Some Folklore Beliefs in Kobane Elderlies' Memories - Part 1

Diyar Hami

(Reasons and Application)

A Preface on the Folklore Beliefs:

Folklore beliefs are those ideas that people have about their surrounding world and the nature and environment that may have come from human beings' lives. This is different from one nation to another and imagination can play a special role in it to give it a particular form. Some people think that this is the motivating energy of all the social behaviors of the individuals who carry them out as individuals or in groups. The members of these groups feel obligated to carry out these behaviors. That is, this motivating energy forces itself on all the different social behaviors that are done daily.

The folklore belief is a cultural and behavioral heritage dominating the hearts and minds of those people who do not care if they are true or not obeying them in any circumstances. These beliefs have a special place in people's soul. They are carved into their minds. They can be heard in common phrases and proverbs and have become a part of people's thoughts. Sometimes these beliefs make people feel optimistic and sometimes they make them pessimistic and fearful.

Usually, these folklore beliefs are about supernatural creatures, dreams, people's bodies, plants, bones, rocks, and metals. They have become an inevitable part of a society's culture.

Folklore Beliefs Among Kurds

The folklore beliefs can be seen among any culture or any part of the world distinguishing from one country to another and from one society to another. Every society possesses some beliefs based on their own cultures. These beliefs have an influential role in every nation's lives and generally, they are a part of that nation's soul. Among Kurds, these beliefs have a great impact since they are established in Kurdish people's minds and souls tying their lives to them. In addition to this, these beliefs can be a fearful part of their lives however, most of them feel relaxed by those beliefs that are about health and avoiding bad fate.

Beliefs About the Animals:

1.1 Owl:

According to social beliefs, owls are a symbol of wickedness, destruction, wrong, and threat. In fact, owls live in ruins and they make their nests in destructed and ruined places where no one lives so the social belief about them is that when an owl goes somewhere, a bad thing, a disaster will happen there which will destroy that place. This belief and fear about owls still exist among people.

1.2 Pigeon:

The social belief about this bird is that it used to be a human being in ancient times. It is said that a brother and sister were strolling together, they disagreed on some points while discussing some matters and thus, the sister killed her younger brother. The sister has regretted her crime greatly and she has asked God to change her into a bird. This is why the pigeon is still cocooning and crying for her brother. This story, like the other stories that a society creates, is narrated to make something meaningful. Since this society has heard the pigeons wrapping all the time, they have created a story for it.   

1.3 Snake:

There is a belief that seeing a snake symbolizes going on a trip. If a pedestrian sees a snake while going somewhere, they feel happy because it means that this path is safe. There is also a saying that: a snake that does not bite you makes you live for a thousand years. This means passing by a snake that does not bite you is a blessing.

To be continued…



- Mawlood Bakoush (2020), Seminar on Anthropology of Social Expressions, Abubakr Belqayed Telsman University.

- Interview with the elderly in Kobani.

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