An Ashik is a traveling bard, in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran. They sing and play the saz, a form of lute. The songs are made up on the spot around common ideas.
The Ashik tradition started with the Shamanistic beliefs of ancient Turkic peoples. The ancient ashiks were called by many names. Some names were bakhshi Baxsı, dede dədə, and uzan or ozan. They helped keep oral tradition, helped make a shared value system and kept the culture of their people.
In September 2009, Azerbaijan’s ashik art was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
The word Ashik comes from the Arabic word Asheq. It means the "one who is in love".
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