Sheikh Chilmira

Building name:Sheikh Chilmira
ID number:21
Building type:Shrine/nîshan
Site/place name:Chilmera
Measurements: N/A
State of preservation:Intact
Description:The temple is located on the highest peak of Mount Sinjar. The plan is rectangular, with the entrance on the northern long side. The conical dome, without ribs, is located in the southern half of the chamber: there are no windows in the building’s walls. In the chamber floor there is a hole, in which some soil is stored: it is said to have healing powers.
Building/site biography:The name of the place, Chilmera, means “40 men”: it is probably derived from the burial of forty men on the mountain top. Yazidi people celebrate here the “Charshema Sor” Festivity (Red Wednesday), considered the beginning of the creation myth in their religion. The place was transformed into a military site, as attested also by Edmonds in 1945. According to him, this shrine is devoted to Sheikh Sharaf al-Dīn. During a visit in 2012, the temple was surrounded by razor wire, thus confirming its strategic importance as a military site during the American occupation of Iraq, and still nowadays for the Iraqi army. It is especially visited by the Cenewîya tribe.
References:Allison 2015: 10.
Guest 1987: 33.
Lescot 1975: 245.