Kurdish Tattoos (Daq/ Deqs)
Holy decorative art on the human body: Deq - Kurdish tattoos
by @JiyanAzadi #TwitterKurds
Kurdish tattoos (Deq) have been practiced for many centuries in Kurdish culture. Some sources say that Deq’s have existed among the people in Mesopotamia for 10,000 years. Many old Kurdish women and men have Deq’s.
Every Deq has a meaning & is a part of a lost and concealed history of Mesopotamia. It is more common for women to have Deq’s on their bodies than men. Deq’s are holy and are commonly seen among old people in Riha (Urfa), Mêrdîn (Mardin), Sêrt (Siirt), Amed (Diyarbakir) and Dêrsim, especially in the countryside.
But this is not observed in young people. Deq is nowadays a forgotten tradition and this tradition will die when the elderly women and men passes away. Many of them regret their tattoos and wish that they never had made them when they were young, because it is a sin and involves changing of God’s creation.
This is due to the effect of Islam and is a reason why the new generation don't have any Deq’s.
Tribal tattoos were very widespread back in those days, almost every elderly person have got Deq’s. Each tribe and religion has their own icons. The motives can also be found in caves, crypts, buildings and in Kurdish carpets.
Deq’s are made by mixing human breast milk from a woman, who has delivered a girl, toxic liquid from an animal’s gall bladder and lampblack. The designs are later, painted on the skin with a disinfected sewing needle.
The mixture is penetrated under the skin and changes the pigment. The colour of Deq is either green, black green or light green and they last forever.
The tattooer cannot be divorced. They have to be in good condition and haven’t given birth to dead born children or have any dead children. It is said that if an 'unworthy' person makes a Deq on another person, it will bring bad luck to the one who is having the Deq.
Kurds carry Deq’s on their faces, arms, legs, hips, knees, neck and between the chests. It is assumed that Deq’s give protection from the evil eye, they give luck, enhances sexuality, fertility, grace and beauty. Some symbols are believed to prevent deaths and illnesses.
The inverted 'Y' symbol is a sign of her nomad origins.
The sun symbolizes the source of life and this Deq is very common among Êzidî’s (Mithraism).
A very commonly seen Deq is a sun between a woman’s eyebrows.