kobayashi isa

kobayashi isa

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Oil Wrestlers, Edirne, Turkey 2007

yagli gures, oil wrestling is an ancient sport in anatolia.

the wrestlers scrub their bodies with traditional middle eastern anatolian olive oil and wrestle and it is erotic and dirty and muscular and intense and even salacious sometimes. they wear leather knee britches and make blessings/obeisances to the earth before they start just like monks do in an orthodox monastery at liturgy: exactly the same action, but without exactly the same Orthodox Christian +Sign+ of the +Cross+ [that got lost].

no doubt they would deny it, and deny it with all the force they had.

olive oil is the anointing of the gods going back before the Judeo-Christian scriptural traditions ending in the greek "christos" and becoming the "gazi" of the Ottomans. olive oil is healing, sanctifying, empowering, enabling, nourishing, cleansing, ennobling: in this sanctified sacred noble field of wrestlers, one is left standing and champion. it is gritty and dirty and almost obscene sometimes and blessed and divine and masculine and sensuous. like the sacred olive, divine, a gift from god, a staple of life, a preservative, a cosmetic, and a medicine unparalleled.

boys anoint each other and test their metal year after year until as men they return to this same pre~masculine, anti-feminine world of boyhood, and declare their divine eternal immunity from womankind, and from the constraints of civility and social responsibility, and their sublime independence all over again.

the world of men, like Mt. Athos, or the Aboriginal celebrations of Creation, or the Great Plains Sun Dance, or men's football.

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