Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies, Vol 22, No 2 (2020)

The Shaymaran: Philosophy, Resistance, and the Defeat of the Lost Goddess of Kurdistan

Dilşa Deniz
Issued Date: 6 Sep 2021


This article analyzes the myth of Shaymaran, represented as a half-human and half-serpent. The significance of this representation is, I argue, two-fold: it is significant for her recognition as a goddess, and it is an important testament to the existence of polytheistic religious traditions of goddess-worship among the people of Kurdistan. I analyze the content of such myth that supplies us with important non-material archaeological evidence, particularly relating to the ideology and practice of goddess-worship. By deconstructing this representation and analyzing the content of this myth using a comparative approach vis-à-vis the Abrahamic genesis, I offer important information on the often-overlooked parts of unwritten history of goddess worship, which is continuously sustained through the circulation of this myth and the image. The myth of Shaymaran can therefore also be considered as a counter-narrative, one forged by the oppressed, to a post-colonial dominant monotheistic history and philosophy.

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DOI: 10.1558/pome.38409


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