The Dengbêj culture is the most important part of the tradition of Kurdish oral literature and tradition. Kurdish music singers, known as the Dengbêj, have been keeping the social memory of the Kurdish people alive and prevented the loss of the Kurdish identity by carrying the history of the Kurds with their songs over generations.
The most important carriers of this tradition have been the woman Dengbêjs. However, women Dengbêjs have been long subjected to patriarchal pressure and therefore their performances have been limited or subdued for years.
From Ayşe Şan, known as the first woman Dengbêj to Dengbêj Gulê, from Meryem Xan to the contemporary woman Dengbêjs, women continued singing Dengbêjs despite all the obstacles. Therefore woman Dengbêjs are considered among the leading powers of the Kurdish cultural struggle as well as women’s struggle.
Woman Dengbêjs have also been recorded in the history as the authors of Kurdish epics and fables, such as Besna, Xerabo, Siyabend u Xecê and Mem û Zîn.
Radio Yerevan (Erivan), based in Armenia during the period of Soviet Union, has played the role of an institute to archive the voices of the woman Dengbêj women back in 1950s.
Woman Dengbêjs have been included in this radio’s archives, which is the centre of one of the largest recorded music archives of Kurdish culture.