Epics are studied in two categories that are identified as national epics and folk epics in our literature. The national epics are long verse stories of nations about religious, virtuous and heroic adventures with an emphasis on national characteristics. The folk epics are created by folk poets in different themes in their poems. The main purpose of the study is to investigate folk epics. The folk epics are considered as a genre within the poetry of folk poets from past to present. The folk epics include many diverse themes such as military, widow, supplication, illnesses, animals, bigamy, heroism, husband and wife relationship, famine, homeland, fruit, prayer, advice, war, aging. The tradition of folk epics emerged after the first quarter of the twentieth century, especially in large cities such as Istanbul, when the minstrels began reading poetry in coffeehouses. Afterwards, these minstrels started to earn money by printing and selling these poems in the crowded places, paving the way for spreading folk epics. The minstrels who narrated folk epics have mentioned the events that took place in their hometown and throughout the country in their poems, while not making some interpretations to attract attention via improvisation. These epics were sold in public places by printing 1000 or even 5000 issues on papers slightly larger than the standard A4 paper in the printing offices. The public place were generally squares, yards of the mosques, market places, trains during travel and train stations. This tradition was carried out until the beginning of the 1980s. The tradition of folk epics requires the capability to recite poetry is a as having a sweet tone of voice that will gather the people and knowing musical maqams. Those who had these qualities have persisted their tradition of epics for many years. This tradition, which was in demand until the 1980s, could not find a space for itself as a result of the spread of mass media after this date. The present study contains information about the tradition of folk epics and the identified performers in Sivas. The performers of folk epics in Sivas were examined under two headings. The former includes those who write and sell only epic poems. The latter includes those who have not only written poems in the field of folk poetry, but also written and sold only epic poems for a while.
Folktales, folk tale tradition, Sivas folk tale narrators.