Skip to main content


Kurdistan—"land of the Kurds"—a fertile area rich in oil, chrome, copper, iron and lignite, occupies an expanse of land only slightly smaller than the state of Texas, but it cannot be found on standard maps today. For thousands of years, Kurds have inhabited the Zagros and Taurus mountains of eastern Anatolia, which span parts of present day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Soviet Armenia. Kurdish attempts to assert political autonomy have been opposed—often violently&mdashby the governments of surrounding countries.

Read Full Article

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.