Kurdish mythology includes Kurdish and Yazidi myths and legends. The Kurds have a very rich folklore, which until recent times has been transmitted mainly through songs, tales or oral histories, from one generation to another. Even if some stories of great Kurdish authors were famous throughout Kurdistan, most of the stories recited and sung were only written in the XXe and XXIe centuries. Many of these, however, are traditionally centuries old. Very varied, Kurdish folklore denotes a great diversity of stories about nature, anthropomorphic animals, chimeras, love, heroes and villains, mythological creatures and everyday life. Some of these mythological figures can be found in other cultures, such as the simurgh, the kaveh from Iranian mythology, and Shahmeran stories from Anatolia. In addition, some stories may have the sole aim of educational or religious teaching. The most recurring element of Kurdish folklore is the fox, which by its cunning and insight triumphs over less intelligent species, even if it happens to lose at its own game. Another recurring theme is the origin of a tribe.
Kurds (Kurdish: کورد ,Kurd) or Kurdish people are an Iranianethnic group native to the mountainous region of Kurdistan in Western Asia, which spans southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria. There are exclaves of Kurds in Central Anatolia, Khorasan, and the Caucasus, as well as significant Kurdish diaspora communities in the cities of western Turkey (in particular Istanbul) and Western Europe (primarily in Germany). The Kurdish population is estimated to be between 30 and 45 million.
Kurdish dance and music are inseparable. The upbeat and ecstatic melodies stir you to join the company and dance with the rhythm. Tanbur lute, Daf Persian drum, Ney reed, Kamanche bowed string instrument and Sorna trumpet-like instrument are the most popular instruments in Kurdistan folk music. Kurdish men and women are the real depositories of long years of culture and history. Women in their colourful customs and glittering jewellery among men with their simple dresses enhance the real beauty of Kurdish dance. Seeing a group of happy men and women holding their hands, moving around with joyful music inspires you to join them. But before you come over your hesitation, these humble people gently invite you to share their happiness. Kurdistan is mush defined by traditions and culture rather than borders. In spite of the common features like standing in a line and holding hands, tying them across the lower back or interlacing pinky fingers, each tribe has its own signature in dance moves. Generally, women’s dances are recognized by their smooth movements of shoulder and neck, men’s dances have exciting and fast leg movements. The most well-practised types of Kurdish dances are Dilan, Chapi, Sorani, Sepe, Kurmanji, and Geryan.
The religion of the Yezidi Kurds, which has often been inaccurately characterized as “devil-worship,” has been claimed by Kurdish nationalists since the 1930s as the “original” religion of the Kurdish people. It has likewise been asserted that the Yezidi faith is a form of Zoroastrianism, the official religion of Iran in pre-Islamic times. These notions have won official support from most Kurdish political organizations and have broadly penetrated Kurdish society. The identification of Yezidism with Zoroastrianism is historically inaccurate, however, and should be seen as a product of modern nation-building ideology. Sentimental attachment to Yezidism and/or Zoroastrianism among Kurds today is best understood in most cases as a political rejection of Islam and its perceived Arab connections, rather than in terms of genuine devotional commitment.
From ancient times, the large mountainous land mass of Mesopo-tamia to the north and northeast of the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys was home to a mainly pastoral tribal population whose dialects were related to the northwestern Iranian group of dialects. Over many centuries, the peo-ple of this region were caught up in the rivalries and struggles between the strong neighboring powers centered in Mesopotamia, the Iranian plateau, and Anatolia. Although the Kurds have been mentioned in texts since an-tiquity and throughout the Islamic era, they were always overshadowed by stronger, more cohesive states that enjoyed written cultures. These tribal populations were denoted by signifi ers with similar sounds: Qurtie, Curti, Cartie, Kardu, Karduchi, Kar-da, and the like. The ethnic origin of the Kurds may well derive from western Iranian populations who arrived at the Zagros and Taurus Mountains from the east and mingled with the indigenous people.
Shahmaran (Persian: شاهماران Şahmaran, lit. ‘Shah (king) of the Snakes’; Kurdish: Şahmaran/Şamaran, Turkish: Şahmeran, Tatar: Şahmara or Zilant, Зилант or Aq Yılan, Chuvash: Вĕреçĕлен, lit. ‘Fire snake’), is a mythical creature, half woman and half snake, found with different variations in the folklore of Iran, Anatolia, the Armenian Highlands, Iraq, and of the Kurds. The name of Shahmaran comes from Persian words “Shah” (شاه) and “Maran” (ماران). “Shah” is a title used for Persian kings, “mar” means snake, but in plural “mar-an” means snakes.
In countries and cultures across the Middle East and Central Asia, Nowruz (or Newroz, or Norouz or Nauroz or several other variant spellings that shift from city to city across Asia) is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. Nowruz is a Farsi word, with “Now-” meaning new, and “-ruz” meaning “morning light” signifying the coming of a new day. Today Nowruz is the main celebration for many people of West Asia. It is also the beginning of the official calendar for the people of Iran and Afghanistan. The calendar, based on the Sasanian solar calendar and perfected by the famous mathematician, Omar Khayyam. The origin of Nowruz is not exactly known. It is estimated to be about 3,000 years old and it is rooted in Zoroastrianism. There are many different stories, fables and myths that tell the story of Nowruz or serve as its foundation. It is claimed that this tradition dates back to the saga of Kawa, the blacksmith. As per the Kurdish mythology, Kawa Asinger bravely ended the tyrannical reign of King Zahak a.k.a Dehak on this day.
Kurdish mythology is the collective term for the beliefs and practices of the culturally, ethnically or linguistically related group of ancient peoples who inhabited the Kurdistan mountains of northwestern Zagros, northern Mesopotamia and southeastern Anatolia. This includes their Indo-European pagan religion prior to them converting to Islam or Christianity, as well the local myths, legends and folklore that they produced after becoming Muslims. In Kurdish mythology, the ancestors of the Kurds fled to the mountains to escape the oppression of a king named Zahhak. It is believed that these people, like Kaveh the Blacksmith who hid in the mountains over the course of history created a Kurdish ethnicity. Mountains, to this day, are still important geographical and symbolic figures in Kurdish life. In common with other national myths, Kurdish mythology is used for political aims.
The Kurds, as the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia, are directly related to the spiritual heritage that had been accumulating for thousands of years, enriched and subsequently flowed into the spiritual treasury of humanity. The Kurdish people,during a long human evolution, as a genetic guide and a living book, managed to preserve and transmit the practical experience accumulated by mankind and the powerful layers of the cultures of the past millennia that have survived, but could not take advantage of its benefits. The spiritual values of the Kurdish people are consciously and deliberately stealing, the desire to bury into oblivion the past and the present of this people, and wiped out of their existence is precisely explained by this.
Kurdish mythology includes Kurdish and Yazidi myths and legends. The Kurds have a very rich folklore, which until recent times has been transmitted mainly through songs, tales or oral histories, from one generation to another. Even if some stories of great Kurdish authors were famous throughout Kurdistan, most of the stories recited and sung were only written in the XXe and XXIe centuries. Many of these, however, are traditionally centuries old. Very varied, Kurdish folklore denotes a great diversity of stories about nature, anthropomorphic animals, chimeras, love, heroes and villains, mythological creatures and everyday life. Some of these mythological figures can be found in other cultures, such as the simurgh, the kaveh from Iranian mythology, and Shahmeran stories from Anatolia. In addition, some stories may have the sole aim of educational or religious teaching.