9781784532161

The Yezidis The History of a Community, Culture and Religion

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781784532161

  • ISBN10:

    1784532169

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/16/2014
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris
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Summary

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.

Author Biography

A specialist in medieval Islamic and Ottoman art and architecture, and an expert on Yezidi religion and culture, Birgül Acikyildiz is Professor of the History of Art at Mardin Artuklu University. Before taking this post she was Research Fellow in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, and taught in the Department of Islamic Art and Archaeology of the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
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
God (Xwedê)
Angels
The Peacock Angel (Tawûsî Melek)
Sultan Êzi
Sheikh 'Ad?
4. Yezidi Mythology
Creation of Cosmos and Universe
Creation of Human Being
The Flood
5. Holy Books
6. Religious Hierarchy
PART III: RELIGIOUS PRACTICES, OBSERVANCES AND RITUALS
7. Haircut, Baptism, Circumcision, Brother of the Hereafter, Marriage, Death
8. Prayer
9. Fast
10. Pilgrimage
11. Festivals and Ceremonies
12. Taboos
CHAPTER IV: MATERIAL CULTURE
13. Homeland, Landscape, Sacred Places
14. Places of Worship
15. The Sanctuary
16. Mausoleums
17. Shrines
18. The Baptistery
19. Caves
20. Tombstones
Conclusion
Appendixes
Glossary
Notes
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

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