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Sacred Books and Traditions of the Yezidiz, by Isya Joseph, [1919], at

p. 195



The Yezidis dwell principally in five districts, the most prominent among these being that of Šeiḫan. This term is the Persian plural of šeiḫ, an old man; and it signifies the country where šeiḫs dwell. This district lies northeast of Mosul, covering a wide area in which are many villages. It is their Palestine. In it lies their Mecca, Lalish, where their sacred shrine, the tomb of Šeiḫ ‘Adî, is. Lališh is the centre of their national and religious life. It is situated in a deep, picturesque valley. Its slopes are covered with a dense wood, and at the bottom of it runs the sacred water. Other notable places here are the two adjoining villages, Ba‘ašiḳa and Baḥazanie, at the foot of the mountain of Rabban Hormuzd, a six hours' ride from Mosul. The former is the center of the tombs of their šeiḫs; the latter is their principal burial place, to which bodies are carried from all the various districts. It was formerly a Christian village with a monastery. And Ba‘adrie, northeast of the City of Mosul, about ten hours' ride away, is the village where their amir resides. It is close to Šeiḫ ‘Adî's.

Next in importance is Jabal Sinjar. The term "Sinjar" is Persian, meaning a bird, perhaps an eagle. It signifies that its inhabitants are, like the eagle, safe and cannot be caught. 2 Sinjar is about three days' journey from Mosul. It is a solitary range, fifty


195:2 p. Anastase: Al-Mašrik, vol. II, p. 831.

p. 196

miles long and nine miles broad, rising in the midst of the desert. From its summit, the eye ranges on one side over the vast level wilderness stretching to the Euphrates, and on the other over the plain bounded by the Tigris and the lofty mountains of Kurdistan. Nisibin and Mardin are both visible in the distance. One can see the hills of Ba‘adrie and Šeiḫ ‘Adî. Among the sacred places of this district are two villages: Assofa, where two ziarahs are found, and distinguished from afar by their white spires, and Aldina, where one ziarah exists. In almost every Sinjar village, there is to be found a covered water which they use as a fortress during their fights with the Kurds or with the Turkish army. The devil-worshippers of this locality are commonly called Yezidis, while those of Šeiḫan are known both as Yezidis and Dawaseni.

Another district is Ḫalitiyeh, which includes all the territory north and northeast of the Tigris in the province of Diarbeker. The Malliyeh region includes all the territory west of the Euphrates and Aleppo. And. the Saraḥdar section includes the Caucasus in southern Russia. Some regard the Lepchos of India also as Yezidis, who, in the early appearance of the sect, went there to proselyte the Hindoos. 3

196:3 Cf. Al-Mašrik, vol. II, p. 734.

Next: V. Dwellings