Kurdish mythology

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, as well the local myths, legends and folklore that they produced after becoming Muslims.

Before Islam

Traditional beliefs

Further information: Proto-Indo-Iranian religion

Kurdish people originally worshipped a Parthenon or class of gods called dêw, which are known as Daeva in English, although these gods were later seen as evil monsters, trolls or giants. They were replace by the ahurâ gods, known in English as Asura, before they were merged into Ahura Mazda. The Kurds believes in a terrifying dragon that they called ejdîha, which is known as Zahhak in English.

Origin story

Main article: Origin of the Kurds

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.[1] 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.[2][3]

After Islamification

The Sasanian king Chosroes II Parvez is highly esteemed in the Kurdish oral tradition, literature and mythology.[4]

See also


  1. John Bulloch, Harvey Morris (1993), No Friends but the Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds, p. 50
  2. O'SHEA M. T. Between the map and the reality : some fundamental myths of Kurdish nationalism.
  3. RÖ DÖNMEZ (2012). "CONSTRUCTING KURDISH NATIONALIST IDENTITY THROUGH LYRICAL NARRATIVES IN POPULAR MUSIC" (PDF). Alternative Politics/Alternatif Politika. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 12, 2014. The narrative is based on Kurdish mythology for political targets and the aesthetics of territory
  4. "Kurdish Library - Kurdish Museum". Summer 1991. pp. 117–123.

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