Festival promotes unique culture of Kurdish Hawraman region
MARIWAN, Iran – Local people and officials have organized a festival to preserve and promote the culture and craftwork of the Hawraman region over the weekend.
Hawraman is a mountainous region that is divided between Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan lands. Its people speak a dialect of Kurdish called Hawrami that is different from the two main Kurdish dialects of Sorani and Kurmanji.
The Kurdish city of Mariwan, known for handmade Kurdish shoes known as Klash or Givah, hosted the event.
During the festival, organizers presented movies, poetry, and music that played a role in promoting the culture of Hawraman.
Among Kurds, Hawrami people are known for their unique traditional songs and handwoven Kurdish clothing.
The mayor of Mariwan stated recently that 90 percent of the town’s population is employed in the Givah business, making the soft, handwoven Kurdish shoes and generating millions of dollars in revenue.
The population of Mariwan was 168, 000 in 2011.
Many Kurdish adherents of the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism believe the founder, Zoroaster or Zardasht as he is called in Kurdish, was a Kurd and he spoke a variation of Kurdish language called Avesta.
Kurdish Zoroastrians believe that the Kurdish dialect of Hawrami has many similarities to the ancient language.
Hawramis believe that the language has remained largely intact due to their limited contact with the outside world. Their mountainous areas kept them safe from foreign rule for much of their history.
Photos: Bahman Shabazi