TEHRAN, YJC. The Iranian minstrelsy, called "naqali" in Farsi, was registered as a UNESCO spiritual heritage 3 years ago, but the country's culture section has only found the chance to celebrate the milestone.
May 15 is the Day of Ferdowsi in Iran. It is the day when the famous ancient Iranian poet was born.
Ferdowsi is regarded as the father of the Persian language for what he did with his Shahnameh to preserve the language against foreign invasion.
One of the many traditions which are seen as legacy to the Shahnameh, is the Iranian art of minstrelsy, called Naqali in Persian.
It was 3 years ago that Naqali was registered as a UNESCO spiritual heritage, but Iran's cultural vibe seems to have not provided the chance to celebrate the event until now.
On Friday, the Ferdowsi Foundation held a ceremony in celebration of the art of Naqali in Tehran City Theater, where the old masters of the profession were honored.
The minstrel is called a "Morshed” in Persian. He appears in
a special traditional attire and uses murals or painted drapes to explain
scenes of the Shahnameh. He also carries a stick which he uses to represent
various accessories as needed by the story he is playing, sometimes brandishing
it as a sword, sometimes swinging it as a sling.
Late Morshed Valiollah Torabi, iconic Iranian minstrel who died in 2013