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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

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][better source needed] 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 Islam

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


Shahmaran (or Şahmaran) is a mythical creature in Kurdish Folklore, she's believed to be a human-snake hybrid that lived in a cave, and she was considered the wisdom goddess to protect secrets. Tt's also believed that when shahmaran dies her spirit passes to her daughter.[5][6]

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. Archived from the original on 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  3. ^ RÖ DÖNMEZ (2012). "CONSTRUCTING KURDISH NATIONALIST IDENTITY THROUGH LYRICAL NARRATIVES IN POPULAR MUSIC" (PDF). Alternative Politics. 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.
  5. ^ Nakamura, Toru (2019). Snakes, Birds and Dreams. Dorrance Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 9781480991132.
  6. ^ Emmanuel, Raphael (1944). The Ring of Shah Maran, a Story from the Mountains of Kurdistan. the University of Michigan.