Dumuziís Dream


This story begins with the shepherd-god Dumuzi telling a nightmarish dream to his sister Geshtinanna. She interprets the dream as an omen of his death at the hands of evil men like demons. Geshtinanna sees the evil men approaching and urges Dumuzi to hide among the reeds. When the evil men ask her where Dumuzi is hiding she wonít tell him. But his friend does.

Three times the evil men catch Dumuzi with a net and a stick. They tie his hands behind his back. Three times Dumuzi prays to the sun-god Utu to save him because he is the husband of the goddess Inanna. Three times the sun-god Utu turns Dumuziís hands and feet into the hands and feet of a gazelle so he can escape.

The evil men catch Dumuzi in the house of the old woman Belili. They smash up his shepherdís hut and kill him, exactly as predicted by his dream. Gestinannaís cry of anguish covers the sky like a cloth.

In this story Dumuziís death symbolises the disappearance of vegetation with the onset of winter. In spring the vegetation re-appears and people celebrate.

The workshop concluded with celebratory dancing inspired by a lively and well-known Arab folk-tune played on the harp.


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Awaiting participants

Clue-search begins

Finding clues for Dumuziís Dream

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Arabic story-teller


Sun-god Utu

Dumuziís hut