On View Now

In the Field of Empty Days: The Story of Rustam and Suhrab

RSS iTunes

On May 2, 2018 Gordafarid, the first female Naqqal (or Iranian epic storyteller) presented tales behind some of the art in the exhibition In the Field of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art.

In this video, Gordafarid presents The Story of Rostam and Suhrab.

The battle of Rustam and Suhrab is the most tragic story among the 52,000 rhymed couplets comprising the Iranian epic of the Shahnama. Suhrab, a fabled hero, was the son of a Turanian princess Tahmina and the greatest Iranian hero, Rustam. Rustam left Tahmina after only one night together but gave her an armband to be passed along should their brief union produce a son. Suhrab grew up to become an undefeated warrior like Rustam. When a war was looming between Iran and Turan, these two heroes came to fight against one other, although neither was aware of the other’s identity nor their bond as father and son. They fought for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually, Rustam mortally wounds Suhrab. The dying young Suhrab warns the old champion that one day his father, Rustam, would avenge his death, and only then do they realize their relationship. Suhrab shows his armband to Rustam and he grieves over Suhrab’s wounded body, but it was too late and no one could save his son!