Folksongs from the Mountains of Iran
In Iran, folksongs are part of folklore and offer an intimate portrait of a vanishing era. They are also the voice of ordinary people, providing a medium to express emotions, opinions, and concerns.
Folksongs from the Mountains of Iran is based on folksongs collected over a 50-year period among the Boir Ahmad tribal people in the Zagros Mountains of West Iran. Erika Friedl has recorded, transcribed, and translated more than 600 lyrics from a Lur community, and her analysis of the folksongs provides an intimate portrait of local people's attitudes, attachments, fears, and desires.
From songs of love, sex, and mourning, to lyrics discussing beauty, infatuation, and the community's violent tribal history, Friedl's solid understanding of the cultural background, lifestyle, and worldview of these people allows her to add ethnographic details that illuminate the deep meaning of the texts. In this way, Friedl goes far beyond a translation of words: she sheds light on a culture where beliefs, critical evaluation of circumstances, and philosophical tenets are shown to be integral to each song's message.
Based on fieldwork that began in 1965, Erika Friedl's research on the folklore in Boir Ahmad represents the best-documented modern folklore compendium on an Iranian tribe. This book is important for future generations of scholars, including ethnographers, Iranists, linguists, ethnomusicologists, and those researching Persian literature and cultures of the Middle East.
Citation for published book
Friedl, E. (2018). Folksongs from the mountains of Iran : Culture, poetics and everyday philosophies. (International library of Iranian studies ; 67).
Freidl, Erika, "Folksongs from the Mountains of Iran" (2017). All Books and Monographs by WMU Authors. 699.