HAMKALĀM, a Zoroastrian-Persian adjective meaning “of the same word.” It is a hybrid compound of Persian ham “together, of the same” (< Av./OP. hama-, see AirWb., col. 1773; Kent, Old Persian, p. 213) and Arabic kalām “word, speech.” It is a priestly technical term used of fully qualified priests who acquire identical ritual power through performing a prescribed act. After solemnizing a yasna (called in Parsi priestly idiom a Minō Nāvar, see Avesta, tr. Darmesteter, I, p. lxvii; Modi, p. 195), each in his own ritual precinct (pāvi) performs a drōn service (q.v.), and they then each make a ritual tasting (čāsni) of the offerings (the drōn and gōšodō) consecrated by the other. More than two priests may do this, so that all become hamkalām. This act of sharing the čāsni is itself termed the “hamkalām” by transference. It is general practice among Parsi priests to become hamkalām before performing particular rites in the complex and important ceremonies of Nāvar, Gēti Ḵarid, Nirangdin,and Varasyō (for all of which see Modi, index, s.vv.).



E. S. Meherjirana, Purseš-Pārōkh, Bombay, 1941, p. 55.

Jivanji Jamshedji Modi, The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees, 2nd ed., Bombay, 1937, repr. 1986, pp. 242-43, 281-82.

H. M. Pavri, Bāj dharṇāne lagtī pāwmahalnī kriyāō, Bombay, 1938, repr. 1995, pp. 195, 213, 279.

(Mary Boyce and Firoze Kotwal)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 6, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XI, Fasc. 6, pp. 643-644