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IRAN | Monday, 15 December 2014 | Views [281]

The History Of Nomads of Iran
Aryan tribes migrated into the Iranian plateau in the 2d millennium BC. There are over 1.5 million nomads in Iran today. Many of these tribes such as the Kurds, Bakhtiyaris (Bactrians), Lurs, Guilaks, and the Baluchs are descendants of the original invaders who came from Central Asia to settle in the Iranian Plateau.
Tribes of iran

Most of the tribes of Central Iran are pure Aryan, while others such as the Arabs of Khuzestan and Khorassan, the Qashqai, the Turkmen (descendant of Mongols), Shahsevan and Afshar tribes of Azarbaijan had ancestors who passed through Iran.
By 1920 nomadic pastoral tribes were over a quarter of Iran's population. Their number declined sharply as a result forced settlement in the 1920s and 1930s. Continued pressure as well as the lure of the cities and settled life has resulted in a further sharp decline since the 1960s.
The largest tribal groups are the Kurds, who live in the province of Kurdestan in the northern Zagros region, the Lurs and the Bakhtiari, who live in the southern Zagros region, the Qashqai in Fars, the Turkoman in the northeast, and the Baluch in the southeast.
There are over one hundred different nomadic tribes today, each with its own dialect, style of dress and housing, and its own chief or leader.
The Bakhtiari tribe, which numbered more than 1 million in 1997, inhabits an area of approximately 67,000 Km (25,000 Mi) that straddles the central Zagros Mountains. They speak a dialect of Persian called Luri, are Shiite Muslims, and about one third of the tribe is nomadic. Their migration is among the most spectacular known among nomadic pastoralists anywhere.

Qashghai People
They are a conglomeration of clans of different ethnic origins, including, Arab, Kurdish, Lori and mostly Turkic.[2] They mainly live in theIranian provinces of Fars, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province,Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Bushehr and southern Isfahan, especially around the city of Shiraz and Firuzabad in Fars. After assimilation politics since Pahlavi, almost all of them are bilingual, speaking the Qashqai language - which is a member of the Turkic family of languages and which they call Turki - as well as (in formal use) the Persian language. Majority of Qashqai people were originally nomadic pastoralists and some remain so today. The traditional nomadic Qashqai travelled with their flocks each year from the summer highland pastures north of Shiraz roughly 480 km or 300 miles south to the winter pastures on lower (and warmer) lands near thePersian Gulf, to the southwest of Shiraz. The majority, however, have now become partially or wholly sedentary. The trend towards settlement has been increasing markedly since the 1960s.

Qashqai carpets and weavings

The Qashqai are renowned for their magnificent pile carpets and other woven wool products. They are sometimes referred to as "Shiraz" because Shiraz was the major marketplace for them in the past. The wool produced in the mountains and valleys near Shiraz is exceptionally soft and beautiful and takes a deeper color than wool from other parts of Iran.
"No wool in all Persia takes such a rich and deep colour as the Shiraz wool. The deep blue and the dark ruby red are equally extraordinary, and that is due to the brilliancy of the wool, which is firmer and, so to say, more transparent than silk, and makes one think of translucent enamel" .
Qashqai carpets have been said to be "probably the most famous of all Persian tribal weavings". Qashqai saddlebags, adorned with colorful geometric designs, "are superior to any others made.



The Shahsevan are a branch of the Turkic Oghuz groups, sub-ethnic group of Azerbaijani people, located primarily in Iran and on the territory of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan. The name Shahsevanmeans "adherents of the Shah". There is no historical evidence to support this story, however, and it is unlikely that there was a single unified tribal group of this name until the early eighteenth century, when Shahsevan tribal warriors are recorded as resisting invading Ottoman forces in the Ardabïl-Moghan region.
Soon afterward, several Shahsevan groups were moved to other parts of northern and western Iran, leaving the ancestors of the present Shahsevan tribes of Ardabīl and Moghan unified under a paramount chief who was appointed by the famous Iranian conqueror Nader Shah Afshar.
The constituent tribes are mainly of Turkish descent, tracing their origins to Central Asia, although the ancestors of several were probably Kurdish.
The Shahsevan traditionally pursued a nomadic pastoral way of life, migrating between winter pastures near sea-level in Moḡān and summer quarters 100-200 km to the south on the Sabalān (or Savalan) and neighboring ranges, in the districts of Ardabil, Meškin, and Sarāb. The nomads formed a minority of the population in this region, though, like the settled majority, whom they knew as Tāt, they were Shiʿi Muslims, and spoke Turkish.
Shahsevan nomads traditionally raised flocks of sheep and goats, the former for milk and milk products, wool, and meat, the latter only in small numbers, mainly as flock leaders. They used camels, donkeys, and horses for transport. Most families raised chickens for eggs and meat, and a few kept cows. Every family had several fierce dogs, to guard the home and the animals against thieves and predators. Bread was their staple food. Some nomads had some settled relatives with whom they cooperated in a dual economy, sharing or exchanging pastoral for agricultural produce. Most, however, sold milk, wool and surplus animals to tradesmen in order to obtain wheat flour and other supplies. Some worked as hired shepherds, paid 5 percent of the animals they tended for every 6-month contract period. Others went to towns and villages seasonally for casual wage-labor. Itinerant peddlers visited most days, but householders went on shopping expeditions to town at least twice a year, e.g. during the migrations. Most purchases were made on credit, against next season’s pastoral produce. The wealthiest nomads raised flocks of sheep commercially, and owned shares in village lands as absentee landlords.

Bakhtiyari people
the Bakhtiari are an ancient southwestern Persianstribe. They speak the Bakhtiari dialect, a southwestern Iranian dialect, belonging to the Luri language,
A small percentage of Bakhtiari are still nomadic pastoralists, migrating between summer quarters (sardsīr or yaylāq) and winter quarters (garmsīr or qishlāq).[8] Numerical estimates of their total population widely vary. Bakhtiaris primarily inhabit Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari and eastern Khuzestan, Lorestan and Isfahan. In Khuzestan, Bakhtiari tribes are primarily concentrated in the eastern part of the province.
he Bakhtiari are noted in Iran for their remarkable music which inspired Alexander Borodin.[22] The Bakhtiari dialect is the most popular dialect of the Lurish language.
Constitutional Revolution
In Iran's contemporary history, the Bakhtiari have played a significant role; particularly during the advent of the country's Constitutional Revolution (1905–1907). This event was largely secured through the Bakhtari campaign which eventually deposed Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1907-1909). The Bakhtiari tribesmen, under the leadership of the Haft Lang khans Sardar Assad and his brother Najaf Qoli Khan Bakhtiari- Saad ad-Daula (also referred to as Samsam-os Saltane), captured Tehran, and as a result saved the revolution. These events eventually led to the abdication of Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1907-1909) in 1909, and his exile to Russia. This incident secured Saad ad-Daula the position of Prime Minister in the period that followed the abdication of the Qajar Shah. Nonetheless with Russian backing the Shah would soon return in 1911 by landing with a coalition of forces at Astarabad However, his efforts to reclaim his throne would bear no fruit] In this sense, the Bakhtiaris played a critical role in saving the revolution from the Qajar force.

The social structure of nomadic society
As a unit of social life, a tribe has many duties to accomplish. A system is needed to connect a family to the whole tribe. This tribal organization is vital to integrate a tribe from within itself.

In nomadic societies, a tribal family with its own definition and functions is distinguished from what we know, nowadays, as a family in modernized societies. A tribal family cannot mean anything without a wife and cannot perform its duties. In such a family, the whole family matters, not every individual member. This is the survival code of a tribal family.
Polygamy” is sometimes seen among tribes. Another wife is another source of assistance the head of a family needs to manage the broadened responsibilities. Of course, this is how it is described by tribal men, but there should be other reasons for this phenomenon too.
A husband, a wife and a child are each helping the family course of existence to go on. Even children have their own job descriptions from childhood that depend on their sexes. They learn and practice the serious life of being an adult.
Social Structure Classifications
Heads of tribes and guard heads are the wealthiest. Middle-class people are headmen, elders and similar ranks. The ordinary people are the majority who live hard lives.
Each group has its own different responsibility, property and characteristics. Sometimes, one can say which class they belong to by looking at the color and appearance of their tents


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