Hello and welcome to Fierce Friday, designed to kick off your weekend by celebrating the universal language of strong looks.

I think you'd have to agree that our first fierce face is pretty well up to the task: this impressive human is a Yazidi man photographed in about 1930. He sports the characteristic Yazidi braids and moustache, which men are forbidden to cut; under his shirt would be a gerîvan, an undershirt with a round neck opening whose white colour is an important symbol of purity in Yazidi culture. 

The Yazidi are an ancient Kurdish religious group whose beliefs resemble aspects of Zoroastrianism, Mesopotamian and other neigbouring religions but are in many respects unique. Yazidism is monotheistic, believing in one creator God who entrusts the world to seven holy beings or Mysteries, of whom the most significant is Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel. Because the Yazidi believe themselves to be direct descendants of Adam alone, they do not intermarry with other cultures and do no accept converts, in order to preserve this line.

Though traditionally concentrated in Iraq's northern Nineveh Province, large Yazidi communities have existed in Armenia, Syria, Turkey, Georgia and now, increasingly, in Europe, following heavy persecution in their native lands.

Image via La Petite École on Tumblr.