The sacred site of the ancient Yazidi religion lies in Lalish, near Mosul in northern Iraq. Most Yazidis live in the area but communities can still be found in Syria, Turkey and the Caucasus. Photos: Chris de Bruyn.
The arch above the entrance to the 13th Century temple. It houses the tomb of a key Yazidi figure, Sheikh Adi, who died in 1162, but the roots of the Yazidi faith pre-date Islam and Christianity.
A religious leader at the entrance to the tomb. Yazidis venerate depictions of serpents, this one carved into the doorway is covered in soot.
Yazidis worship the Peacock Angel, or 'Melek Taus' as the leader of seven archangels. Muslims identify Melek Taus as Satan and accuse Yazidis of worshiping the devil. Yazidis have suffered centuries of persecution for this.
This is one of two sacred springs at Lalish. This one, deep inside Sheikh Adi's tomb, is known as Zam Zam and is believed by Yazidis to be the spring of life.
Inside the temple are tombs draped with coloured cloths. Yazidis tie three knots in the cloth to represent their problems. When someone else unties them, your problems are solved.
Another ritual involves people throwing a cloth onto a stone inside the temple three times. If the cloth stays on the rock it signals good fortune for the thrower.
This is known as the 'hugging tree'. If believers can stretch their arms far enough round the trunk of the tree so that their fingertips touch, they will have good luck.
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