Gnostic elements in Yezidism
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Sufism and other heterodox trends participated in Yezidism's shape, from early stages in the formation of its community. Among the probable Gnostic hangovers of Yezidism is the Yezidi legend of their origin, which says that, unlike all other peoples who originated from Adam and Eve, the Yezidis had only a primeval father, Adam. Some deities of the colorful Yezidi folk pantheon also represent a certain interest in terms of Gnostic interpretation of their figures. As a basic symbol of Gnosis, the snake was supposed to naturally be preserved in the traditions affected by Gnosticism, either in a degraded form, or in formal representation with no dogmatic context. It is quite natural that Sufism, which itself contained a solid Gnostic layer, passed its ideological basis to Yezidism. The Yezidi community, which acquired its closed esoteric and later ethno-confessional character not earlier than fourteenth century, could have adopted any of the Gnostic elements in the early stage of its formation.