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Female Minstrels
Armenia, Turkey | Anadolu Kültür
This project, bringing a female minstrel (dengbêj in Kurdish) from Van and a female minstrel from Yerevan (ashough in Armenian) together, allows them to discover the existing musical traditions in both countries and tell their stories to each other. The traditional musical performance, minstrelsy, is a folk literature that can be regarded as a genre of oral history narrative, which is still preserved in Turkey and Armenia.

Although this tradition is not as up-to-date and as influential as it once was, and the minstrel stories displaying the common past of the peoples have been neglected and silenced by the official history, it is passed down throughout generations and is still alive in both societies.


The project will allow female minstrels from both countries to travel to each other’s locations, to discover the existing musical traditions, to rehearse while working on a joint repertoire, to perform concerts and to produce a joint CD. In addition, the stories told by them will be collected in a book.


This project will particularly focus on Yerevan and Van. While Yerevan is a centre in Armenia for the collection of shared past of the societies of Armenia and Turkey, Van is an important location for the common memory in Turkey, and it preserves the culture of Turks, Kurds and Armenians.

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