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Turba is a word used in Latin and Arabic languages.
Latin word and derivatives
Relating to the meaning of "crowd", it may refer more specifically to any text in the biblical Passion of Jesus which is spoken by any group of people, including the disciples, the Jews, or the soldiers. In musical settings it has been broadened to refer to any direct address in the Passion, except the words of Jesus.
The term was further used during the Sandinista regime of Nicaragua in the late 1970s and 1980s, referring to crowds of boisterous, sometimes violent supporters.
Arabic word and derivatives
The second, related meaning, is that of earth, dirt, soil, ground. Shi'as may put their foreheads on a piece of clay ("dust") during prayers, which they call "turba", also written "turbah".
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- Meri, Josef F. (2002). The cult of saints among Muslims and Jews in medieval Syria. Oxford Oriental monographs. Oxford University Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-19-925078-3.