ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Rosaries continue to gain popularity in the Kurdistan Region’s capital of Erbil, and the prices change based on the quality of the materials.
Walking in downtown Erbil, especially near the world heritage site of the ancient Citadel, colorful rosaries are displayed in every corner of the market. While for the older generation, they are still used as prayer beads, for many young men, it is their own version of the popular “fidget spinner” toy - something to keep their hands busy.
In the Kurdistan Region, rosaries are used for both praying and ornamental use. The most popular and valued rosaries are handmade and assembled with Qazwan, the Kurdish term for Pistacia Atlantica.
The price of a Qazwan rosary can range between $5 and $200 USD, depending on the quality. The quality hinges on the size of the beads, its color patterns, and length. The smaller the Qazwan beads are, the more expensive the rosary is, as it requires a lot more precise craftsmanship.
A regular Qazwan rosary can measure up to one meter long, and hold as many as 170 to 230 rosary beads.
Displayed in shops are also rosaries made from other materials and imported from abroad, but none of them are comparable in price with the Qazwan ones.
The following are photos taken by Raber Aziz near the Erbil Citadel, in the capital of the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by G.H. Renaud