sacred snake blood: the dualism of serpent symbol context in the Shahnameh and Kurdish folklore

Taylor Nasim Stone (San Francisco State University)

Zahhāk is the demon snake king of the Shahnameh (Persian Book of Kings). The Shahmaran is a half woman-half serpent figure rooted in Kurdish folklore representing goodness. The serpent symbol is seemingly inverted between the two figures. I argue that gender expectations, religion, and the concept of evil play significant roles in each literature, defining the serpent symbol. The purpose of investigating the factors that shape these serpent symbols is to better understand the impact protesters are seeking to express about their circumstances. Currently, Iranians and Kurds are using their roots to defy those who violently uproot them.

Part of 02-14 Religious Beliefs, Symbols, and Rituals, Thursday, November 02, 10:30 am–12:30 pm