Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Yazidi: People of the Peacock

Most organized religions seem very strange from the outside. Not just the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Christian Scientists, or Scientologists, either. The Yazidi / Yezidi / Êzidîtî / Êzidî certainly seem so. Like every other socially manifested religion, they say they are the true believers, the top of the heap, the chosen people. (I mean, really: wouldn't it be refreshing for members of a sect to say, "We like our beliefs, but it's okay if you don't; we think we're cool, but also realize we're just one of thousands of belief systems. . ." ?)

The problem with exclusivity is: the group naturally becomes a target. The easier to identify, the easier to attack. And today, in the Kurdish region of Iraq, scores of Yazidi faithful were blown to smithereens. Earlier this year, several Yazidis were gunned down in retaliation for stoning a Yazidi Juliet to death -- she'd fallen in love with a Muslim Romeo and broken a taboo -- for no Yazidi can hook up with an outsider. Given this rule, the Yazidi population can be decimated by a determined enemy.

The Yazidi believe in The Seven Mysteries, sort of archangels, topped off by Melek Taus, The Peacock Angel. The first people were Adam and Eve, but the Yazidi are directly descended from only Adam via Son of Jar. (Adam and Eve both had their own jar, but Eve's was more like Pandora's Box.) Son of Jar hooked up with a houri -- a "companion pure, most beautiful of eye" -- and the rest is history. The People of the Peacock go back at least 4,000 years, so it would seem. I checked the Book of Moroni, but it doesn't shed any light on the matter.

Wim Wenders' Birthday. Cool German, a memorable filmmaker along with Werner Herzog. Doing mostly documentaries lately, always pensive and interesting.

Lina Wertmüller's birthday. Must do a Wertmüller retrospective at some point, I'm thinking. Hot stuff in the 1970s, and she's still making movies.

Happy birthday, Emmanuelle Béart. C'est oh!

Today's Rune: Journey.

Birthdays: Doc Holliday, Russell Baker, Lina Wertmüller (b. Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Spanol von Braueich), Steve Martin (b. Waco, Texas), Wim Wenders, Antonio Juan Fargas (Huggy Bear), Susan Saint James, Danielle Fernande Dominique Schuelein-Steel, Gary Larson, Marcia Gay Harden, Magic Johnson (b. Lansing, Michigan), Emmanuelle Béart, Halle Berry.


MacGuffin said...

It's stunning to me what elaborate, farsical religoius beliefs people adhere to, and they're always aristocentric like you already pointed out. People of the Peacock... sounds like total bullshit but I'm sure it isn't, sadly.

the walking man said...

Kill all religions and people will live.



Sidney said...

You know I like Patricia Highsmith and I've seen most of the variations on "Ripley" but I've never watched "The American Friend." I like Dennis Hopper too. I need to get around to that one.

Charles Gramlich said...

religious beliefs are fascinating. It's amazing what people will believe, and if most of us thought about it we'd find it amazing what "We" believe.

Pythia3 said...

Looking in on another's religion is like watching an unfamiliar soap opera . . . only YOUR soap opera is real to life - THEIRS is so fake and outlandish! LOL

I don't watch the soaps - but I did years ago while I rocked babies. And I remember thinking those insane thoughts! Thank GOD my days of comparing soaps are long gone!

Very interesting post! I love learning about different religious beliefs.
And it would be so cool if people had the attitude you described . . . "yeah, we think we're cool, BUT . . . "

Love that movie poster!

Thanks for always stopping by, Erik!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Keep the faith and people will live.

Lana said...

And here I thought being raised Jewish made me one of the coveted "chosen people," & all the while that whole Bat Mitzvah pain in the ass was for nothing. Dang. ;)