The purpose of this study is to present a comprehensive description of Kurdish culture based primarily on published ethnographic studies. The second chapter introduces the Kurdish area, its topography and climate, and the Kurdish people and their history. Chapter III presents general cultural features, specifically Kurdish dress and the Kurdish language including dialect divisions and regional cultural differences. Chapter IV, Ecology and Economy, discusses the subsistence patterns of the village farmers and nomadic herdsmen in the context of the environment as well as the urban trade centers. It introduces the tribal-feudal dichotomy under a discussion of land tenure. Chapter V, Formal Political Organization, is largely a discussion of the Kurdish segmentary lineage organization (the tribe) as it is contrasted with feudal organization. This tribal-feudal dichotomy is associated with the co-variance of other institutional forms, i.e., the frequency of FaBrDa marriage and the degree of seclusion and/or veiling of the women. Chapter VI, Social Organization, deals with the formal hierarchies governing areas of activity other than the political field, i.e., the class status hierarchy of the economic field and the religious field, and the integration of a person's part-statuses in these hierarchies (plus other factors) into his total status (or power) in the fluid village hierarchy. Also presented is the village scene, and the social structure of the town of Rowanduz. The final chapter covers marriage and the family, including the kinship system and male-female relationships.




Graduate School

First Advisor

John W. Elick

Second Advisor

Robert C. Darnell

Third Advisor

C. Diane Macaulay

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Kurdish people, history and politics



Page Count

ix, 129 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives