Kakai Religion and the Place of Music and the Tanbur
Abdulkhaliq, Zubeida S.
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This paper discusses the historical context and mythic framework of the Kakai religion. While some information regarding Kakai theological views and beliefs may be known to outsiders, many facets of their religious life, customs and traditions remain undisclosed. Much secrecy surrounds this religion, and non-believers are not encouraged to engage in or witness most Kakai rites. Geopolitical instability in the Kurdistan region also makes access difficult. Throughout this paper we will look at the relationship between Kakai beliefs and music (tanburo), and how the tanbur (a sacred lute) is not merely a musical instrument but is seen as a symbol of Kakai identity, with the music preserving language and legend.