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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 38

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grotto in which they hold that for many years lay the body of their supposed holy hermit. Now that we have mentioned the Dervishes it is well to say that they are a kind of Turkish monk, as are also their Santons and Abdali. The Dervishes wear a coarse woollen garment of various colours, quite open at the breast, and over it an Abba, or cloak of fine white wool which they bind in at the waist in different ways. On their heads they have a large cap of white felt, of sugar loaf shape, with a strip of the same stuff twisted round it. They wear no shirt, but they are never-theless neat and clean, and their manners very courteous. They are commonly given to unnatural vice, and their feigned devoutness helps them to indulge their unhallowed tastes. They recognise as their founder a certain Molla Khunkiar, under whose rule they are formed into sundry convents and mosques. They preach in these twice a week, and admit to their sermons men and women, a thing not usually allowed in other mosques. One of them begins his discourse with a passage from the Qur'an, generally in condemnation of the very vices from which they themselves never abstain. The other Dervishes stand listening, separated from the people by a grating. When the sermon is over some of them begin to sing a hymn, accompanied by the music of reed-flutes, and by a dance which their chief begins and the others join in. They begin to turn very gently round the mosque, one after another, gradually increasing the pace until they circle round close together with such speed that the eye can scarcely follow them. The dance over they squat down on their heels, and wait very demurely until their chief begins the dance anew, when all follow him. This function lasts an hour and a half. Although some persons not well versed in the subject confound Dervishes and Santons, there is a great difference between them in their dress, habits and worship. The Santons who called Hazreti Mevlana their founder, dress like Dervishes, but they are dirty, always untidy, often half naked, sometimes 34 Of the City of Larnaca [CH.

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