It can be stated that from the very long past, majority of the people in Iran were engaged in pastoral subsistence and animal breeding. Thus earning their livelihood in various parts of the country mostly. The herds were taken to the seasonal summer or winter quarters, where the herdsmen lived in tents. These decamping differentiated this community from the others who were permanent dwellers. Thereby bringing about trivial conflicts amongst them at times. Moreover, this community could not be categorized as nomads in general, as some were semi-tribal. The latter stationed a part of their clan in their distinct realm regards their summer or winter quarters. Whereas their respective chieftains, dwelled in the cities or villages for part of the year. Though the life of these communities or tribes intermingled with their decamping conditions, which made them adapt to their surroundings, certain factors are not distinct.
Divisions of Iran Nomads:
The north and northwestern tribes of Iran, comprising of various clans such as the Turkaman tribes.
The same are within the limits of the provinces of Golestan and Khorassan.
The Turkmans of Iran belong to the Turkish speaking tribes. They have presently settled down
in the north eastern corner of Iran. The Turkmans of Iran consist of four main tribes: the Yomut,
the Guklan, the Nokhorli and the Tekké. Social and cultural differences can be observed due to
their historical background and different means of subsistence, despite their great similarities.
The Yomut consist of two subtribes - The Atabay and Jafarbay. Until the beginning of this century
the tribe was nomadic but now only a few of them migrate and within a limited area. Turkman Sahra
located south of the Atrak River, It is a slightly hilly area, sloping gently towards the Caspian
Sea. Its climate ranges from moderate in winter to hot and dry in summer, which changes into a
humid Mediterranean type around the Caspian Sea.
The northwestern tribes of Iran, enveloping such tribes as the Shahsavan, Arasbaran,
Afshar-e-Qezelbash, Garahgozloo and various clans of the Khamseh tribe. These are within
the limits of eastern and west Azarbayjan, Hamadan, Ardabil and Zanjan.
Shahsavan means "protectors of the king" and refers to the fact that this nomadic
tribe guards one of Iran's most remote and vulnerable frontiers, at Azerbaijan. The
Shahsavan are a tribe in north-western Iran. There are several groups of Shahsavan
nomads scattered throughout the region. The majority of the Shahsavan tribe lives in
northwest Iran near the city of Ardabil and Dashtehmoghan.
The western tribes of Iran, comprising of those having a Kurdish dialect, Kalhor,
Sanjabi, Gurkani and... The said reside in the provinces of Kermanshah, west Azarbayjan
*The southwest and southern
tribes of Iran, comprising of various clans such as the Khamseh, Qashqaie, Arab and the
Lor-e-Koochak. These are settled in the provinces of Fars, Khuzestan and Lurestan.
The Lors are a nomadic tribe of shepherds who live in the Zagros Mountains of southwestern
Iran. Many believe that they were, in fact, the original inhabitants of this area. The Lors
are primarily located in three regions: Lorestan, Kermanshah and Bouyer A. & Kohkiluyeh,
all of which are part of the Zagros Mountains. The valleys within this range have rich
pastures that have been used by different nomadic tribes from time to time. Although most
of the Lor live in this general area, other Lor communities can also be found scattered
across Iran. While nearly five million Luri live in Iran, only approximately 70,000 live
in Iraq. Their homes are located in the Zagros Mountains, which are situated in the eastern
portion of the country. The Lors speak a language, called "Lori," that is very similar to
modern Persian. Since the Lors regularly have contacts outside their own communities, they
are generally bilingual.About half of the Lors are shepherds. They live as nomads, traveling
six to eight months out of the year and living in black goat-hair tents. They only live in
permanent dwellings for a few months during the winter. From October to April they live in
low-lying pastures; but in the dry season, they move their flocks to high mountain pastures.
The Lors believe that a shepherd's success is determined by his personal qualities and good
luck. Some of the Lors prefer farming over shepherding. They live in permanent villages
all year round, as opposed to moving from place to place, and raise wheat and barley as their
principal crops. The Lors are known for their rich folklore. Their tales glorify the history of
each tribal group and describe the adventures of their heroes. They also emphasize such
characteristics as loyalty, generosity, and, most importantly, bravery in battle.
The Turkish speaking Qashqaie tribe is the most reputed tribe in southern Iran. The Qashqaie
territory extends from Abadeh and Shahreza in the Isfahan province to the Persian Gulf coast.
The tribe comprises numerous clans. The major ones are Kashkooli, Sheesh Blocki, Khalaj, Farsi Madan,
Safi Khani, Rahimi, Bayat, and Darreh Shuyee. One school of thought maintains that the Qashqaies descended
from the ancestors of the Turkish Khalaj clan, who lived between India and Sistan region of Iran, and then
migrated to central and southern Iran. Each clan has a chief, and there was a general tribal leader who
was appointed in the old days. The Qashqaie tribe has never played a decisive role in the national
political developments, but it has occasionally been the source of short-lived troubles for the government.
The south eastern tribes of Iran, comprising of
the Balooch tribes rsiding in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
The tribes of central Iran, these are namely, the
Bakhtiyari, Boyer Ahmad, Doshman Ziyari, Charam, Bavi, Bahmehyi, Tayebi, Mokran and ........ The same reside within
the limits of the provinces of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiyari, Khuzestan, Kohkiluyeh and Kerman.
The Bakhtiari Nomads
The Bakhtiyari tribe is composed of the clans living in the mountainous regions between the Chaharmahal, Fars, Khuzistan
(the Taftoon Field), and Lurestan provinces. The tribe is divided into two separate branches: Haft Gang and Chahar Gang.
The former consists of 55 and the latter of 24 clans. The Arabian and Lur clans mix together in the Bakhtiari tribe. The
Bakhtiari tribe is also called the Great Lur.The Bakhtiari tribe, which numbers more than 800,000, inhabits an area of
approximately 67,000 sq. km (25,000 sq. mi) that straddles the central Zagros Mountains in Iran. Although only about a
third of the tribe is nomadic, the nomads embody the Bakhtiari cultural ideals. Their production of carpets have increased
at the start of the 19th century. This region is known for having very luxurious wool that produces excellent carpets.
The eastern and northeastern tribes of Iran, which comprise
of various clans settled in the province of Khorassan.