Even though the role of an Armenian woman has always been a homemaker, taking care of their husband and children, they were not afraid to grab the rifle and go fight next to their husbands, children and countrymen for the Fatherland.
They sent their young children to fight and die for their country next to their fathers without a second thought, knowing that they may never see them again.
Even today, an Armenian woman will not hesitate to sacrifice her own motherly love for her children, as you can see in this picture and send her son to fight for Fatherland.
An example of the courage and self sacrifice of Armenian woman was Sose Mairig, born in 1869 in the village of Teghout on the slopes of Mount Nemrut. The daughter of Markar Dro-Avandur belonged to a large family and had many siblings. Sose was illiterate and married young, without any formal schooling.
Sose was familiar with her husband, Serop Aghpiur, because he was a friend of the family. At age 13, she fell in love with Serop and was married to him shortly after that. Together, they had two sons, Hagop and Samson, probably born between 1884 and 1887 respectively. Sose's involvement started the day she married Serop. The couple's involvement with Dashnaksutiun started around 1891, soon after the Federation of Armenian Revolutionaries was founded.
Sose Vartanian, wife of Serop, became a living legend among both Armenians and Turks for her courage as a fedayee. After marrying Serop, her life consisted of a series of adventures, spent mostly in the mountains with Serop and sons, Hagop and Samsom and a group of fedayees. This clan of fedayees were all under Serop's command, with the exception of when Serop was away on special missions. Sose took charge of the men under these circumstances and fought bravely in many battles, thus earning her legend as a heroine.
Sose's role was no different from that of a male fedayee, with the added tasks of a mother and housewife. She was a rare phenomenon, a female fedayee, resolute, fearless, cool and cunning in battle, she was often resented by the men. Her career as a fedayee came to an end in 1899, Gialiguzan village, when Serop, betrayed and treacherously poisoned, was killed in fierce battle with the government troops. Sose was seriously wounded; her life was spared by the commanding officer of the Turkish troops, who admired her courage and heroic and attractive bearing. At government expense, he had her treated at a hospital. After recuperating, she was jailed in Baghesh.
She was loved so much that people called her Sose Mayrig (mother).
The history of those days is best preserved in the lyrics of the songs people sang about brave people and major events. Listen to Karnig Sarkissian singing a dedicated song about her and her husband.
Seropin Yev Soseyin Yerke
Kntag vorodats Noyemper amsoun,
Basharvadz enk menk seeroun eem Sose,
Zenker ver arnenk, kachoutioun hos eh,
Ko siradz Seropin orhnyal orn ays eh.
Tsain dvav Sose-n "Serop Djan hos em,
Zinvadz badrasdvadz tsaynit gsbasem."
Kezi hed grvelou, kou gokhkin mernelou,
Ammen or, ammen jam badrasd eh Sose-n
Isg kou Seropuh, gyankid hadoruh,
Aryunov nergets Dalvorig tsoruh,
Aryudzi nayvatskov nayoum er poloruh,
Haghtagan grvi er ampoghch oruh.
Tsaindour Antranig, gensadou unger,
Arteok ays bahous Vor lern es barger,
Vosgetel mazerov yeresd es dzadzger,
Haghtagan pazougovt mosint es krger.
Hasir Antranig, hasir oknoutian,
Serop guh zohvi ee ser azkoutian.
Teh, hasir shoud hasir gdridj khoumperov,
Serop guh zohvi eer zavagnerov
Artsagenk hratsan herouyen moden
Togh sarsri soultan ylduz baladen
Barzenk troshag veh Tashnagtsootian
Getseh Kristapor, Rosdom, Zavarian
Serop's and Sose's Song
The guns thundered in the month of November,
We are surrounded my dear Sose,
Let us pick up our guns, courage is here,
This is your beloved Serop's blessed day.
Sose answered "My dear Serop I am here
Armed and ready waiting for your order"
To fight with you, to die on your side,
Every day, every hour Sose is ready.
Akh you dear Serop, part of my life,
Painted Dalvorig valley with blood,
With the look of a Lion, watching everything,
Courageously fighting that whole day.
Speak out Antranig, supporting friend,
I wonder on which mountain you are sleeping,
With your golden hair covering your face,
Carrying your "mosin" in your brave arms.
Come on Antranig, come for help,
Serop's is being scarificed for the love of the nation,
Come, come quick with your courageous groups,
Serop is being scarificed with his sons.
Let us fire rifles from far away and close,
Petrify the Sultan in his Yildiz palace,
Let us plant the brave Flag of Tashnagtsootian,
Long live Kristapor, Rosdom, Zavarian.