Iran Diary: Day Fourteen-October 23, 2009

Yazd > Taft > Yazd

Yazd was a major stop on the international caravan routes to Central Asia and India. Its architecture is perhaps the most traditionally Persian that we saw. The ventilation systems called wind towers originated in Yazd.

This was a day devoted to the pre-Islamic religion of Persia, Zoroastrianism.  First we visited a Tower of Silence, a depository for the remains of the dead.  Formerly Zoroastrians washed the corpses, wrapped them in a white shroud that left their faces exposed, placed them so as to face the sky, and let scavenger birds pick the skeletons clean. The cleaned bones were gathered and placed in an ossuary. Thus they avoided contaminating the four elements — earth, air, fire, and water — that were sacred to them. The Shah’s government forbade the use of the Towers of Silence.  Now the bodies of the Zoroastrian dead are encased in concrete. According to Amir there are about twenty thousand Zoroastrians remaining in Iran with larger populations in India and elsewhere.

We visited a rather touristy Zoroastrian fire temple in Yazd. The fire is supposed to have been burning since 470 AD.

Then we visited the small Zoroastrian village of Taft, and the modest temple that is an active religious site for the village. The village is set in handsome groves of pomegranate trees and at many intersections in the town there are niches where a fire with incense is kept burning.

Returning to Yazd, we walked through the Zoroastrian quarter of town. It is still an active urban community. The whole area looked as though it was quietly hiding behind its brick walls.

The Friday Mosque in Yazd has the tallest twin minarets in Iran ヤズドにある金曜モスクのイランで一番高い対のミナレット

This Tower of Silence (hill) was only for the corpses of men. Another hill nearby was reserved for women この沈黙の塔(丘)は男性の遺体用。近くのほかの塔は女性用になっている

This fire has been kept burning since 470 CE この火は470年から燃え続けている

The attendant at the Zoroastrian temple in Taft タフトの拝火教寺院の付き添い

A Zoroastrian Altar 拝火教の祭壇

Pictures of ancestors 先祖の写真

This local architecture reminded me of Mondrian paintings モンドリアンの絵画を思い起こさせるヤズドの地方建築

The only “Kick out the Jews from Jerusalem” we saw on this trip この旅行で見た、ただ一つの「ユダヤ人をエルサレムから排斥」ポスター

An Iranian invention to deal with desert heat 砂漠の暑さに対策したイランのアイディア

A Zoroastrian district in Yazd ヤズドの拝火教地区

Local college students 地元の女子大生

It was nice to see pickled garlic again ニンニク漬けにまた会えてよかった





She lives and works in a small beach community in Southern California with her spouse John. As an artist she has wandered around in several media (kimono painting, oil painting, drawing, installation, etc.) but has settled down to photography for the last six years. She also wanders around different countries, regions, and cultures to see life from many different angles. She has started this blog with not-so-good English, rusty Japanese and a lot of guts.
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