Several villages are located on the highway between Ashtarak and Aparan, their graveyards detected by peaked roofs built over the graves.
Yezidis belong to the Kurdish race and are regarded by Kurds as those who keep their original religion. They speak a northern dialect of Kurdish (Kurmanji). Scholars believe that the Yezidis’ religion is one of the last surviving offshoots of a faith even older than Judaism or Zoroastrianism, and which it heavily influenced. Known as the “cult of the angels”, this early Indo-European faith held that there was only one God but that he created seven angels to serve him. Chief among these, for Yezidis, is the fallen angel who disobeyed his maker. As a result, outsiders have labeled Yezidis “devil worshippers.”
In Armenia, Yezidis are predominantly a pastoral community, with villages concentrated in the central highlands and along alpine meadows in the upper elevations of the country. The community is very shy, though children love to gawk at visitors and have their pictures taken.