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Hewrami, Howrami, Hawramani, Awromani, Gurani, Gorani
Spoken in Iraq and Iran
Region Hawraman
Total speakers About 500,000 in Iran and Iraq, unknown numbers elsewhere
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 ira
ISO 639-3 hac
For other uses see Gorani.

Gorani (also Gurani) is a group of Northwestern Iranian dialects, including Hewrami[1], spoken in southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and Iraqi Kurdistan region. It is a member of Zaza-Gorani branch of North-Western Iranian languages.[2] It is distinct from Kurmanji and Sorani.[3] and is closer to Talishi and Zazaki. Gorani is spoken in the southwestern corner of province of Kurdistan and northwestern corner of province of Kermanshah in Iran, and in parts of the Halabja region in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Hewraman mountains between Iran and Iraq. The oldest literary documents in these related languages, or dialects, are written in Gorani. Hewrami, considered a sub-dialect of Gorani, is a very distinct dialect spoken by Gorani/Hewrami people in a region called Hewraman along the Iran-Iraq border. Many Gorani speakers belong to the religious grouping Yarsanism, with a large number of religious documents written in Gorani.

Since the nineteenth century, Gorani has slowly been replaced by Sorani in several cities, both in Iran and Iraq. Sorani has replaced Gorani in cities such as Kirkuk, Meriwan and Halabja, which are still considered part of the greater Goran region.



Under the independent rulers of Ardalan (9th-14th / 14th-19th cent.), with their capital latterly at Sanandaj, Gorani became the vehicle of a considerable corpus of poetry. Gorani was and remains the first language of the scriptures of the Ahl-e Haqq sect, or Yarsanism, centered around Gahvara. Prose works, in contrast, are hardly known. The structure of Gorani verse is very simple and monotonous. It consists almost entirely of stanzas of two rhyming half-verses of ten syllables each, with no regard to the quantity of syllables.

An example: دیمای حمد ذات جهان آفرین

"After praise of the Being who created the world

یا وام پی تعریف شای خاور زمین

I have reached a description of the King of the Land of the West.

Names of forty classical poets writing in Gurani are known, but the details of the lives and dates are unknown for the most part. Perhaps the earliest writer is Mala Parisha, author of a Mathnawi of 500 lines on the Shi'ite faith who is reported to be alive around 1398-99. Other poets are known from the 17th-19th centuries and include Mahzuni, Shaikh Mostafa Takhti, Khana Qubadi, Yusuf Zaka, and Ahmab Beg Komashi. One of the last great poets to complete a book of poems (divan) in Gurani is Mala Abd-al Rahm of Tawa-Goz south of Halabja.

There exists also dozen or more long epic or romantic Mathnawis, mostly translated by anonymous writers from Persian literature including: Bijan and Manijeh, Khurshid-i Khawar, Khosrow and Shirin, Lalyi o Majnoon, Shirin and Farhad , Haft Khwan-i Rostam and Sultan Jumjuma. Manuscripts of these works are currently preserved in the national libraries of Berlin, London, and Paris.

Some Gorani literary works:

  • Shirin u Xusrew by Khana Qubadi (lived 1700-1759), published 1975 in Bagdad.
  • Diwan des Feqe Qadiri Hemewend, 19th century
  • The Koran in Gorani, translated in the 20th Century by Haci Nuri Eli Ilahi (Nuri Eli Shah).

Hawramai zmaneki koni rasana. la zary zorbay mezhunusanawa Hawrami zmaneka ka kontra lazmani kurdi am koniay Hawrami way lam zmaa krdwa a rasaniaty pwa diarbe wa dwrbae la bakarhenani wshay dika jg la hawrami.


Hewrami or Hawrami refers to a specific variant or dialect of Gorani and is regarded as the most archaic of the Gorani group.[4] It is classified as an Iranian language by Ethnologue. It is mostly spoken in Hewraman (also Hawraman or Huraman) in western Iran (Iranian Kurdistan) and northeastern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan). The key cities of this region are Pawe in Iran and Halabja in Iraq. Hewrami is sometimes called Auramani or Hurami by people foreign to the region. Hewrami is very similar to Avestan, the language of the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism[1]. Prayers are still recited by Hewrami by using a style called Siya Çeman in Hewrami, where the one reciting the prayer uses high notes to sing holy verses of Zoroastrian faith. Today, some Hewrami speakers use the Siya Çeman style of singing to perform traditional songs and even modern songs in Hewrami.

Several Zazaish scholars regard Hewrami as one of the oldest dialects of the Goran-Zaza language. Some scholars claim that the name Hewrami has close links to the Zoroastrian faith and assert that the name actually originated from Ahuraman, (see Hawraman).

Generally, the majority of Hewrami-speakers can also speak Sorani, Arabic or Persian in order to communicate with other people in neighboring cities.

Kurdish or non-Kurdish language?

According to native inhabitants in the Goran/Hewraman area, "Goran" was what they would call the sedentary inhabitants while "Kurd" was the name for the nomadic inhabitants, but the inhabitants always saw themselves as part of the same people even though "Kurd" was later to be the name for the whole nation. The dialects in the southern parts of Kurdistan are closely related and there are no reports of any tribe or people calling their dialect or language "Gorani". The inhabitants in the area explain the dialectal differences as that after the Arabic invasion most of the Kurds changed their pronunciation of original Kurdish words and started to use Arabic letters such as Hamza and Ayin, which the ones now grouped together as "Gorani" didn't. It is important to know that there are no reports of there being people in Hewraman, Kermanshah or any other area who label themselves as "Gorans" or "Goran Kurds", instead they only see themselves as Kurds and refer to their mother tongue as Kelhori, Hewrami, Laki, Feyli, Ilami or Kermanshahi. It's consensus among the inhabitants that Hewrami is the least Arabicized Kurdish dialect, with Kelhori, Laki and Faily in the middle and Sorani as the most Arabicized. Sorani has become the name of all closely related dialects with strong Arabic influence and the name itself is from the Soran Emirate. This has made the linguistics confused because Hewrami and Sorani have strong difference, which has led to some labeling Hewrami as a separate non-Kurdish language but there is no explanation of why they choose Sorani as the more Kurdish language or dialect.

Regarding the science of anthropology and genetic studies, speakers of Zazaki (Dımılki), Gorani(Hewrami), Kurmanji, Sorani, Luri, Kelhuri and Bakhtiyari do not differ racially from each other though they differ much from other Iranian groups in many aspects. But in the course of time, Kurds, being members of different religions and using different religious books of different languages had some impact on their original language and other social, cultural and political expositions made some modifications on their language regionally. Zazaki or Gorani (Hewrami)seem to be the least modified remains of old Kurdish language spoken by [[Medes] and Parthians and other ancestors of Kurds and also closest to ancient sacred language of Avesta and scripts of Yaresan or Alevi beliefs among all other Kurdish languages.


  1. ^ D. N. Mackenzie Avromani, Encyclopedia Iranica
  2. ^ J N Postgate, Languages of Iraq, ancient and modern, British School of Archaeology in Iraq, [Iraq] : British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 2007, p.138.
  3. ^ J N Postgate, Languages of Iraq, ancient and modern, British School of Archaeology in Iraq, [Iraq] : British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 2007, p.138.
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia Iranica - Alphabetical

External links

See also



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