Document Type

Book Chapter


Dance (Pomona), Theatre (Pomona)

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group dance, solo improvisational dance, professional dance, ritual and religious dance


The Kurds are a nomadic people whose homeland (Kurdistan) and population (of some 10 million) are now divided among mountainous rural regions of Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Armenia; small numbers live in Israel and the Republic of Georgia, (and a separatist movement is headquartered in Paris, France). They speak an Iranian (a Persian) language, and some believe them to be the descendants of the ancient Medes. Without a state of their own, the Kurds place great importance on such cultural forms and identity markers as dancing.


Shay, Anthony. "Kurdish Dance" in Selma Jeanne Cohen, Ed., International Encyclopedia of Dance, Vol. 4, pp. 78-79, 1998, produced by permission of Oxford University Press.

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© 1998 Oxford University Press