The Yezidis

The History of a Community, Culture and Religion

Author: Birgül Açikyildiz

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857720619

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 6176

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Yezidism is a fascinating part of the rich cultural mosaic of the Middle East. The Yezidi faith emerged for the first time in the twelfth century in the Kurdish mountains of northern Iraq. The religion, which has become notorious for its associations with ‘devil worship’, is in fact an intricate syncretic system of belief, incorporating elements from proto-Indo-European religions, early Iranian faiths like Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, Sufism and regional paganism like Mithraism. Birgül Açikyildiz here offers a comprehensive appraisal of Yezidi religion, society and culture. Written without presupposing any prior knowledge about Yezidism, and in an accessible and readable style, her book examines Yezidis not only from a religious point of view but as a historical and social phenomenon. She throws light on the origins of Yezidism, and charts its development and changing fortunes - from its beginnings to the present- as part of the general history of the Kurds. Her book is the first to place Yezidism in its complete geographical setting in Northern Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Transcaucasia. The author describes the Yezidi belief system (which considers Tawûsî Melek - the ‘Peacock Angel’ - to be ruler of the earth) and its religious practices and observances, analysing the most important facets of Yezidi religious art and architecture (including funerary monuments and zoomorphic tombstones) and their relationship to their neighbours throughout the Middle East. Açikyildiz also explores the often misunderstood connections between Yezidism and the Satan/Sheitan of Christian and Muslim tradition. Richly illustrated, with accompanying maps, photographs and illustrations, this pioneering book will have strong appeal to all those with an interest in the culture of the Kurds, as well as the wider region.
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The Yezidis

Author: Eszter Spät

Publisher: Saqi Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Poetry

Page: 96

View: 7890

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The Yezidis, an ancient enigmatic Kurdish mountain people, are considered one of the oldest ethnicities in the Middle East, and often derided as ‘devil-worshippers’. Distinct from the majority Sunni Kurds, Yezidis’ religion evolved through a fusion of Sufism with earlier religious beliefs indigenous to the region, including Zoroastrian, Jewish, Gnostic and Christian motifs. They attribute a prominent place to their protector, the Peacock Angel, traditionally identified with Satan by Muslims. Historically labelled as heretics and mercilessly persecuted, the Yezidis developed a unique culture and caste system. More recently, under Saddam Hussein, Yezidi culture underwent radical changes, with the forced resettlement into collective villages and geographic isolation reinforced by the political fallout from the Second Gulf War. Along with her enquiry into the meaning and manner of their practices, Spät takes note of the increasing demands of modernisation and the shifting balance of power in the region, and also observes the stirrings of inner strife in an otherwise tough, resilient community that has endured continuous attempts at eradication over centuries. The author has made repeated visits to Iraqi Kurdistan since 2002, observing and recording the Yezidi way of life and has been given rare access to their holiest sites and rituals.
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Survival Among The Kurds

Author: Guest,

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136157360

Category: Social Science

Page: 386

View: 1537

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First published in 1993. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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The Yezidi Oral Tradition in Iraqi Kurdistan

Author: Christine Allison

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136746552

Category: Social Science

Page: 313

View: 3420

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The Yezidis are a Kurdish-speaking religious minority, neither Muslim, Christian nor Jewish. Their ethnicity has been disputed, but most now claim Kurdish identity. Their heartland, including their holiest shrine, is in the Badinan province of Northern Iraq, and it is the communities in this area which are the main focus of this book. Their highly eclectic religion appears to contain many elements of 'the religions of the book', especially Sufism, upon a foundation of ancient Iranian belief and practice.
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Yezidis in Syria

Identity Building among a Double Minority

Author: Sebastian Maisel

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739177753

Category: Social Science

Page: 204

View: 8415

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Yezidis in Syria: Identity Building among a Double Minority traces the development of Yezidi identity on the margins of Syria’s minority context. This little known group is connected to the community’s main living area in northern Iraq, but evolved as a separate identity group in the context of Syria’s colonial, national, and revolutionary history. Always on the bottom of the socio-economic hierarchy, the two sub-groups located in the Kurdagh and the Jezira experience a period of sociological and theological renewal in their quest for a recognized and protected status in the new Syria. In this book, Sebastian Maisel transmits and analyzes the Yezidi perspective on Syria’s policies towards ethnic and religious minorities.
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The Religion of the Peacock Angel

The Yezidis and Their Spirit World

Author: Garnik S. Asatrian,Victoria Arakelova

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317544293

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 400

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Based in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, the Yezidi people claim their religion - a unique combination of Christian, Islamic, and historical faiths - to be the oldest in the world. Yezidi identity centres on their religion, Sharfadin, which has evolved into a highly complex pantheon of one God with many incarnations, the chief of whom is Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel. The Yezidi faith can be traced to a range of pre-Islamic belief systems, such as Sufism, some extreme Shi'ite sects, Gnosticism and other traditions surviving from the ancient world. This particular formulation has served to unify Yezidi religious identity and ethnicity. Based on extensive fieldwork, 'The Religion of the Peacock Angel' presents the first detailed examination of the Yezidi pantheon. The idea of one God and his chief incarnations is first analysed, then the various 'deity figures,' saints, holy patrons and divinized personalities in the Yezidi belief system are considered in the context of related religious traditions. The study determines the place of all these characters in the system of the Yezidi faith, defining their main functions, features, and genealogies.
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The Black Book of the Yezidis

Author: Jon Lange

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN: 9781547149568

Category:

Page: 146

View: 6158

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The Black Book of the Yezidis was first published in English over 120 years ago. Since then it has garnered much critical attention by ethnologists and theologians, receiving condemnation in some quarters as a fake, and in others a nod of approval as being possibly the only legitimate text (along with the Book of the Revelation) that gives some insight into these remarkable people and their beliefs. The editor has done an outstanding job in compiling six different translations and providing exhaustive notes. His introduction explains how this short text has been perceived by the outside world and believes it should be taken more seriously as it in essence contains a grain of truth. An extensive bibliography is also provided for those who may wish to do some further research into the Yezidis who are now being forced to scatter abroad, far from their homeland of Iraq, thanks to the ongoing political turmoil in their country. Hopefully this book will compensate for any injustices they have already suffered, and will enable others to view them with a deeper appreciation.
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