Persian Nomadic Tribes

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Persian Nomadic Tribes

You can find the nomads of Iran in different parts of this fantastic country. However, Fars, Lorestan, Khorasan, and the northwest of Iran have the biggest population of Persian nomadic tribes.

By trekking in nature and wandering around the hills of Zagros Mountain Range, you can find the black Chadors of nomads and experience watching their lives and enjoy their hospitality.

Persian Nomadic Tribes have been making the same migration for millennia. In spring they headed for the cooler pastures of the Zagros, where grass for their flocks of sheep and goats was abundant. At the end of autumn they would return to Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan Province, their animals strong and well-fed to make it through the winter.

Nomads in Iran live in a dry, harsh and uncertain environment and challenge for viability of their traditional economy within the complex socio-economic and political structures of the Iranian society.

For Visiting Persian Nomadic Tribes can book “Shiraz to Tabriz” tour


QASHQAI nomads

Qashqai consisting of mostly Turkic peoples but also Lurs, Kurds and Arabs. Almost all of them speak a Western Oghuz Turkic dialect known as the Qashqai language, which they call “Turki”, as well as Persian in formal use. The Qashqai mainly live in the provinces of Fars, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Bushehr, and southern Isfahan, especially around the cities of Shiraz and Firuzabad in Fars. The majority of Qashqai people were originally nomadic pastoralists and some remain so today. The traditional nomadic Qashqai travelled with their flocks twice yearly to and 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 the Persian 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.



Shahsavan, name of a number of tribal groups in various parts of northwestern Iran, notably in the Moghan and Ardabil districts of eastern Azerbaijan and in the Ḵaraqān and Ḵamsa districts between Zanjan and Qazvin. Most of the latter groups also originated in Moghan, where Shahsevan ancestors were located during Safavid times.

The Shahsevan traditionally pursued a nomadic pastoral way of life, migrating between winter pastures near sea-level in Moghan and summer quarters 100-200 km to the south on the Savalan and neighboring ranges, in the districts of Ardabil, Meshkin, and Sarab. The nomads formed a minority of the population in this region, though, like the settled majority, whom they knew as Tat, they were Shiʿi Muslims, and spoke Turkish.

Unlike the Baḵtiari and the Qashqai of the Zagros, the Shahsevan lived in an accessible and much-frequented frontier zone. The fertile Moghan steppe, extensively irrigated in mediaeval times, was the site chosen by Nader Shah Afshar (in 1736) and Agh Moḥammad Khan Qajar (in 1796) for their coronations. Shahsevan summer pastures, surrounded by rich farmlands, lay between Ardabil, a historically important shrine city and trade centre, and Tabriz, capital of several past rulers. Grain, fruit, wool and meat from the region have long been widely marketed. Raw silk produced in the neighboring provinces of Gilan and Shirvan figured prominently in international trade passing through or near Shahsevan territory. Control of these resources was a major motivation for conquest: since the 16th century, Persian, Ottoman, and Russian and Soviet forces claimed or occupied Shahsevan territory on several occasions each. In such a location, Shahsevan relations with governments have taken a different course from those of the Zagros tribes.



Territory and way of life. The Bakhtiari tribe is one of the two biggest Persian Nomadic Tribes, the other being the Qashqai. In the 1970s, the Bakhtiaris numbered in all approximately 600,000, and about one third of them were nomadic. They are Twelver Shiʿites and speak a Luri dialect. Sedentarized Bakhtiaris live in towns and in many villages in Chahar Maḥal, and in (Khuzistan) down to Ahvaz. The nomads and some sedentary people live in the tribal territory, called the “Bakhtiari country” an area of roughly 75,000 km2 stretching from the Dez river, Shushtar, and Ram Hormoz on the west to Daran and the outskirts of Shahr-e Kord on the east.

The traditional Baḵhtiari way of life is typical of the long-distance nomadism which evolved in the Zagros highlands from the thirteenth century onward, at first under the impact of the Mongol invasions, and probably attained its present form during the eighteenth century, in a defensive reaction against increasing fiscal and administrative pressures experienced under successive Iranian régimes.

The Bakhtiari nomads move between a summer abode in the high mountains and a winter abode in the western foothills adjoining the Ḵhuzestan plain.

The ecological boundary between the two zones coincides roughly with the course of the Ab-e Bazoft. Thus the Bakhtiari country falls into two different administrative provinces: Chahar Maḥal, where the summer quarters lie, and Ḵhuzestan, in which the winter quarters are included. The seasonal migrations made by different sections of the tribe vary in length and can reach 300 km.

The migration into the mountains takes place in springtime when the weather and the vegetation are at their best; it lasts longer (15 to 45 days) than the reverse migration.


TURKMEN nomads

Turkmens are a nation and Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia, primarily the Turkmen nation state of Turkmenistan. Smaller communities are also found in Iran, Afghanistan and North Caucasus.They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Eastern Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages. Examples of other Oghuz languages are Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai, Gagauz, Khorasani, and Salar.

They have been living in Iran since 550 AD, but they began to form a tribe from 750 AD. They can be considered as the descendants of Central Asian Turks who were retained to their ethnic identity during the Mongol invasion. There are different Turkmen tribes live in Iran, but not all of them lives in Iran.

The most important tribes of Turkmen living in Iran are Kuklans and Yamotes. The Kuklans has six branches, and live in the central and eastern of Turkmen Sahra. The Yamotes consists of two large clans; the Atabai and Jaafarbai, who live at the west part of Turkmen Sahra.

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