The Peri Fairy In The Tradition Of Hamshen

Peris (Armenian: փերի, fairy) were fantastic creatures in the form of beautiful women. Peris were also close to “genie-women”, which can be seen from the fact that the Hamshenis referred to insane people as ones “captured or struck by the peri” (փերու չառտմա/պռվաձկ).

The peri society was organized like human society. Particularly, it had its own king or queen.

In the Hamshen epics and superstitions, peris, as a rule, favored an individual if he hasn’t crossed the permissible boundaries. These mysterious creatures also served as the “master-spirit of the area”, which is evident from the hunting epics and beliefs associated with construction rituals.

In both cases, “peris were fed” (“փերիկը գուդեծնին”), “peris were asked” (“փերիկը հայցնինգու”), “peris were given a share” (“փերիկնուն փայը վայտնինգու”), and “missing during a hunt was due to peris” (“Փերին / սադոնըն ղուրշումը յոն դարավ”).

Peris provided assistance to their earthly chosen ones. The envoys and performers of peris’ will were magical animals and birds subordinate to them. The appearance of peris itself was accompanied by an unusual aroma and fragrance. They were very powerful creatures that were able to defeat evil demons and genies.

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