Iran and the Caucasus 12 (2008) 217-251 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/157338408X406029 T h e L o s t S a n j a q P e t e r N i c o l a u s 1 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Tbilisi A b s t r a c t The seven sanjaqs , or sacred images of Malak Tawus, are the most concrete expres- sion of Yezidism and considered the holiest of the holy ritual objects of that relig- ion. Only a handful of non-Yezidis have ever seen one, and very little is known about them. The latter holds, in particular, true with regard to the so-called Moskovi- sanjaq . Before World War I it was sent to the Russian Empire (East Anatolia and the Transcaucasus) every year, but was reported lost in 1914. Based on numerous interviews with Yezidis in Armenia, as well as on official correspondence between British, Iraqi, and Soviet authorities, the first part of the article reconstructs the odyssey of the Moskovi-sanjaq and the seven priests ( qewwals ) carrying it. It confirms that after 16 years of wandering through the Transcaucasus, five of the seven qewwals
Iran and the Caucasus – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: YEZIDISM; SHEIKH; ARMENIAN YEZIDIS; YEZIDIS; ISMAIL BEG; MALAK TAWUS; PEACOCK ANGEL; SANJAQ
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