Cultural Cornerstones: Supporting the creative voice in crisis affected communities

The Kurds of Southeast Turkey

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Lament From Ewasha


As her voice vibrates, she feels her son’s imprisonment and the loss of her village and she drowns you in her mourning song (Zêmar). Even in her general greetings and conversation, Ewasha, overcome with emotion, surrounds you with her voice. After being forced from her village of Kerboran in the Botan region of Kurdistan she sings of the destruction she has witnessed and for all the loved ones who have died. Her vibrating hums become vivid wails as she releases her losses. In her world, she will never see her village as it once was, now the families are scattered. In her world, she cannot know the fate or the treatment of her son.

Photo Caption: Shrine’s and symbols of the Kurdish struggle are found in most Kurdish homes in Southeast Turkey. Many of these are subtle – hints of green, red and yellow, a butterfly or photos of men, women, boys and girls who have died in the war. This photo was taken in a home in Hakkari – the portraits are of the owner’s brother and sister who had “gone to the mountains.”

Kurd Music Stories