Tamzara (Armenian: Թամզարա; Aramaic: ܬܐܢܙܐܪܐ; Azerbaijani: Tənzərə; Greek: Τάμσαρα or Τάμζαρα; Turkish: Tamzara) is an Armenian, Assyrian, (regions of Sharur, Nakhchivan and parts of Iranian Azerbaijan),[1][2] and Greek [3] folk dance native to Anatolia.[4][5][6] Tanzara means- half gilt,half decoration. The women dancing used to wear all kinds of golden things, including necklaces, beads, rings, ear-rings and other jewelry and those women expressed beauty and brightness. The name of Tanzara is related to this[7]. This dance was especially popular in the regions of Erzincan, Erzurum (Armenian Garin), Kigi, Arapgir, Harput, and Malatya. There are many versions of Tamzara, with slightly different music and steps, coming from the various regions and old villages in the Armenian Highland.

Yalli (Kochari, Tenzere), traditional group dances of Nakhchivan
DomainsFolk dance
RegionEurope and North America
Inscription history
Inscription2018 (13th session)

History and descriptionEdit

Legend has it that the dance was brought to Anatolia by the ancient Assyrians during there conquest of the region in the Assyrian empire[8][9] in commemoration to the god of food and vegetation Tammuz.

The meaning of this dance, which is famous in the villages of Charchibogan, Chomakhtur and other villages of Sharur region, is “Gizili tanbatan” (Half golden) in word by word translation and today Tamzara is included to the repertoire of the folklore dancing collectives respectively. The women dancing used to put on all kinds of golden things, dressed luxuriously–including rings, ear-rings, bracelets, chains etc. and those women resembled beauty and sparkling.

In 2018, the Azerbaijani-style tamzara, along with yalli and kochari, was inscribed into the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent safeguarding.[10]


All Tamzaras have the unique 9
Evfer rhythm, with the two accented beats at the end of each measure. In addition, the melody to most Tamzaras is very similar, though there are exceptions. Like most Anatolian folk dances, Tamzara is done as a line dance or circle dance, with a large group of people with interlocked pinkies. However one version of the Tamzara is done by a man with one or two women standing shoulder to shoulder facing the same direction with their arms around each other's waists.

Tamzara is one of the most popular Armenian folk dances to have been preserved in the United States by the Armenian-American community.[11]

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