Friday, September 07, 2007

The Religion Of Mazdak


Just as Mani's eclectic Faith was a pointer at the germs of decay in the Sasanian body-politic, so also Mazdak's teaching was a pointer at the inevitable downfall towards which the Sasanian Empire was heading. Mani came within one generation of the establishment of Sasanian rule in Iran; Mazdak came towards the end of that rule, about a century before the Empire was overthrown by the Arabs. Both these movements were fiercely and ruthlessly uprooted in the land of their origin, and to all outward appearance it seemed as if the authority of the theocratic state was amply vindicated. But the triumph over Mazdakism was short-lived. There is another similarity between these two movements: Zoroastrian, Christian and Islamic writers have poured unbounded vituperation against both. These unfriendly writings are our only sources of information regarding the teachings of Mazdak. As regards Mani a great deal of new and valuable information has come to light since the Turfan discoveries in 1902. These have shown Mani to have been a really great personage and the founder of a new Faith. But no such finds have yet been discovered to rehabilitate Mazdak.

Still Mazdakism may be viewed as a symptom which indicated a deep-seated cancer in the body-politic of Sasanian Iran. Therefore we should judge this movement after accepting the principle embodied in the saying, "By their fruits shall ye know them".

The founder of the Sasanian dynasty was one of the supermen of history. He was a born leader of men and he led his country and his people to a renovated existence. A man of great fixity of purpose, he carried out to the full the task he had set before himself, and he left to his son a newly established empire, a renowated religion and hundreds of well-trained and enthusiastic men and women ready to carry on the work to its fulfilment. Shapur I, the son of the founder, Ardashir I, was worthy of his father, for he also was a great leader, far above the average. He established the new empire and completed the task of the revival of Zoroastrianism to the satisfaction of all concerned. He loyally carried out his father's admonition, regarding Faith and Royalty as brothers. He fixed firmly and finally the theocratic constitution of the newly established Sasanian empire. By this Zoroastrian clergy acquired powers second only to those possessed by the king himself. And naturally also the landed aristocracy of Iran came in for a good share of political power and emoluments.

Of course, it was never the intention of either Ardashir I or of Shapur I that these two great sections of Iranian society the Zoroastrian clergy and the landowners - should become the oppressors of the masses. As long as the king at the top was a strong man he could hold both these sections in check and could stand between them and the masses. Both Ardashir I and Shapur I understood that the masses would give full support and would be loyal to the state provided they got justice from their king, and so both these rulers were eager to see that justice was done to the meanest of their subjects.

But once the strong hand of the king at the top was removed the two powerful sections would naturally try to consolidate their own power over the masses and to gain new privileges. In justice, however, to the Zoroastrian clergy it must be mentioned that the spread of Christianity throughout Iran was a constant and growing menace to the newly-revived Zoroastrian religion. To add to these difficulties the Christian Roman empire was steadily growing more and more menacing and triculent. Rome was always trying to find some pretext to make war on Iran, nor was Iran at all behind to find excuses for a fight. Armenia, which held a strategic position between the two empires, was itself torn by the religious strife of the Armenian Zoroastrians and Christians; and Rome and Iran being both theocratic, the affairs in Armenia almost always kindled the flames of war. And in these wars the landholders were ever an important factor for they ensured the victories of Iran. And so we find the power of both the Zoroastrian clergy and of the Iranian landholding aristocracy daily growing stronger and more firmly established. When the king was a man of easy-going and pliable temperament both these sections consolidated their gains and tried to acquire yet more. And all this was at the expense of the masses.

Ardashir I and Shapur I did all they could to ensure that the masses got a fair deal. But when they were gone a succession of weaker men ruled the empire from 272 to 309 A.D., which gave time enough to the vasted interests to work their will in the state.

Then came Shapur II (the Great), a unique figure in history. He was a posthumous son, and the succeeded to the empire before he was born. The vested interests naturally looked forward to a fairly long period of minority (at least fifteen years) and they had hopes of moulding the baby king's character to suit their own purposes. But Shapur was a superman, even greater than the first two rulers of his line and at a very early age he gave clear indications that he had a mind of his own and a will also to get whatever he wanted, and that he was a true-born ruler of men. Shapur II wished to curb the powers of the Zoroastrian clergy and of his landholders, for he was wise enough to appreciate the dangers if these were left unchecked. But other events outside Iran forced him to side with his clergy and his aristocracy. Constantine, the Roman Emperor, carried away by his zeal for Christianity, proclaimed himself to be the spiritual head of all the Christian in the world (including, of course, the Christians of Iran). This was more than Shapur II, the proudest of the Sasanians, could tolerate. The poor Christians of Iran found themselves placed in a very false position, torn between two loyalties, to the king of their own country and to the head of their faith, the Roman emperor. Whenever there was war between Iran an Rome (which was practically always0 the Christian of Iran looked upon as foes and "fifth columnists" and had to pay the penalty. This gave the vested interests of good opportunities to launch fierce persecutions agaist the Christians, to which Shapur II, with his offended pride, was not unwilling to lend his support. So on the whole during the long reign of Shapur II (lasting for seventy years) the vested interests had their own way more or less in spite of the strong king.

After Shapur II came a long succession of very ordinary kings and during over one hundred years (379-487 A.D.) there was only one king who was really well above the average. That was Bahram V (Bahramgore, the Hunter of the Wild Ass), but he was busy most of the time with wars with the Huns. One important event happened in the days of Bahram V and that was the final separation of the Iranian Christian Church from the Orthodox Church of Byzantium. The fratricidal strife between the Christians and the Zoroastrians had been going on with ever-increasing ferocity and bitterness ever since the days of Shapur II. Thousands had lost their lives; the manhood of Iran was slowly but surely being bled to death. But after the separation of the Iranian Christian Church from Byzantium the Christians found comparative peace. Still the religious hatred and fanaticism on both sides were of too long a growth to die out completely. Violent polemical writings continued on both sides.

Meanwhile the masses were being ground down relentlessly by the vested interests and seem to have sunk to the deepest depths of poverty and misery. The unsuccessful wars of Firuz I (459-483) against the Huns added to the prevailing discontent. The conditions in Iran soon after the death of Firuz I were almost exactly the same as those prevailing in France on the eve of the French Revolution or in Russia at the end of the First World War. The fruits of these centuries of oppression were soon to be visible in the revolutionary and communicate preaching of Mazdak, who began his work about 488 A.D.

We can but make a guess at the social conditions of Iranian masses by observing the extra violent language in the preaching of Mazdak and in the extremes to which his doctrines went. Even more significant was the extreme rapidity with which Mazdak's teaching was accepted by the masses. Within the course of a few months his followers could be counted by the hundred thousand: and in every part of the vast empire they were drawn from every stratum of society from the king downwards. The king at that time was Kawadh (488-531 A.D.) and in the beginning he openly declared his sympathies with the new preaching. But the vested interests were seriously perturbed and so strongly were they entrenched that the king was forced to leave his throne for a few years (499-501).

Charles Dickens has given a wonderful passage in the last chapter of his A Tale of Two Cities, in which he indicates the connection between revolutions and their causes. Describing the rolling of six tumbrils through the streets of Paris bearing unhappy victims of the guillotine he says:
"Six tumbrils roll along the streets. Change these back to what they were thou powerful enchanter, Time, and they shall be seen to be the carriages of absolute monarchs, the equipages of feudal nobles, the toilettes of flaring Jezebels, the churches that are not my Father's house, but dens of thieves, the huts of millions of starving peasants. No; the great magician who works out the appointed order of the Creator, never reverses his transformation". Further on he adds:
"Crush humanity out of shape under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the seed of rapacious license and oppression over gain and it will yield the same fruit according to its kind". By their fruits, indeed shall ye know them. We do not have any historical records of the seeds sown in Iran, but we possess ample evidence of the hideous fruit, from which we may infer the nature of the seed if the Laws of God have any meaning.

Mazdak might well be termed the first Bolshevik in history. Indeed, in some respects Bolsheviks might be regarded as lukewarm compared to Mazdak; he not only preached communism in worldly possessions but he also advocated an equal division of women among men.

When Kawadh was restored to the throne in 501 A.D. he was made wiser by experience and he withdrew his open support of the Mazdakites. He clearly recognized the seed from which this terrible tree of Mazdakism had grown, and he tried his best during the remaining thirty years of his reign to see that the conditions of the masses were made more tolerable. But he was not strong enough to remove the root causes of Mazdakism. That was reserved for a far greater man than Kawadh. It was his son Khusrav I, known to all Orient by his title Noshiravan, who freed Iran from the Mazdak frenzy.

Khusrav was the favourite son of Kawadh and had been his father's closest friend and consellor during the closing years of Kawadh's reign. Khusrav was easily the greatest ruler Iran ever had. Indeed, he may rank among the six greatest kings in the history of the world. He clearly saw the imminent danger to both the state and the religion from Mazdak's teaching and the first thing he did was to suppress the movement with an iron hand. But at the same time he saw justice done to the masses. Like a good physician he removed not merely the symptoms of the disease but he removed the disease itself. With equal firmness he brought under control the oppressors of the masses. Quite early he won the title of 'Adl' (the Just), for Justice was his watchword. Under his strong and just rule peace and prosperity returned to Iran, and the masses were satisfied. For this achievement his grateful subjects with one voice called him Anushak-Ruban or Noshirwan (he of the immortal soul). To posterity he is known as Noshirwan alone, the most glorious name ever bestowed upon an earthly ruler.

Mazdak was certainly a successor of Mani, because his movement was not merely social but was essentially religious. His extreme ideas were certainly a menace both to society and to religion. They certainly threatened the very existence of Zoroastrian priesthood, and so very naturally he was violently abused by Zoroastrian writers. He has been called Ashemaogha (a disorter of truth) and one commentator on a religious text explains this epithet by adding, "like Mazdak, the Son of Bamdad". The mildest epithet used for him by Zoroastrians is "accursed".

Mazdak's ideas are a natural corollary to the state of Iran in his days, and to the condition of the masses that he had seen with his own eyes. He felt himself obliged to preach extreme communism and an absolute community of possessions, including women. Very likely he was moved by the idea that desperate diseases need desperate remedies. At the same time he also preached a higher ideal of life. He pointed out the value of self-restraint and renunciation of all sense-pleasures including animal food. For this last teaching he has been called "the devil who would not eat". He asserted that the desire for pleasure and possessions constituted the universal cause of all hatred and strife. He also like Mani laid stress on Zoroaster's teaching of the two essential principles of Good and evil which pervade our life on earth. He also enjoined the strict purity of God's "elements", fire, water and earth. But we have very scanty positive knowledge of what he actually taught.

Mazdak was treacherously murdered and many of his closest adherents lost their lives at the same time. Then followed a systematic suppression of all Mazdakites, often with much bloodshed. But though outwardly uprooted and completely destroyed the teachings of Mazdak continued to flourish for several centuries after his murder. Under the rule of the Islamic caliphs of Baghdad several "heretical sects" have been noted by historians. They all seemed to get their inspiration from the teachings of Mazdak, for they cite him as their authority. But what is more surprising and very significant is that many of these "heretical sects" have coupled the name of Mazdak with that of Zoroaster, the Prophet of ancient Iran.

By I. J. S. Taraporewala


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Yezidism: Historical Roots


Kurdistan, the cradle of ancient civilizations, has seen many races, people, religions and cultures during the past few thousand years. From the beginning of classical history two old-world civilizations, Aryan and Semitic, met, formed bonds, and were mutually influenced on the soil of Kurdistan. To a lesser or greater extent, they left their marks on this soil, particularly in the religious beliefs of the people of Kurdistan.

Along with the religions that came from outside, notably Christianity, Islam and Judaism, those native to Kurdistan continue to exist on Kurdish soil. Yezidism, Yarsanism and Alewism still have large numbers of adherents and defenders. To better understand the history and culture of the people of Kurdistan, it is imperative to conduct research into these religions. Unfortunately, to date, such research is all too rare.

Scholarly study of the Yezidis began in 1850 when German Scholar Dr. August Neander read a paper on Yezidi religion at the Prussian Academy of Science. (1) Thereafter, many books and commentaries on the topic were published; but to this day it is not clear when and on what foundations Yezidism came into existence.

Yezidis believe their religion to be ancient and to predate Islam by at least a thousand years. Although some foreign scholars maintain that Yezidism began with Sheikh Adi and view him as its founder, no Yezidi accepts this claim. In fact, Yezidis believe that prior to accepting Islam, all Kurds belonged to Yezidism. Here I examine the basis of this conviction.

Today most Kurds believe that before accepting Islam, Kurds were Zoroastrians. Spread by Kurdish intellectuals and continuing to gain credence, the belief is predicated on the following: Zoroastrianism is an Iranian religion; the Kurds are also Iranian. Therefore their pre-Islamic religion must be Zoroastrianism. In addition, it is easier for Kurds, the majority of whom are Muslim, to accept the belief that their pre-Islamic religion was Zoroastrianism rather than Yezidism.

In line with its belief in people of the Book, Islam does not recognize Yezidism as a religion. Moreover, the negative view of Muslims with regard to the Angel Peacock--who in the religion of the Yezidis is second only to God--has been the cause of conflict between Muslims and Yezidis for a thousand years or more. Consequently, the belief that Kurds were Yezidis prior to the advent of Islam has not been accepted by most Muslims. Undoubtedly, a significant reason for the refusal to recognize Yezidism as the ancient religion of the Kurds is that there are no significant studies on Yezidism. Along with foreigners, most Kurds know virtually nothing of its foundations, nor do they know what Yezidis hold sacred. The study of Yezidi history and religion and the clarification and dissemination of its belief system would serve to facilitate understanding, thereby rectifying the causes of hundreds of massacres and deportations.

Between the 8th and 9th centuries BC, Iranian tribes settled in today's Kurdistan. They were followers of Aryan and Indian religious beliefs. According to Kurdish scholar Taufiq Wahbi, their main deity, which symbolized the good and the wholesome, was Baba Asman. He was the counterpart of the Indian god, Diyaus Pitar. (2) Secondary gods (sun, moon, stars) were called "Diva" or "Divas," i.e., those that give light.

Zoroastrianism was for hundreds of years the reigning religion and exerted considerable influence on the Kurds and their beliefs. But I believe that while some Kurds in the east accepted Zoroastrianism, the majority did not. They remained faithful to their own ancient religion.

R. Reshid writes that during the 6th century BC, Zoroastrianism spread to the land of the Medes, but did not become dominant because already in place was an indigenous and powerful religion preceding Zoroastrianism. (3) Later, when Zoroastrianism gained strength, those who remained faithful to the old religion were called "Deva Yasna," meaning the "Slaves of Dew." According to a number of Kurdish researchers, with some variations "Deva Yasna" has survived among the Kurds. The word "dasni," which is the name of a tribe of Yezidi Kurds and was the name of a Yezidi principality, is a variation of "Deva Yasna." (4) Throughout history all Yezidis have been called "dasini." It is evident that the dasinis were at some stage dispersed throughout a large area. A.H. Layard writes that there is a tribe called dasini in the mountains near Silemani [Sulaimania in south/Iraqi Kurdistan]. (5) It is likely that the name "dewperest" [dew-worshippers; many regard "dews" a degree below angels], which is used to refer to some Yezidis, comes from that era.

In the "Zend Avesta," dews are called "diva" in Pehlevi [or Pahlavi, people from which the fallen Shah of Iran claimed lineage] language. In Semitic languages the word "Seyd" like the word "diva" becomes "seydan" among many people. (6) It is evident that when Zoroastrianism was spreading, the people of the Median Empire, who were called "dewperest," were able to defend their religion and did not accept Zoroastrianism. Later the name "dewperest" among the Semitic peoples and the leaders of religions that accepted the principles espoused by the Semites became "seytanperest" [Satan-worshippers]. It became convenient for the Zoroastrians to equate the name of Risti Vega-Azhi-Dahak, the emperor of the Medes, with evil. Wahbi is of this belief. The evil king "Zohak" in [Persian poet] Firdousi's epoch story "Shahname" is Azhi Dahak. (7)

According to Zoroastrian legend, god would stop the flow of water through cities, leaving residents with no alternative but to sacrifice selected maidens. Then god would restore the water flow. (8) Later, they depicted god as a serpent. This is the source of the Yezidi practice of swearing by the yellow serpent. To the Yezidis, Azhi Dahak does not represent evil. They have not accepted Zoroastrian religious beliefs.

Nikolay Marr, an expert on the east and the Kurds, maintains that Yezidism is a distinct religion. "Here we see the remnants of an ancient religion, an original one," he writes. (9) Although some researchers, Qanate Kurdo, for example, (10) note that fire and hearth are sacred to the Kurds, some scholars view this sanctity as a remnant of Zoroastrianism (11). However they forget that in the religion of the Yezidis, fire and hearth are sacred as well.

According to Wahbi, during the 4th and 5th centuries AD the majority of Kurds east of the Zagros, Cizir, Botan, Kirkuk, and those in the mountains of southeast Kurdistan were not Zoroastrians. (12) We see that the people of the Medes' Empire, whom we regard as the ancestors of the Kurds, were not Zoroastrians. Moreover, the last emperor of the Medes, Rishti Vega-Azhi Dahak, killed Zoroaster, ruled his followers and overthrew Vishtaspa. His army reached the southwest of Afghanistan. During that attack, the army of the Medes inflicted cruelties on Zoroastrians. No doubt this explains in large measure why the Zoroastrians equated the name Azhi Dahak with oppression and cruelty.

In the Persian language large serpents are called dragons. Dragon is the name given to the emperor, Azhi Dahak. It is linked to Newroz as well, for the name of the cruel ruler is Dahak. Three years later, in 549 BC, the founder of the Akkadian Empire, Cyrus the Great, grandson of Rishti Vega-Azhi Dahak, conquered the capital city Ekbatana and put an end to the Median Empire. Because it was three years or so after the attack by Azhi Dahak, it is not far fetched to assume that on this occasion the Zoroastrians took revenge on the locals and forced the angel-worshippers to pack up and leave.

The name of the Median Empire has not remained in history. Moreover, it has been forgotten by its own people. The religion of the Medes was supplanted by three religions emanating from it, which remain to this day: Yezidism, Yarsanism and Alewism.

M. R. Izady surmises that the name of that religion was Yazdani, but he is not 100% convinced. (13) Nevertheless, in his research to differentiate it from Yezidism, he uses the name. Both names refer to angels. The name might have been Yazdani, but it could also have been Yezidi. To differentiate between the two, I will call the religion of the Median Empire Yazdani.

Undoubtedly, over the past thousands of years and owing to significant changes introduced by Sheikh Adi, neither religion could have remained intact and unchanged. Nevertheless, they have much in common. The foundation of Yezidism is that there is but one God, with neither partner nor equal, and seven angels headed by Angel Peacock. Among the Yazdani sects of our day, Alewis and Yarsanis, beliefs are founded on the worship of seven angels.

Yezidis believe in the shedding of one's skin, that purity comes from pure skin. This belief also existed in the Yazdani religion, wherein those who come out of pure skins are called "Bab" or "Baba." (Baba is an Aramaic word, meaning gate. Baba is the gate where 'truth' manifests itself.) This name has survived to our day among the Yezidis; for example, Baba Sheikh, Baba Qewal, and Baba Chawish. Those unfamiliar with the meaning and origin of the word "Baba" confuse it with the word "Bav," which means father. They say Bave Sheikh, Bave Qewal, Bave Chawish. But this is incorrect. As mentioned above, when the Iranian tribes arrived in today's Kurdistan during the 7th to 9th centuries BC, their supreme deity was called Baba Esman.

Like the Yezidis, Yazdanis hid their religious beliefs from foreigners. But neither has ever harbored animosity toward other religions. They believe that God sends a new prophet for each era to teach humans the correct path, to protect themselves from evil. Therefore, the appearance of new religions has an auspicious purpose: keeping them from that which is false and that which is evil. Though the Yezidis and Yazdanis share the belief that from time to time a new prophet emerges to protect humanity, the religions are not always known by the name of the prophet. The Yazdani religion has absorbed beliefs from other religions, new denominations have emerged from within it, and over a thousand years it has undergone major changes. Yezidis easily adopted the beliefs and interpretations of Sheikh Adi and his disciples. However, it becomes apparent that having done so, the religion did not remain the same. Nevertheless, Yezidi religion harbors no animosity toward new religions.

Throughout history the color red has been a symbol for Yazdanis and their denominations. In Yezidi religion, it is said, "Religion is the religion of the red Yezidi". When a Yezidi boy is circumcised, he is required to say, "I am a lamb of the red Yezidi". The Yezidi New Year is celebrated on "Red Wednesday." Among the Yazdanis there was a weekly celebration of "Cam" followed by the major annual celebration of "Cam." According to Pir Xidir e Sileman, before the attack of the Prince of Rewanduz in 1832, Yezidis held a weekly "Cam." Sheikh Rostem says that Friday is the get-together day for men. (1414) The name of this annual Yezidi celebration appears in two forms: Cam and Cum.

He too believes that "Cam" was a weekly event. But in recent years only the large annual celebration is held during the time of the Yezidi pilgrimage. Both Yezidis and Yazdanis fast for three days, as do Yarsanis and Alewis. Like the Yezidis, Yazdanis have no holy book.

Among Yazdanis, the dog symbolized the good, and the serpent symbolized the bad. The serpent with the head of a dog symbolized progress. Depictions of dogs and serpents appear on the walls of Holy Lalish [the Yezidi Holy Temple in south/Iraqi Kurdistan]. On the other hand, Yezidis do not view the serpent as a symbol of the bad. Quite the contrary; the serpent commands respect because a serpent saved the boat of Nu Nebi from sinking. In fact, Yezidis believe that killing a serpent is sinful.

According to Yazdani belief, the good and the bad are of equal importance in the material world and are fundamental to its existence. Yazdanis believe that one is not possible without the other. If there is no cold then there can be no warm; if there is no low then there can be no high; if there is no darkness there can be no light. In this belief we find the seeds of Hegel's dialectics.

There was no hell and no heaven in physical form among the Yazdanis. Today, the belief in heaven and hell exists among the Yezidis, but it is not fundamental to their religion. The Yezidi believes that the souls of good men go first to heaven and then return in other good men. After complete purification, the soul joins God, but does not go to heaven. Apparently this belief in heaven and hell became a part of the Yezidi belief system following changes introduced by Sheikh Adi. But they are not essential. Like the Yazdanis, Yezidis hold sacred the numbers 7 and 3. In both religions, drinking alcohol is permissible.

I believe that these examples from the religions of the Yazdanis and the Yezidis, which are essential beliefs, provide evidence that both religions have the same origin. Even if the Medes were not Yezidis, the Yezidi religion originated in their empire and therefore represents a branch of the empire's religion.

There is an interesting belief about Prophet Zoroaster. Sheikh Dewresh Kelesh would say that Zoroaster was a Yezidi who left us. When he returned we did not accept his religion. It is evident from Iranian history that Zoroaster came from the people who lived around Lake Ourmiya. He remained on Mt. Ararat for two years and then returned to his people as a prophet preaching a new religion. He spent ten years recruiting converts among the people around Ourmiya, but his efforts drew only one person to his beliefs. Finally, he went to the Persians, among whom he found fertile ground for his teachings. This lends credibility to the claim that the sayings of Sheikh Dewresh are not baseless.

The similarities between Yezidism and Zoroastrianism are numerous. Moreover, contrary to the writings of some scholars, Yezidism did not emanate from Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism originated from Yezidism. Before Zoroaster became the prophet of a new religion, he was either a Yezidi or belonged to Yezidism.


(1) Neader, A., Uber die Elemente, aus denen die Lehran der Yezidies harrorgegagen zu Sein scheinen. Berlin: Wissenschaftliche Abhandlugen, Berlin, 1851, pp. 112-39.

(2) Wahbi, Taufiq, Dini caranay kurd. Baghdad: Kov. Gelawej, N 11-12, 1940, pp. 51-52.

(3) Reshad Sebri Reshid (Reshad Miran) Etnokonfessionalnaya situasiya v sovremennom Kurdistane. Moskva-Sankt-Peterburg: Nauka, 2004, p. 16.

(4) Mehmed Mesud, Risalek li risali zimanekeman. Baghdad: Kovari Nusari Kurd, No. 6, 1986.

(5) Layard, A.H., A Popular Account of Discoveries at Nineveh. New York: J.C. Derby, 1854, p. 206

(6) Nebez, Cemal, Saricdanek li mitolociyeyi kurd. Stockholm: 1986, p 53.

(7) Wahbi, Taufiq, Li nawcuni madakan kirdareki din bu, kov. Gelawej, 1940, N 8 Bexda, p. 35.

(8) Yahiya 'Ebdulxani' Eli, al-Imlak zu al-ruus al-sab'a, (dewe hevt seri), kov. Karwan, 1983, N13, Hewler, 121-130. (Me ev jederk ji pirtuka R.S. Re Oid, Etnokonfessionalnaya situasiya v sovremennom Kurdistane, 'Nauka' Moskva-Sankt-Peterburg, 2004, p. 66, hildaye

(9) N. Marr, YeOco o slove celebi., ZBOPAO, XX, Sankt-Peterburg, 1912, p. 189.

(10) K.K. Kurdoyev (Qanate Kurdo), Kurdi. Moskva: Narodi predney Azii. 1957, p. 252. (In Russian)

(11) Reshad Sebri Reshid, p. 18.

(12) Wahbi, Tawfiq, Dini carani kurd, Kovara Gelawej, 1941, jim. 11-12, p. 67

(13) Mehrdad R. Izady, The Kurds; A concise Handbook. Washington: Taylor & Francis, 1992.

(14) The name of this annual Yezidi celebration appears in two forms: Cam and Cum.

By Tosine Reshid