Abstract

The goal of this qualitative study is to evaluate whether shamanism, practiced by koçeks and faqrya (the Yezidi terms for traditional shamanic practitioners), continues as a practice among diasporic Yezidis, and, if so, in what manner. I accomplish this through a series of oral, remote interviews with Yezidis living in Germany. The interview subjects comprise a cross-sectional sample that includes men and women from the three Yezidi castes (Sheikh, Pir, Murid). Through the multiple testimonies these interviews garnered regarding shamanic praxis in the context of Germany, I determine that, in spite of the disruptions of forced migration and geographical distance, the Yezidis' practices of prophecy and healing parallel those described in Tyler Fisher, Nahro Zagros, and Muslih Mustafa's prior research in 2016 in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Yezidi homeland. The continuations of the shamanic tradition in the Yezidi diaspora evince strong connections to its origins in Iraqi Kurdistan, principally maintained through travel and remote communications. These practical factors facilitate ongoing connections and continuities. More importantly and of greater interest is the versatility inherent in the Yezidis' perceptions and practice of shamanism— a versatility that illustrates a broader propensity for adaptation characteristic of the Yezidis' belief system, which has enabled them to survive as a vulnerable ethnoreligious group even when far removed from the principal religious sites of their homeland.

Thesis Completion

2021

Semester

Summer

Thesis Chair

Fisher, Tyler

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

8-1-2021

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