popularising the literature of ancient Iraq through the art of oral storytelling



The literature of Mesopotamia has lain dormant on clay tablets for more than 2000 years. Breathing new life into this literature through the art of oral storytelling is the ZIPANG mission.

The Enheduanna Society is pleased to announce the launch of its Zipang Recording Project.

The purpose of this project is to record the repertoire of re-told Mesopotamian stories based closely on academic translations and developed over the past twenty years in public performances by the Zipang storytellers.

The Zipang Recording Project will enable these stories to be listened to in English and in Arabic online, providing a free and easily accessible introduction to the literature of ancient Iraq.

The first story — The Marriage of Martu — can be listened to on the ZRP page.

Further stories will be added in the months ahead.

Mission Statement

The ZIPANG vision inspires the ZIPANG mission. ZIPANG is the Sumerian word for 'breath'.

The ZIPANG mission is undertaken by the Enheduanna Society, an education charity founded in 2002. To fulfil this mission, the Enheduanna Society—

• provides ZIPANG storytellers booked for public and private events organised by others

• publishes retold stories from ancient Iraq

• passes on Mesopotamian stories and storytelling skills to a new generation of ZIPANG storytellers

• promotes and organises ZIPANG storytelling activities for all ages and abilities

• brings together Iraqi and non-Iraqi scholars, storytellers, musicians and enthusiasts to develop their shared appreciation of Mesopotamian literature, and spread this appreciation to as many people as possible.

The ZIPANG storytellers depend for their performance material on the work of academic translators and teachers.

Gilgamesh epic project for young people

Gilgamesh 21 went live in November 2016.

The 21st-century multimedia and bilingual retelling by young people of the ancient Gilgamesh epic showcases artwork, performances, animations, poetry and written retellings by participants in the Gilgamesh epic project.

Click here to view a 9-minute documentary about the Gilgamesh epic project for young people.

News story

Two patrons of the Enheduanna Society, Professor Farouk al-Rawi and Professor Andrew George, translated a previously unknown description of Humbaba's forest in the Gilgamesh epic. Click here for further details.

Visit the Enheduanna Society’s Online Art Gallery to view exhibitions of contemporary art inspired by ancient Mesopotamian art and mythology.


Click here to find out how you can support the work of the Enheduanna Society.


The Enheduanna Society has received generous support for ZIPANG events
and projects from several organisations.