Art And Culture

Legends of Mazandaran in Lamouki’s New Book

In writing the book which took the author a decade, he has used the transcription method. Legends are topically classified and come with descriptions and references
Tayyar Yazdanpanah LamoukiTayyar Yazdanpanah Lamouki

Historian, author and essayist Tayyar Yazdanpanah Lamouki has written a book on ancient legends of Mazandaran Province.

Titled ‘Legends of Mazandaran,’ the book was recently released by the publishing house of Academic Jihad Organization.

In writing his book, Lamouki searched for ancient oral legends and lore passed down from one generation to another and still fresh in the memories of ethnic groups presently living in Mazandaran Province. 

Oral tradition, or oral lore, is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material is received, preserved and transmitted orally from one generation to another through speech or song and may include folktales, ballads, chants, prose or verses.

“Legends are an important source for understanding ancient societies. They are considered a great tool for compiling the genesis and history of nations and ethnic groups,” Lamouki told ISNA.

“Myths and legends, particularly those originating from rituals and traditions, are the basis of new scientific research today and explore the beliefs and interests of ancient societies and shed light on their aspirations, their heroes and their religious beliefs.” 

It is of great importance to know how people in ancient times and even in the Middle Ages, saw the universe and explained its creation. 

“But due to the popularity of new media and emergence of modern legends, old folklore is not cherished as it once was 50 years ago,” he rued. Before long, oral storytellers will be confined to history as they will be replaced by a generation that will no longer be interested in ancient oral tradition due to rapid modernization. 

“The opportunity that exists now should be used by researchers, education institutes and academia to collect and compile the legends systematically,” for posterity, he said.

 Transcription Method

In recording the legends, one method is transcription from the oral to the national or ethnic language. “Even better will be the inclusion of glossary and references. Expressions, proverbs, adages, maxims and allusions can be explained in footnotes or appendices. Of particular interest to researchers is exploring the beliefs behind the legends,” he noted.

“The method is efficient and useful in linguistics and anthropology. Those who compile legends using this method are entrusted a cultural heritage with original content.”

In writing the ‘Legends of Mazandaran’, which took 10 years to compile, Lamouki used the transcription method. The legends he has collected are topically classified, and come with descriptions and references.

His earlier book ‘History of Ancient Mazandaran’ was published in 2003 by Tehran-based Cheshmeh Publications, a publishing house with particular interest in mythology, old literature and history.

A native of Mazandaran, Lamouki has done extensive research in the local  culture, art and linguistics. ‘Music and Battle’ and ‘Music and Life’, both published in 2006, are among his numerous research articles. Calendar events, in particular those in Mazandaran, are among his subject of study. Some of his articles are accounts of historical events and figures. 

He has also written ‘Three Legends About Mehr’ (Mithra) published in 2014. 

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