Siyaw Chemane

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Siyaw Chemane (Kurdish: Siyaw Çemane ,سیاو چەمانە‎) is a style of singing practiced by ethnic Kurds that originated in the mountainous sub-region of Hawraman along the border between Iranian Kurdistan and Iraqi Kurdistan. Some researchers claim that the style was originally used to recite hymns by members of the Zoroastrian faith, and later, members of Islamic Sufi faiths. Originally, Siyaw Chemane is performed without the use of any instruments, with the exception of the occasional use of a Kurdish hand-drum. Today, the Siyaw Chemane style is used mostly for storytelling and entertainment. Some modern Kurdish artists have adopted the style and added instruments to record songs that blend Siyaw Chemane with other Kurdish music.[1]

Siyaw Chemane is performed in the Hawrami dialect of Gorani. However, some modern artists have adopted the style for use with Sorani, which is more commonly spoken by ethnic Kurds.


Siyaw Chemane literally means dark eyes in Hawrami. In the Kurdish culture, big dark and black-colored eyes are regarded as a trait of beauty particularly for women. Kurdish love songs often talk about dark eyes. The Siyaw Chemane style of singing is often an expression of love - whether love for God or love for another person - and may be the reason for its association with dark eyes.

Similar Methods of Singing[edit]

There are some similar methods of singing in Kurdish music, specially in Music of south of Kurdistan, Kermanshah (Kermashan) Province, Ilam Province and Lak inhabitant regions of Luristan Province in Iranian Kurdistan and Diyala Province in Iraqi Kurdistan. Siyaw Chamane is so close and similar to Houreh singing, and also Mour singing, and Benmelli singing which are belong to those regions of south of Kurdistan.

Further reading[edit]

  1. ^ Izady, Mehrdad. The Kurds: A Concise Handbook, Taylor & Francis.ISBN 0-8448-1727-9.