Yazidi Black Book

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The Yazidi Black Book (Kurdish: مسحە‌فا ڕه‌شMeṣḥefa reş) is one of two books written in the style of a holy book of the Yazidis in Northern Kurdish, the other being the Yazidi Book of Revelation (Kitēba jilwe).[1]

It is now generally accepted that the manuscripts of the Yazidi Sacred Books, the Masḥafā Reš and Ketēbā Jelwa, published in 1911 and 1913, were ‘forgeries’ in the sense that they were written by non-Yazidis in response to Western travelers’ and scholars’ interest in the Yazidi religion, amid a general environment of trading in ancient manuscripts. However, the material within these manuscripts is consistent with the contents of the Yazidi oral traditions, and to that extent they may be considered authentic.[1]

The actual core texts of Yazidi religion are hymns known as qawls.[1]


The Black Book claims to originate when the Lord descended Black Mountain. It is not divided into chapters and is longer than the Book of Revelation. The first half of it contains a creation myth, beginning with the creation of a white pearl and Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel. There follows an account of the Fall (in which the forbidden comestible is wheat), and the creation of Eve after Adam has been driven from Paradise.

This is followed by the names of ancient kings who belonged to the Yazidi community. Next comes a statement of food taboos of the Yazidis, prohibitions connected with personal hygiene and verbal taboos.

The discussion then reverts to the subject of ancient Yazidi kings, and the Book concludes with another account of the Creation, which diverges quite considerably from the first.


  • The Black Book of the Yezidis (edited with an introduction by J. Lange). ISBN 1547149566


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