Women Breasts Seen Metaphorically in Kurdish Songs

مه مکی ژنی کورد  - له گۆرانی

The Kurdish word for breast/bosom (mam مه م) is no doubt cognate with the English (mammal) referring to the act of nursing /breastfeeding. In some Kurdish dialects as with that of Rwandiz area the suffix (k) is habitually added (mam-k مه مک ). Due to its importance in motherhood and being a prominent feature of  femininity, the female breasts have often been celebrated in Kurdish proverbs and songs. It is also worth noting that the Kurdish concept of mother (daaya/daayik دایه/دایک ) is based on breastfeeding (see the article on this website).

Imagination knows no boundaries so the breasts of a young girl are sung as (finjaan فنجان )  teacups/coffee cups. The word finjaan is a common word in almost all Oriental languages. Its present arabized form goes back to old Iranian (pangan). Arabic used to substitute [p] by [f] and [g] by [j] as these sounds are not part of the Arabic sound system which shows that finjaan is an old borrowing. Comparing young breasts to teacups might sound strange in other cultures. However, the picture is based on the small size of the cups and on the fact that drinking coffee/tea tantamounts to a certain kind of intoxication.

Female breasts are often sung as orchards full of apples سێو/سێڤ séw/sév (girls´breasts) or more often (honey melons شه مام) when a girl reachs womanhood. Sometimes a young woman´s breasts are referred to as (mamk jandila مه مک جه ندیله) or (her pockets are full of breasts مه مکی پر باغه رایه) when the breasts grow to full size and she starts wearing bras.


Bremen, 07 January 2018