”. The word “shah” is a word used for kings while the word “meran” is known as a word used for snakes. Şahmeran is widely known as a figure used to ensure people’s safety and protect them from evil.

Features of Shahmeran

Shahmaran is defined as half snake half human. It is a figure generally used to ensure people’s safety and protect them from evil. While Şahmeran’s snake half is believed to be venomous, the human half is believed to have healing powers.

The Origin of the Shahmaran Legend

What is Sahmeran?  Shahmaran story

The Shahmaran legend is very common in some parts of Anatolia, especially Southeastern Anatolia. However, there is no complete information about its origin. Some sources claim that the legend goes as far as Iran and came to Anatolia from there. Other sources claim that the legend has a deeply rooted history in Turkish mythology.

The Legend of the Basilisk

What is Sahmeran?  Shahmaran story

The upper part of her body is a beautiful woman, and the lower part of her body is a snake-shaped mythological creature that appears in the stories of Eastern culture. This legend takes place in the province of Tarsus in the Mediterranean region. The snakes that lived here were called Meran. These peaceful snakes were intelligent, compassionate and their queens were called Şahmeran. The first person to see him, Cemşab, was the son of a poor timber merchant family. Cemşab wants to get honey from a cave with his friends, but his friends leave Cemşab in the cave to get more honey. When Cemşab notices a leaking hole in the cave, he enlarges this hole with his knife and sees a beautiful garden. This garden has unique flowers, a pool and many snakes. Cemşab, who has been living here for years, gains Şahmeran’s trust but misses his family and says that Şahmeran will let him go provided he does not tell anyone about his location.

Cemşab does not tell anyone about Şahmeran’s location until the sultan falls ill. When the vizier says that the sultan should eat Şahmeran’s meat for his recovery, Cemşab shows Şahmeran’s place and, seeing that Cemşab is really upset, Şahmeran tells him to boil him and let the vizier drink his water and eat the meat to feed the sultan. sultan. The vizier dies and the cured sultan makes Cemşab his vizier. Legend has it that the serpents, unaware that Şahmeran had been killed, were rumored to invade Tarsus upon hearing this.

What is Sahmeran?  Shahmaran story

According to a rumor, Cemşab, who learned a lot about medical science from Şahmeran, is actually Lokman Hekim. In the legend of Lokman Hekim, when a man accidentally enters a cave, he is taken to Şahmeran by snakes and Şahmeran tells him that he cannot release someone who knows his place on earth. As time goes by, the man who gains Şahmeran’s trust returns to his family one day, but his body is flaky from seeing Şahmeran. Therefore, Şahmeran advises him not to show his body to anyone.

When the sultan’s daughter fell ill, the vizier, who wanted to marry her and become sultan, calls the mages together and tells them to find a cure for the disease. When one of the sorcerers said that some parts of Şahmeran’s body would be boiled and drunk, the girl would be cured, the vizier searched the baths where he sent people with scales to find Şahmeran, and found the man whom Şahmeran saw. The man is sent to the cave to kill Şahmeran and tells what happened. Şahmeran tells him to keep his death a secret so that the snakes don’t take revenge on humans. He tells him to boil his tail and let the vizier drink so that he will die. If she boils and drinks her body, the girl will be cured. If the man boils his head and drinks it, Lokman will be a doctor.

This legend has been told by our elders from generation to generation as a lesson in doing right and finding wrong.

What meanings does the symbol of the basilisk have?

Şahmeran symbolizes feminine power and being part of nature. The snake symbol, on the other hand, symbolizes change and transformation.

How is the Shahmaran figure used in folk tales?

The Shahmaran figure appears in folk tales as a figure used to help people. In the stories, Şahmeran is believed to have healing powers and it is told that people got rid of their illnesses with his help.

Why is the Shahmaran figure used at the entrances of the houses and on the street?

The Shahmaran figure is defined as a figure used in Turkic mythology for people’s safety, cure of diseases and protection from evil. An attempt is made to prevent evil spirits from entering the houses and streets by using the Shahmaran figure at the entrances of the houses and on the streets.

What culture does the legend of the Shahmaran come from?

There is no definitive information about the origin of the Shahmaran legend, but it is believed to date back to Iran. It is common in Anatolia, especially in the Southeastern Anatolia region.

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