Turkish Folk Dance – Mendil

Location: Trakia

This dance is from a region that was once called Trakia. Westerners called this region Thrace. This region lies along the border shared with Bulgaria, and also extends up into Bulgaria. It was once part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and is now Romania. The dance is called “Mendil,” which translates simply as “handkerchief” in both Turkish and Greek. The dancers try to keep their handkerchiefs spinning throughout the dance. The aprons which the dancers appear to be wearing with their costumes are actually hand-embroidered tea towels with crocheted edges that would have been part of the girl’s dowry. The rhythm for this dance is a 9/8 rhythm.