Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Memory, Women, and Community: Iran
(990 words)

The Shāhnāma , a national epic that versifies a mytho-history of Iran, suggests a vital role played by women and the notion of the feminine in general. Omidsalar (2003) argues that feminine symbols, and female figures, appear throughout this epic to “arbitrate all significant instances of transfer of power, be they royal, heroic or magical.” The feminine, embodied at times in female literary and historical characters such as Farānak, Barmaya, and the goddess Anāhītā, stands at the birth of “all new orders” and reassuringly watches over moments of transitional trauma.

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Mottahedeh, Negar, “Memory, Women, and Community: Iran”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0116c>
First published online: 2009

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