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 a spirit, who lives in mountainous forests.[6] It often represented in the form of hairy creatures of both sexes, being an ape with a human face and a sharp odor. It was believed that during their search for food, they go under cover to the gardens and orchards during the night, while wearing discarded human clothes. According to some researchers, the Meshe Adam is a variant of the legend of the snowman.[7]
  • Gulyabani (Azerbaijani: Qulyabani)(Persian:Ghoul-e-biabani :Monster of desert )is an evil spirit, who lives in the desert and cemeteries. According to Azerbaijani and Turkish researchers, Gulyabani's main occupation was scaring night travellers, while they had features of a werewolf at night. They also love riding horses, while mixing horses mane. According to the legend, Gulyabani will work for humans, if someone can penetrate with needle their collar. But at the same time they 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 Persian mythology & Turkic mythology.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yeni ədəbiyyat tariximizin ilk cildləri Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (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 Encyclopedia 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. JSTOR 609984. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00106858. 
  10. ^ Təpəgöz Archived July 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (Azerbaijani)
  11. ^ Anaz Radio Voice of South Azerbaijan: Folklor Archived March 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (Azerbaijani)