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Digitally Recording and Publishing the Folkloric Elements of Bafê Village 

July 2022 - June 2023
İdil, Sulak (Bafê) village, Elcani hamlet / ŞIRNAK, MARDİN

The project of Digitally Recording and Publishing the Folkloric Elements of Bafê Village aims to record and publish the rich folkloric tradition of Sulak (Bafê) village in İdil District of Şırnak province. Bafê  Village is a village where ancient Syriac people and Muslim Kurds lived until 200 years ago. Going back 400 years in the history of the village, it is thought that Yazidi Kurds also lived here. The oral and visual culture (games, children's games, ceremonies and festivals) of the village of Bafê (Sulak), which has a wide scope of oral culture and is geographically located by Tigris river, is in danger of extinction due to the conflicts and intense migration since the 1990s. If this rich oral and visual culture is not recorded digitally, it is not possible for future generations to know it.

Due to its geographical location, Sulak village contains cultural elements of the basin called both Botan region and Tor region. It constitutes a prototype in terms of having both the two different dialects of Kurdish and the folk dances and other folkloric elements of both regions. The only folkloric study about Sulak Village is partially described in Mele Xelefê Bafeyî's book "Kelepora Mirnişiniya Botan", which is still not published in Turkey. Historically, Bafê Castle and Elo Dino Pavilion controlled the river trade between Diyarbakır and Mosul via the Tigris River. Mele Xelef states that the person named Elo Dîno started the rebellion against the Cizre Beys from the Castle in the village of Sulak-Bafê. The walls of the Elo Dino Pavilion, which is fortified into the Tigris River, can still be seen.

Historical, geographical and all oral and visual culture and oral and visual culture of Botan and Tor regions should be recorded and archived in order to be protected and passed onto future generations. Passing on the colourful folklore of Bafê village to new generations will also mean reviving the memory of dozens of generations.

Veysel Vesek

Graduated from Dicle University, Faculty of Law, Veysel Vesek worked as a lawyer registered in Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Mardin Bar Associations since 2004. In 2014, he completed his master's degree in Kurdish language and literature at Mardin Artuklu University, Institute of Living Languages. He published collective works on folklore, poems and articles in many Kurdish magazines. Due to his interest in folklore and folk culture, he recorded and shared many folkloric elements in written and digital media, starting from his own village, Bafê-Sulak. Veysel Vesek, who also worked on many legal projects, was in a constant search for the rich folklore of Kurdish to be recorded and become a social memory. For this purpose, he founded a folklore website called “nujiyan” in 2007. Veysel Vesek, imagining that his own memory is the memory of his ancestors, can be accepted as the mediator of recording and disseminating the folklore of the region where he lives.

This page is published on 23 June 2022.