Azerbaijani folklore

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Azerbaijani folklore is the folk tradition of Azerbaijanis which has developed throughout the centuries.

Azerbaijani folklore is embodied explicitly in a large collection of narratives and implicitly in representational arts, such as vase painting and votive gifts.[1]

Sources of Azerbaijani folklore[edit]

Azerbaijani myths mainly based on the heroism and wisdom of a human being, which demonstrated in epics such as Epic of Köroğlu, Book of Dede Korkut and Əsli və Kərəm.[2][3][4]


The story of Köroǧlu (lit. son of the blind) begins with his father’s loss of sight.[5] The feudal lord Hasan Khan blinds his stable manager Ali Kişi for a trivial offense by plucking out his eyes.

Supernatural beings[edit]

  • Meshe Adam (Azerbaijani: Meşə Adam), sometimes known as Ağac Kişi (literally tree man or forest man) is according to Azerbaijani and Karachay mythology is spirit, who lives in mountainous forests.[6] It often represented in the form of hairy creatures of both sexes, having an intermediate between ape and a human face with a sharp odor. It was believed that during search of food, Meshe Adam goes under cover of to the gardens and orchards during night time, while putting on a discarded human clothes. According to some researchers, the image Meshe Adam is a variant of the legend of the snowman.[7]
  • Gulyabani (Azerbaijani: Qulyabani)(Persian:Ghoul-e-biabani :Monster of desert )is evil spirit, who lives in desert and cemeteries. According to Azerbaijani and Turkish researchers, Gulyabani's main occupation was scaring night travellers, while he had features of a werewolf at night. He was also loves riding horses, while mixing horses mane. According to the legend, Gulyabani will work for humans, if person can penetrate with needle his collar. But at the same time he will serve all the orders of master as vice versa. In the western regions of Azerbaijan, Gulyabani often identified as malicious spirit of water Ardov.[8]
  • Tepegoz (Azerbaijani: Tepegöz) is an Azerbaijani mythical creature similar to the cyclops Polyphemus.[9][10]

Relations with other cultures[edit]

Azerbaijani folklore derives elements from Turkic mythology.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yeni ədəbiyyat tariximizin ilk cildləri (Azerbaijani)
  2. ^ “Koroğlu”ya ümumtürk məhəbbəti
  3. ^ Азербайджанская литература 5-18 вв. (Russian)
  4. ^ "Mother-of-All-Books": Dada Gorgud
  5. ^ Hasan Javadi, "KÖROĞLU i. LITERARY TRADITION" in Encycloapedia Iranica
  6. ^ Мифы народов мира. Энциклопедия. Т.1. «Советская энциклопедия», 1991. ISBN 5-85270-016-9
  7. ^ Кавказская мифология/Азербайджанская мифология — Агач Киши
  8. ^ Кавказская мифология/Азербайджанская мифология — гюль-ябани (Russian)
  9. ^ C. S. Mundy (1956). "Polyphemus and Tepegöz". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 18 (2): 279–302. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00106858. JSTOR 609984. 
  10. ^ Təpəgöz (Azerbaijani)
  11. ^ Anaz Radio Voice of South Azerbaijan: Folklor (Azerbaijani)