Value of color turquoise in Kurdish culture

9/18/2022 4:17:47 PM
 Yarsani painting, painted mostly in turquoise.
 Himdad Mustafa
Pîrozayî is Kurdish for the color turquoise which translates into holy or sacred.

Our ancestors believed that turquoise stones were broken off from the sky voluntarily, and God sent them to earth for blessings. Turquoise stones are still used by Kurdish nomads to ward off evil spirits. Yarsanis extensively use turquoise in their art and clothing whereas among the Yezidi Kurds wearing it is forbidden since they see it as the color of their first archangel Tawusi Melek.

The turquoise stones, coins and corals are regularly found on Kurdish necklaces, especially richly decorated necklaces known as “Gardana.” It was believed that turquoise adds magical significance to the decoration. Women often wore small, gold earrings or nose rings decorated with turquoise stones called " khazem" or " lutawana."


1- A Kurdish necklace, from rural areas of northern Kurdistan, the coins are dated 1875 CE. (Source: Nada, on Ethnic Jewels).

2- Kurdish amulet necklace, based on the coin and the jewelry style it could be dated to the 19th century.

3- Yarsani painting.

4 – Mekhek or Mêxek in Kurdish that translates into (cloves) necklace.

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