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An Assyrian house in the Tyari, from The Nestorians and their Rituals (1852), vol. I, p. 216
An Assyrian house in the Tyari, from The Nestorians and their Rituals (1852), vol. I, p. 216

Tyari[a] (Syriac: ܛܝܵܪܹܐ‎, romanizedṬyārē)[1][2] is an Assyrian tribe and a historical district within Hakkari, Turkey. The area was traditionally divided into Upper (Tyari Letha[3]) and Lower Tyari (Tyari Khtetha[3])–each consisting of several Assyrian villages. Both Upper and Lower Tyari are located on the western bank of the Zab river.[4] Today, the district mostly sits in around the town of Çukurca.[5][6][7] Historically, the largest village of the region was known as Ashitha.[8] According to Hannibal Travis the Tyari Assyrians were known for their skills in weaving and knitting.[5]

Before 1915, Tyari was home to Assyrians from the Tyari tribe as well as a minority of Kurds. Following the Assyrian genocide, Ṭyārāyē, along with other Assyrians residing in the Hakkari highlands, were forced to leave their villages in southeast Anatolia and fled to join their fellow Assyrian brethren in modern-day northern Iraq[9] (Sarsink,[10] Sharafiya,[11] Chammike[12] and various villages in the Nahla valley[13]), northeastern Syria (Tel Tamer[14] and Al Hasakah), Armenia, Georgia and, from the late 20th century, to western countries. The Tyari tribe was, according to Robert Elliot Speer, one of the Assyrian "ashirets".[9] In 1869 there were 15,000 Tyari Assyrians living in 2,500 houses in the Tyari district according to John George Taylor in a report to the Earl of Clarendon.[15] The Tyari Assyrians lived across 51 different villages and constituted 50,000 members - making it the most powerful among the semi-independent Assyrian tribes.[16] The Tyari district is located in the boundaries of the ancient kingdom of Adiabene.[17]

It is worth particular notice that the most central parts of this region are, and have been from time immemorial, entirely inhabited by the Nestorians, to the exclusion of every other class of people. A great part of the Independent tribes of Tiari [Tiyari] and the whole of the tribes of Tekhoma, Bass, Jelu and other smailer tribes, are included in the boundaries of Adiabene.

— Asahel Grant, "The Nestorians, Or, the Lost Tribes", [18] (1841)


Tyari may be a variation of the ancient "Autiyara". American historian Albert T. Olmstead describes in his work History of the Persian Empire how the Persian General Vaumisa wins a battle in the Autiyara districts located in Tyari and mentions that this is where Assyrian Christians maintained independence until modern times.[19]

In Syriac, the word ṭyārē (ܛܝܪ̈ܐ) is the plural form of ṭyārā, meaning "sheepfold" or "grazing area".[1] Indeed, the Assyrians of Tyari were renowned even amongst neighboring Kurds and Armenians for their yogurt, cheese and other dairy products mostly made from sheep or goat's milk. They were also famous for their textiles,[5] which again were spun and woven from sheep's wool. They also made woolen felt for their characteristic conical caps.[20]


The dialect of Tyari belongs to the Ashiret group, along with the dialects of e.g. Tkhuma and Baz, of the Northeastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) dialects.[21] Like Jīlū, the Tyari dialect is a very distinct Assyrian Neo-Aramaic dialect. Unlike the Jilu, Baz and Gawar dialects (which are very similar to each other), this one is more "thick". It is, in a way, a sort of a "working class" accent of the Assyrian dialects. Dialects within Tyari, and especially the Western group, have more in common with Chaldean Neo-Aramaic than with Iraqi Koine (similar to General Urmian). The Tyari dialect is divided into two main sub-dialects; upper Tyari and lower Tyari.[22]

Many Tyari speakers can switch back and forth from Tyari to "Assyrian Standard" (or "Iraqi Koine") when conversing with Assyrian speakers of other dialects. Some speakers tend to adopt a form of verb conjugation that is closer to the Iraqi Koine or Urmian Standard. This is attributed to the growing exposure to Assyrian Standard-based literature, media, and its use as a liturgical language by the Assyrian Church of the East. Furthermore, it is customary for Assyrian artists to generally sing in Iraqi Koine for them to be intelligible and have widespread recognition. Songs in Tyari dialects are usually of the folk-dance music genre and would attract certain audiences.[23]

Examples in Tyari compared to Koine[24]
English Assyrian Koine Tyari dialect
Hair 'ch:osa 'chawsa
Pigeon 'yo:na 'yawna
Fasting 'so:ma 'sawma
Benefit 'ph:ayda 'pheda
Body 'phaġra 'phaxra
Lord 'a:ġa 'a:xa
Rank 'darġa 'darxa
English Tyari dialect Note
House Bεθα[25] This is also common in the village of Araden[25]
Her house Bεθα diya[25]
He descends ṣāle[21]
He rises qā'im[21]
He does not drink la-šate-Ø (Ashitha)[22] le-šate-Ø (Halmun)[22]
Death mθta (Ashitha)[22] mawθta (Halmun)[22]
Illness maṛ'a[22]
Wool ´amṛa[22]
She says ´amra[22]
Examples of /*ṯ/ shift to /š/[26]
English Tyari dialect Assyrian Koine
Chicken kṯεša[26] ܟܬܵܬ݂ܵܐ / ktatha[27]
Oil zεša[26] ܙܲܝܬܵܐ / zéta[28]
Drink štεša[26] ܫܬܵܝܬܵܐ / shtéta[29]


Although possessive affixes (beti - "my house") are more convenient and common among Assyrian speakers, those with Tyari and Barwari dialects take a more analytic approach regarding possession, just like modern Hebrew and English.[30]

Villages and sub-clans in Tyari

Upper Tyari[31][32]
Clan Bne Qalatha Dadoshoshnaye Bne Roomta Walto Single Village Clans
Sub-clan or settlement Qalatha Dadosh Mar Sawa Serta Siadohr (Siyador)
Chamba D'Malik Mabua Sarispeedon Matha D Mat Mariam Koe (Ko)
Malota Bet Mariggo Roomta Khadiana Kokha
Chamba D'Hasso Chamikta Resha D'Nahra Mazrogeh
Chamba D'Nene Shwawootha
Chamba D'Elia Darawa
Ishta D'Nahra
Lower Tyari[31][32]
Clan Bne Be-Alahta Bne-Matha Bne-Lagippa Ashita Bne Rawel Single Village Clans
Sub-clan or settlement Be-Alahta Lizan Lagippa Be-Marqus Rawel (Ravole) Minianish
Salabakkan (Ravola d-Salabkhan) Zarne Kurkhe Be-Qasha-Khoshaba Shurt (Shurd) Zawitha
Matha D'Qasra Chamba d-Be-Susina Be-Odishka Borish
Nashe d-Matha

Division of sub-clans and settlements according to the Diocese of Mar Shimun[33]

Lower Tyari:

  • Garamoon
  • Halamoon
  • Tcalluk
  • Arosh
  • Hor
  • Teire Rezen
  • Asheetha (Ashita)
  • Zaweetha
  • Minyanish
  • Merghe
  • Kurkhe
  • Leezan (Lizan)
  • Oomra Tahtiya
  • Zerni
  • Karukhta
  • Chamba d'Beth Soseena
  • Matha d'Kasra
  • Be-Zeezo
  • Lagippa
  • Be-Alahta
  • Be-Rawole (Rawel, Ravula)
  • Shoord
  • Rawloa d'Salabeken


  • Chamba Hadtha
  • Zorawa
  • Seerta
  • Shwawootha
  • Matha d'Mart Miriam
  • Khadiana
  • Reshe d'Nahra

Upper Tyari:

  • Serspeedho
  • Siyadhor
  • Chamba d' Be Ellia
  • Chamba d'Nene
  • Chamba d'Coordhaye
  • Mezzraa
  • Mrateetha
  • Be-Nahra
  • Be-Zrako
  • Roomta
  • Jeiatha
  • Reshe d'Nahra
  • Aina d'Aleete
  • Doora Allaya
  • Kalaytha
  • Mezraa d'Kalaytha
  • Chamba d'Melek
  • Be-Dalyatha
  • Dadosh
  • Mabbuaa
  • Ko
  • Chamba dKoodkhe
  • Be-Meriggo
  • Roma Smoka
  • Chamba d'Hasso
  • Darawa
  • Malota


Assyrian fighter in the 1890s from the Tyari tribe.
Assyrian fighter in the 1890s from the Tyari tribe.
  • About the national dress worn by the Tyari men in the Bakuba camp, Brigadier-General Austin wrote; "Fine upstanding fellows they are, ...their legs, encased in long loose baggy trousers of a greyish hue originally, but so patched all over with bits of blue, red, green and other colors that their pants are veritable patch work. A broad cloth, "Kammar band," or waist band, is folded several times round the trunk of the body, and a short cut-away jacket of amazing colors, worn over a thin cotton variegated shirt. The head-dress consists of conical felt cap as depicted in frescoes of Assyrians of thousands of years ago, and which has survived to this day."[34]
  • "Among them are a number of Tyari men, whose wild looks, combined with the splendour of their dress and arms, are a great interest. […] Their jackets are one mass of gold embroidery (worked by Jews), their shirts, with hanging sleeves, are striped with satin, their trousers, of sailor cut, are silk, made from the cocoons of their own silkworms, woven with broad crimson stripes on a white ground, on which is a zigzag pattern; and their handsome jack-boots are of crimson leather. With they white or red peaked fell hats and twisted silk pagris, their rich girdles, jewelled daggers, and inlaid pistols, they are very imposing."[35]
  • Isabella L. Bird wrote in her work "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan" about a Tyari man wearing a white conical cap.

On his head, where one would have expected to see a college “trencher”, was a high conical cap of white felt with a pagri of black silk twisted into a rope, the true Tyari turban.

— Isabella L. Bird, "Journeys In Persia and Kurdistan", [36] (1891)

Famous Tyari Assyrians

Bishops and priests

Assyrian Singers

Assyrian tribal leaders

See also


  1. ^ Also spelled with a final -e or -y in place of -i, with a -i- or -iy- in place of -y-, or with any combination thereof (e.g. Tiare, Tiari, Tiyare, etc.).


  1. ^ a b Maclean, Arthur John (1895). Grammar of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 241.
  2. ^ Payne Smith, Robert (1879–1901). Thesaurus Syriacus (in Latin). Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1464.
  3. ^ a b Odisho, Edward Y. (1988). The sound system of modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic). Harrassowitz. p. 21. ISBN 3-447-02744-4. OCLC 18465409.
  4. ^ Aboona, Hirmis (2008). Assyrians, Kurds, and Ottomans : intercommunal relations on the periphery of the Ottoman Empire. Cambria Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-62499-167-7. OCLC 819325565.
  5. ^ a b c Tribal Structure.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Assyrian villages in Hakkari
  8. ^ Bet Benyamin, Gewargis (2001). "The Tyari Tribes". Zinda Magazine.
  9. ^ a b Speer, Robert Elliot. "Robert Elliott Speer Manuscript Collection; Series II: Correspondence; Box 32, File 32:8". Internet Archive.
  10. ^ Donabed, Sargon (2015-03-01). Reforging a Forgotten History. Edinburgh University Press. p. 279. doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686025.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7486-8602-5.
  11. ^ "Sharafiya". Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  12. ^ Donabed, Sargon (2015-03-01). Reforging a Forgotten History. Edinburgh University Press. p. 317. doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686025.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7486-8602-5.
  13. ^ Donabed, Sargon (2015-03-01). Reforging a Forgotten History. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 329–334. doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686025.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7486-8602-5.
  14. ^ Donabed, Sargon (2015-03-01). Reforging a Forgotten History. Edinburgh University Press. p. 125. doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686025.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7486-8602-5.
  15. ^ Donabed, Sargon (2015-03-01). Reforging a Forgotten History. Edinburgh University Press. p. 60. doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686025.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7486-8602-5.
  16. ^ Khan, Geoffrey (2008). Neo-Aramaic dialect studies. Gorgias Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-59333-423-9. OCLC 862139304.
  17. ^ Aboona, Hirmis (2008). Assyrians, Kurds, and Ottomans : intercommunal relations on the periphery of the Ottoman Empire. Cambria Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-62499-167-7. OCLC 819325565.
  18. ^ Grant, Asahel (1841). The Nestorians. p. 165.
  19. ^ Olmstead, Albert T. (1970). History of the Persian Empire. University of Chicago Press. p. 114. On June 11 Vaumisa won his own second victory in the district Autiyara in the Tiyari Mountains, where until our own day the "Assyrian" Christians maintained a precarious independence.
  20. ^ Layard, Austen Henry, 1817-1894. (1858). Nineveh and Its Remains. Appleton. p. 194. OCLC 12578949.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ a b c Coghill, Eleanor (1999). "The Verbal System of North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic". Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Haig, Geoffrey; Khan, Geoffrey, eds. (2018-12-03). The Languages and Linguistics of Western Asia. doi:10.1515/9783110421682. ISBN 9783110421682.
  23. ^ Solomon, Zomaya S. (1997). Functional and other exotic sentences in Assyrian Aramaic, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, XI/2:44-69.
  24. ^ Y. Odisho, Edward (1988). The Sound System of Modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic). Harrassowitz Verlag.
  25. ^ a b c Coghill, Eleanor (2008-12-31), Coghill, Eleanor; Borghero, Roberta; Fox, Samuel Ethan; Sabar, Yona; Kapeliuk, Olga; Cohen, Eran; Fassberg, Steve; Mutzafi, Hezy; Talay, Shabo; Arnold, Werner (eds.), "Some Notable Features in North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic Dialects of Iraq", Neo-Aramaic Dialect Studies, Piscataway, NJ, USA: Gorgias Press, pp. 91–104, doi:10.31826/9781463211615-007, ISBN 978-1-4632-1161-5, retrieved 2020-06-17
  26. ^ a b c d Talay, Shabo (2008). The Neo-Aramaic Dialects of the Tiyari Assyrians in Syria: With Special Attention to Their Phonological Characteristics. Gorgias Press. p. 47.
  27. ^ "SargonSays". Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  28. ^ "SargonSays". Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  29. ^ "SargonSays". Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  30. ^ Solomon, Zomaya S. (1994). Basic sentence structure in Assyrian Aramaic, Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, VIII/1:83-107
  31. ^ a b "Social System". Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  32. ^ a b Yonan, Gabriele (1996). Lest we perish : a forgotten Holocaust : the extermination of the Christian Assyrians in Turkey and Persia. Peace Palace Library: Assyrian International News Agency. p. 193. OCLC 889626846.
  33. ^ Aboona, Hirmus (2008). Assyrians, Kurds, and Ottomans : intercommunal relations on the periphery of the Ottoman Empire. Cambria Press. pp. 291–292. ISBN 978-1-62499-167-7. OCLC 819325565.
  34. ^ Brigadier-Gen. H.H. Austin (1920). The Baqubah Refugee Camp. The Faith Press, London.
  35. ^ Bird, Isabella L (1891). Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan : including a summer in the Upper Karun region and a visit to the Nestorian rayahs. Cambridge University Press. p. 314. ISBN 978-1-108-01470-0. OCLC 601117122.
  36. ^ Bird, Isabella L. "Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan"date=1891. pp. 284–285.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i Donabed, Sargon (2015-03-01). Reforging a Forgotten History. Edinburgh University Press. p. 103. doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748686025.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7486-8602-5.
  38. ^ "The Fate Of Assyrian Villages Annexed To Today's Dohuk Governorate In Iraq And The Conditions In These Villages Following The Establishment Of The Iraqi State In 1921". Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  39. ^ "Leaders & Heroes". Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  40. ^ Rowe, Paul (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Minorities in the Middle East. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-138-64904-0. OCLC 1135999690.
This page was last edited on 23 March 2021, at 13:47
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