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Words of Wisdom

Yezidism: A Rich Spiritual Tradition and Its People, Part 2 of 2

Iraq
2019-08-20

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The spiritual life of the Yezidis has been preserved primarily by oral tradition. Therefore, it is a living religion of the spirit which only recently has been recorded into texts. But there are guardians of the sacred textual tradition of Yezidism, and they are called the Qewwals, literally meaning “professionals of the world.” The Qewwals are the interpreters of the sacred textual tradition of Yezidism, touring the communities living some way away from Lalish in Iraq, which is the most sacred place to the Yezidis. In the presence of an image of the Peacock symbolizing the venerated deity Tawusi Melek, the Qewwals preach sermons and sing hymns while playing the holy instruments of Yezidism: the def (tambourine) and shibab (flute).
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