Throughout history, Kurdish traditional clothing has continued to play an important part of Kurdish cultural heritage.
The traditional clothing of Kurds varies over the different regions in which they live, but in most places, traditional clothes have been welcomed by the younger generations.
Kesrewan (a women’s scarf woven with seven colours) is among those traditional clothes which have a great historical importance for Kurdish women, whose mothers and grandmothers had been wearing them for over a century.
Scarves, in general, have become a significant part of traditional Kurdish women’s clothing and many historical paintings depict Kurdish women with their scarves.
Kesrewan is a special type of scarf which is usually prepared by women with ropes called Armuş, which are transported from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to the cities through border trade.
Together with “kiras fistan” (a long traditional Kurdish dress), Kesrewan has been a symbol of traditional clothing of Kurdish women.
Zülfiye Ertaş, who continues to sew kesrewan and who helps to pass on this culture to the next generation, spoke to Jin News about the importance of Kesrewan for the Kurdish people.
‘Kesrewan is the culture of Kurdish women’
Ertaş was forced to migrate from Hakkari (Colemerg) to Van (Wan) in Turkey during the 1990’s, when many Kurdish villages had been forcibly evacuated by Turkish military forces.
Ertaş stated that since that time, she has tried to keep her culture alive. “Kesrewan and kiras-fistan were a part of our daily lives. We used to wear them on a daily basis”, she said, recalling her younger days in her village.
Ertaş clarified that Kesrewan has been an important part of Kurdish cultural life as Kurdish women have been wearing Kesrewan for special occasions such as “celebrations, feasts and weddings”.
Amongst her clothes and garments, she keeps and treasures a very special Kesrewan. “This Kesrewan is more than a century year old”, she said and added: “It was left by my mother who died at the age of eighty. I gave it to my daughter: my daughter will leave it for her son. My mother made me promise that I would protect this Kesrewan all my life. I kept my promise and I handed it over to my daughter in the same way. It’s very special. Kesrewan is the culture of Kurdish women”.