Cossacks Wedding Ceremony Analysis in Northeast of Iran (by applying Joseph Campbell’s Hero Quest) | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Рубрика: История

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №1 (105) январь-1 2016 г.

Дата публикации: 04.01.2016

Статья просмотрена: 13 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Панахи, Аббас. Cossacks Wedding Ceremony Analysis in Northeast of Iran (by applying Joseph Campbell’s Hero Quest) / Аббас Панахи, Алале Баладжаде Абеди. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2016. — № 1 (105). — С. 581-585. — URL: (дата обращения: 06.12.2022).


Cossacks are ethnic group or small community that traveled to northeast parts of Iran for communized-political, cultural, religious pressure after Russian 1917 revolution. This group obeys from ancient customs and regulations that show their ethnic identity and indexes. It is tried in this research to explore wedding ceremony among Cossacks from Yung, Campbell and others points of view regarding the quest of hero as in Joseph Campbell. If this hypothesis is suggested that finding new independency and identity needs surveying ways, this question is suggested that what hero is searching by his abstract and symbolic travel? Discussion method in this research is descriptive-analytic, and we understand after done studies that hero should pass eminence and regulations steps one by one by accepting invitation, receiving guidelines and supports of supporting forces and passing test paths and halls.

Key words: Cossacks, northeast of Iran, hero, Campbell, regulations, wedding.



Social action study needs paying attention to concepts like certain time and place, social group and is tried in the present research to consider small group living in northeast of Iran.

Cossack in Turkish means a husband ruling her wife and in Dehkhoda encyclopedia means rebel and wanderer.

Cossacks are from immigrant ethnic groups dwelling in Iran and all are related to small camp from Cossackstan Monfeshlagh region and yellow blood group. These are emigrant group that were living migrating before revolution in October 1917 [4, p. 2], and they escaped from red army and war by passing hard immigration and enter to Iran through Turkmenistan in years 1931–1946; as a result, they dwelled first in villages near Bandar-Torkman, Gonbad and Gorgan city, but they thought to make bigger community and living in urban region by partial growth of economic condition. Maybe the most important factor in deciding was their minority. In decade 30 years, this decision was accomplished and Cossacks moved from villages to the nearest cities; consequently, in late of decade 30, Cossacks dwelling places were emerged in Bandar-Torkman, Gorgan and Gonbad-e-Kawous. Cossacks presence in Gorgan and other adjacent cities has led to Cossackstan consulate establishment in Gorgan. Their religion isHanafi Sunnite and their majority job has been ranching. They couldn’t continue that job for losing their domesticated animals, so continuing the same kinds of earning a living was not possible for them. Some who had skills in technical affaires used them to continue life. Some tended to make tools and equipment that has experienced their culture and technics in their past lives. Tools were as four-wheel cart or rug; therefore, the flare of Cossacks’ smithy kilns not only made their oven warm, but also they helped a lot to make the bed of earning a living of other Cossacks warm, as some of their work was riding carts. The places occupied by Sunnite Cossacks in mentioned cities are known as Cossacks quarter or “Belich quarter”. Marriage custom among Cossacks is inner-espousing but outer-blood originated from paternal breed attitude. Moreover, they have especial customs and regulations regarding to their breed and blood values and identity which are derived from their remained cultural heritage.

It is tried in this research to practice exploration and analysis of stages and regulations about wedding and questions like the abstract travel reason of hero and used stages and regulations during path according to Joseph Campbell ideas become explored; therefore, it is necessary to interpret theoretical framework of Campbell and explain and know symbolizing some expressions.

Theoretical Framework

Joseph Campbell is as theoretician under influence of Yung school and his collective unconscious and analyzed hero’s evolution and demeanor path in some stages. Departure, invitation to start travel, occult relief, passing the first threshold, whale stomach, being honored regulation, tests road, greeting with lady-God, placating with father and returning avoiding of returning and magic escape constitute Campbell book. Yung also believes that each of us has certain method to live but to high extent we are member of its collective spirit that its age is as long as centuries [16, p. 27]. In addition, symbols and signs in different regulations have been appeared in various shapes and consist of collective spirit and collective unconscious contents; in other words, sign is a concept more than what it seems and it is deeper and further meaning, and one of its significant features is its non-precision and non-secret [5, p. 7]. Accordingly, hero seeks eminence and new perception from himself with symbolized travel faces with various aspects of spirit like Anima, shadow, old sage and etc.

Cossacks Wedding Ceremony Description

Wedding is done as one of passing customs with changing social rank and accordingly based on fundamental patterns, which are in hidden layers of mind or the same as Yung old pattern leaning on saint forces, and some sings and regulations are used in it that play especial role.

Wedding among them is mostly inner-espousing and rarely seen in recent years that marriage is done between one Cossack and non-Cossack or with one in non-Sunnite religion. After suiting a girl for a boy and girl family accepts, espousing and weeding ceremony is done in 6 days. The most important notion before explaining regulations that should be considered is in regulation ceremonies related to middle Asia that design covering and colors role in describing concepts related to changing base is very important. From the start of espousing ceremony to the end of wedding ceremony bride is hidden under the coverage with the name of Ishik.

The first stage of wedding ceremony is a celebration held in groom home with sacrifices and bread, passerine and food (Baversagh) special for Cossacks are served.

It is a celebration which is with bringing gifts for bride, and groom relatives hang a ring of bank bill around bride neck; of course, celebration in this day is with entertaining by lunch from groom relatives and agents.

In this stage, the main celebration of bride family starts, brides go sightseeing with her friends, groom go sightseeing, too. After that he returns to his home, later bride friends take groom with gifts to bride home or a home wedding ceremony is going to be held there.

Fourth stage is entertaining day from groom, bridesmaids and her retinue. In groom home, there is bread ceremony and they become ready to take bride to home for the next day. Groom in this day learn how to respect elders from his retinue, too.

This stage and later ones are stages of taking bride home and other regulations. Bride friends make her ready and cover her by passing especial headgears. When groom and his relatives are arriving, he must certainly put off his shoes and inter to the room which bride is there, he should take his shoes with himself because bride’s relatives may pour water into his shoes as complaint of taking bride by him.

In addition, bride says goodbye to the men of relatives and go to groom home by his dowry and her retinue. In this stage, as bride gets near to groom home, groom relatives same as his brother’s wife and sister go for bride welcoming and unbrace the red scarf from bride’s meddle and brace it on their meddles; moreover, they take out a curtain from bride’s dowry and carry it in front of her and walk. When they arrive to groom home gate, they hold a rite that in it they sing a song which remind bride her tasks, unpleasantness and the same concepts, after that bride and her retinue enter and her retinue move away her Ishik, but consistently she has her Cossacks crown on her head. Of course, bride sister inhibits to take crown out then this crown is remained for a short time on her head then takes it out and put white scarf on the head of new bride. Cossacks’ cover their new bride mouth by a kerchief for a while, and accordingly changing the social base becomes approved.

Symbolized Analyses from Cossacks’ Wedding Regulation Ceremony

  1.                Circle

Circle is a mythical symbol which has been arrived to use from mythical world view. In mythology and mythical symbols, “circle” is a symbol of multi-aspect and multi-vector that achieves into the union. Circle is originated from collective unconsciousness and has increasing force. On the other hand, it is symbol of sky, heaven and time and sometime it is used as supporter like chains and talisman [7, pp. 168–172]; in other words, it can be said that: as role of Yung, circle is the same as Mandela chart or main spirit core that is passing from space crystallization as uncertainty and non-limitation of quintessence[16, p. 342]. And also, it is union symbol and personal mortal world by immortal impersonal world (ibid, 2013: 3368) and the universe core symbol is “Alyadeh”, and here it has both functions of magic and disaster turning, because this issue should be considered that hero in passing state is in a condition that is vulnerable and exposed toward unnatural forces that can have function of positive, negative or both polars; therefore, exposing person in the center of universe can put him in non-time condition and remind him the eternal creation moment and use all positive forces to support him.

Putting bank bill circle around bride neck and bracing red scarf around her meddle can be a good example to determine this issue. Because secret knowing hero get into holy space by staying in a circle, it means by entering a regulation into the center of universe, he experiences revocation in resuscitative holy space and he will be born in another pace, because holy space is underlying repetition of holiness influence and heaven union[1, p. 346].

  1.                Color Symbolized Impact

Color and design variation and various figures in groom and bride covers is a reason for magic or alchemy existence in hero nature. Color symbolizing tendency in dream always leads to various interpretation and thoughts, because colorful elements have considerable effect on story hero spirit. Each used color in coverage related to passing is indicator of one of human reasoning in classic anthropology. Colors are indicator of cosmic symbolism and may have valuable function religiously. Symbol is composer collection of universe and shows the entirety of universe[7, pp. 346–350].

Three colors from four in alchemy as black, white and red are remained that there is a kinds of activity and motion in red [16, p. 293]. Four colors impact are mythically colors which the first human made from combination of four fists of soil that angels brought from four corner quarters for God. “Among Alakouf’s of Arzonnar, human is at the center of ideal heaven and four vectors of this heaven are determined by four colors” (ibid, vol.3, 2014: 347).

Hero Travel Stages Analysis

  1.                Invitation and Travel Start

Marriage as one of passing rite is with various regulations and methods in different nations. These regulations include stages that their observation is necessary for hero and used symbols and customs in them have root from myths and legends. Passing all stages in symbolic travel framework reaches to independency and identity by seeking in objective (external) world that is the prerequisite of integrity for hero’s new condition and circumstances. Campbell in one hundred-face book knew departure as positive respond to start travel and believed that by this acceptance, positive action power is made in hero and he passes from the first threshold by supporting powers [11, pp. 60–75]. Hero travel is a story about separation from family that is equals to motion of separation child from his mother and based on this old pattern, hero is seeking “himself” to find identity [14, p. 440]. In this travel progress hero passes this process based on collective patterns. Collective unconscious includes individual process that covers old patterns” [6, p. 2]. Then in some occasion he was put in wale stomach and inter to another stage. Heroes are always invited to travel in different stages; first, by inviting to travel in suiting rite from groom, then bride’s retinue invitation from groom and then groom coming to take bride, after than groom’s relatives coming to pass him from the last stage. All are invitation to travel and departure the female hero (bride). Heroes in passing progress of this way face withoccult relief, threshold guards and old sage that either help heroes or prevent them from passing the stages. In these kinds of travel, hero faces with symbolic characteristics that are picture of his internal influences. Marriage is “ago” hero knowing and spirit feminine old pattern (Anima), and this acquaintance and spirit feminine observation from “ago” lead to consciousness, mental growth process and consequently lead to hero’s social growth, because hero is symbol of consciousness ago, and by marriage and confronting with Anima or spirit feminine face practice on his consciousness ago.

  1.                Old Sage: Occult Relieves or Helper

Seeing an old sage is a symbol of need to perfect you with old sage or hidden wisdom accomplishment[7, p. 91]. In other words, wise sage is main symbol of father or main symbol of spirit, a symbol of our unconscious spiritual feature. The main symbol of spirit appears when human needs insight, fine advice, deciding and programming. Old sage means contemplation, identification, insight, wisdom and precision. Moreover, old sage is further symbol of some moral features that reveals spiritual aspect of this main symbol like welfare intent and readiness to help and get help[13, p. 61]. Old sage in people dreams may appear as prophet, guider, religion agent and etc. Moreover, helper that is a symbol of mysterious knowledge nature, image of human wisdom and collective unconsciousness. Old stage appears in process of hero’s individuality in different and symbolic situations on him and make path smoother for hero to identify. His presence in mental and spiritual life of both heroes, their responds to accept anima invitation, noticing to inner voice for eminence and passing is essential.

According to Campbell role, this characteristic is indicator of fate kind and guard power and heaven peace promise which hero experiences it from the first in mother womb[11, p. 77], it starts from departure or passing process; as it is mentioned above, teaching respect to elders by groomsman or companion his friends for male hero and also teaching spouse responsibilities and making bride ready by close women for female hero reflex images of old sage or helper.

  1.                Wale Stomach

It is transferring human to another heaven, a newborn is shaped and it is symbolized as womb world[11, p. 96], in this symbol hero instead of winning on threshold forces, he is swallowed, died and then gotten born. Its evidence can be known as putting bride under veils and scarf and as she is covered symbolically. In other words, covering bride with Ishik can be known as starting the first stage and it is uncovered in the last stage as the new being born stage. This veil is like membrane which chrysalis passes it and is born[1, p.120]. Bride standing in a room both in her father or groom home is symbol of standing in wale stomach. Hero separates from “ago” and get into the universe contradictions in order to recognize his way and pass threshold.

Mircha Alyadeh tries to vivid returning to womb mystery training regulation about this kind of mythical boring that: “returning to quintessence” makes new birth, but this new birth is not the repetition of the first birth means physical birth. But it is new boring with meaning of theosophical new birth. From theosophical point of view, it is arriving to the new stage of life, holiness and ascendency on spirit. The main idea is that to arrive to more excellent quality and rank in existence hierarchy, we should renew the germinal life and birth of course in mysterious and regulative way[1, pp. 86–88].

According to Henderson point of view, this rite in various regulations is symbolic death and new birth that means childish ago killing in hero which leads into his eminence and maturity [15, p. 60].

Moreover, standing in wale stomach can be explored according to taboo roles pint of view, because, according to primitive human that is in non-time and being newborn, he is always vulnerable to dangers; therefore, in this holy moment that is repetition of exemplifying face, considering some issues are essential and taboo like covering bride mouth with kerchiefthat is somehow standing in wale stomach, and it is from taboo issues.

  1.                Unconsciousness Wilderness

This stage is one of important stages in mythical travels, hero step into dream world by passing wilderness that individual process various test are accomplished there. In this passing that hero is in his unconsciousness, again the present of an old man that Yung named him old sage is essential here. A path can be here the one that each hero means bride and groom passes it by their helpers and by entering to unconscious area that is going to sightseeing in order to determine their status either in bride father home or groom father home.

  1.                Threshold Guards and Helpers

In this issue, there are helpers for each hero that are as their retinue and as heroes who have tribal or group lives who have some retinue to cope with possible anxieties in new situations. Because in hero travel process, it is considered as combat with external harmful elements and coping with them are considered as regulation rites that according to Yung idea, it is same as confronting with shadow. In hero passing process we face with threshold guards that have positive or negative functions and mostly they either prevent hero from passing that stage or urge hero enough to pass. Like resistance of bride sister to remove Ishik or pouring water in groom shoes that show the importance of water and its symbolic function, because water is substantial shape appearance of life quintessence and physical and spiritual birth element, and in all places, it is regulation purity tool. In Tibetan regulation rite, water is symbol of allegiance and testament that peripatetic passes[7, pp. 3–8]. Alchemists knew water as aqua-centra, vivid mercury, very murderous mercury, moonlight extract [16, p. 107]; moreover, conducting a rite to mention bride responsibility by groom retinue after hero stands in wale stomach and passing threshold, he enters to unconscious space and inner universe essence where the whole universe is coming from there. By changing hat or crown, that is somehow passing cover, it is determined by passing threshold retinue and standing in new situation. Passing cover is important especially for head, because head has special holiness for containing spirit, “Siyam people think that a spirit yclept Khan has home in human head that is guard spirit and it should be protected seriously[10, p. 261]. Then, in this travel process, his retinue companion hero by group by establishing regulation rite, and for removing evil and disaster turning they cook regulation food to give sacrifice to Gods and devil forces in this way and preserve new-learning heroes from their evil. This rite can be compared by supper for Christians which is sacrifice in presence of God and make link between body and spirit. In supper also baptism and new boring take place and after that “priest determines identity change by a pray and by this way all creations are bread and wines and get free from physical malformed and find new identity”[16, p. 380]. Ancient Egyptians to remove evil used cow and insinuated all disasters and evil that may happened to them to cattle, then sold them to Greeks or throw them in river[10, p. 613]. Accordingly, by holding this rite’s heroes individuality (groom and bride) mixes in collective unconsciousness temporarily and then recycles by rituals and certain regulations by help of old sage and helpers.


In regulations related to passing rites, passing stages and processes that some of them have root in myths are essential for their hero. In Cossacks wedding regulations, heroes make traveling to unconsciousness possible in symbolic travel framework by passing all stages. Although, this travel is accomplished by natural time and place coordinate, the process established in hero characteristic is achieving to ago insight to achieve to his identity and his hidden aspects of unconsciousness that according to old patterns it is accomplished without an individual or group being insinuating consciously.




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Ключевые слова

казаки, Северо-восток Ирана, герой, Кэмпбелл, нормативно-правовые акты, свадьба., Cossacks, northeast of Iran, hero, Campbell, regulations, wedding
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