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This study focuses on the Bibi Müşkül ritual which is applied by Uzbeks that were settled to Ovakent neighborhood of Antakya district in Hatay province in 1982. Bibi müşkül, is a ritual which consists of various symbols-in which Bibi Müşkil is the main symbol-, reflects the cultural characteristics of the society and constitutes of several phases in which each phase is repeated with prayers. Bibi müşkül is a ritual in which a vow is made to Bibi müşkil by the person or the relatives of the person who is worried that he/she is in a “difficult” situation. Our aim is to see this ritual which has an important function in the Uzbek from the viewpoint of the people that apply the ritual and to understand it in a context with regard to the meaning attributed by these people. Our aims is also to analyze the internal dynamics and underlying symbols of this ritual which transfers cultural identity and has a function of solution finding. In this study field study technique is applied. Furthermore observation and in-depth interview techniques were used. Field study was conducted between February 2012 and March 2012. Each phase of the ritual was observed and recorded. In conclusion Bibi müşkül symbolically represents a holy woman which is believed to save women and children from ‘accident and trouble’. In Turkey during the pre-Islamic period Bibi müşkül was named as “Umay Ana” and after Islam it was named Bibi Fatıma. Ritual is about people coming together in return for their spiritual needs. The main theme of the ritual is based on the belief that the prayers which are made all together by people that join the ritual shall come true by the power of Bibi müşkül. From this point of view it can be said that the ritual has the function of calming people down during crisis and finding solutions. Bibi Müşkil is a dynamic fact which has deep cultural codes and it brings together believes (prayers, sacrifice etc.) and values. It can be said that along with several customs and traditions this ritual also reinforces the Uzbek identity and plays a role in transferring the group identity to next generations.

Bibi müşkül, ritual, identity, symbol, Uzbek

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