Siya Cheman

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Siya Cheman (Gorani: Siya Çeman) is a style of singing practiced by ethnic Kurds that originated in the mountainous sub-region of Hewraman along the border between Iranian Kurdistan and Iraqi Kurdistan. The style was originally used to recite hymns by members of the Zoroastrian faith, and later, members of Islamic Sufi faiths. Originally, Siya Cheman is performed without the use of any instruments, with the exception of the occasional use of a Kurdish hand-drum. Today, the Siya Cheman style is used mostly for storytelling and entertainment. Some modern Kurdish artists have adopted the style and added instruments to record songs that blend Siya Cheman with other Kurdish music.[1]

Siya Cheman is performed in the Hewrami dialect of Gorani. However, some modern artists have adopted the style for use with Sorani, which is more commonly spoken by ethnic Kurds.


Siya Cheman literally means dark eyes in Hewrami. In the Kurdish culture, big dark and black-colored eyes are regarded as a trait of beauty particularly for women. Kurdish love songs often talk about dark eyes. The Siya Cheman style of singing is often an expression of love - whether love for God or love for another person - and may be the reason for its association with dark eyes.

Further reading[edit]

  1. ^ Izady, Mehrdad. The Kurds: A Concise Handbook, Taylor & Francis.ISBN 0-8448-1727-9.