Yerzenga/Erzindjan - Medax Tashginag (Woman’s dance)

21/03/24 (Last modified 21/03/24)

This section of our website aims to document and share performances of various traditional Armenian dances that have been preserved by Diasporan communities in the United States. To this end, Houshamadyan is partnering and collaborating with a group of Armenian dance experts who have produced appropriate dance notations for documentation. This group consists of Carolyn Rapkievian (of Bar Harbor, Maine), Susan and Gary Lind-Sinanian (of Watertown, Massachusetts), Tom Bozigian (of Los Angeles, California), and Robert Haroutunian (Sunyside, NY).


Silk handkerchiefs that belonged to Isghouhi Mnatzaganian (Source: Lerna's Collection (Keepsakes from Asdvadzadourian and Niksarlian Families), Istanbul).

Medax Tashginag, meaning "Silk Handkerchief" is a song-dance, with the dancers traditionally singing their own musical accompaniment as they dance. In historic times, every woman carried a handkerchief, and a silk one was a highly valued status symbol.

Medax Tashginag is one of a group of dances from Yerzenga brought to Fresno and California’s San Joaquin Valley by the early Armenian immigrants.

Source: Ara Gholdoian. Tom Bozigian learned this dance as a youth in California. Frances Ajoian also worked to preserve this dance.

Formation: Line or open circle with the leader on the left. Like many dances from Yerzenga, the dance progresses to the left rather than the more common Armenian dance form, progressing to the right. All dancers hold a handkerchief between their thumb and forefinger while linking little fingers. Rhythm: 4/4.


Armenian TransliterationEnglish Translation
Medax tashginagus kez gu nuvirem
Kisher tsoreg yes kou sirov gu mashem
Akh yerani yes kez desadz chullayi
Kisher tsoreg midkus khaghagh baheyge
I’m giving you my silk handkerchief
Night and day I long for you
I wish that I had never seen you
Then night and day I could control my
Ankuyt aghchig inchou koves heratsar
Sirdus sirdus godretsir heratsar
Amen aden yes kez gu hishem
Sirdus khoren akh oo vakh gu kashem
Heartless girl, why did you leave me?
Leaving me with a broken heart,
I’ll always remember you,
My heart still yearns for you.

Recorded Music: Tom Bozigian Orchestra, Remastered c.2000 / Roupen and Guy Chookoorian, Lightning Records, 1952.

Dancers: Tom Bozigian and Sheree King.

With thanks to Arshag Chookoorian, Ani Marderosian Garzon, Harout Arakelian, and Jesse Kenas-Collins.

Medax Tashginag | Demonstration and Tutorial