What is included with this book?
The minority communities of northern Iraq are under increasingly severe threat from Islamic State jihadists. Among these minorities, the Yezidis have one of the most remarkable legacies of any tradition in the Middle East. Yet not just their religious and material culture but now their entire existence is in peril as entire populations seek refuge from their violent oppressors.
But who are the Yezidis (or 'Yazidis' as in much of the Western media)? The community has been misunderstood and oppressed for centuries. Predominantly ethnic Kurds, and the target of persecution over many centuries, until now they have succeeded in keeping their ancient religion alive despite the claim that they are 'devil worshippers.'
This is the essential guide to a threatened tradition. It reveals an intricate system of belief influenced by Zoroastrianism and Sufism and regional paganism like Mithraism. It explores the origins of the Yezidis, their art and architecture and the often misunderstood (and now progressively life-threatening) connections between Yezidism and the Satan/Sheitan of Christian and Muslim tradition. Extensively illustrated, with maps, photographs and illustrations, this pioneering book is a testimonial to one of the region's most extraordinary and ancient peoples.
List of Illustrations
PART I: ORIGINS, HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
1. Yezidis in Mesopotamia and Anatolia
2. Yezidis in Syria
3. Yezidis in Transcaucasia
PART II: RELIGIOUS BELIEF SYSTEM
3. God, Angels and the Trinity
The Peacock Angel (Tawûsî Melek)
4. Yezidi Mythology
Creation of Cosmos and Universe
Creation of Human Being
5. Holy Books
6. Religious Hierarchy
PART III: RELIGIOUS PRACTICES, OBSERVANCES AND RITUALS
7. Haircut, Baptism, Circumcision, Brother of the Hereafter, Marriage, Death
11. Festivals and Ceremonies
CHAPTER IV: MATERIAL CULTURE
13. Homeland, Landscape, Sacred Places
14. Places of Worship
15. The Sanctuary
18. The Baptistery