Iran's Culture 10 Jun 2023 BY Shah Izadipour

Iran Ethnic Groups

The emerge of different ethnic groups in Iran goes back thousands of years.

Ethnicity in Iran

Having been placed at the crossroad of historical migration, Iran has encountered a diverse ethnic composition that has settled and distributed widely ,and has further distributed and intermixed racial and ethnic groups in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The geographical location of Iran and the onslaught of different migrants with different languages and beliefs in the last 3000 years have led to the settlement of three lingual families of Aryan, Semite (Arabic, Hebrew, and Assyrian), and Aral Altaic (Turkish and Mongolian) as well as religions like Zoroastrian, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Iran. 

During his 18-month stay in Iran, Fredrick Hussey conducted an anthropometric measurement and distributed Iranian nations into six racial groups: Aryan, Mongolian, Aryan-Mongolian, Semite, Semite-Mongolian, Aryan, and Black. 

Iranian  Ethnics

Freddie Monis, a French Iranologist, in his book "Iranian Nations", has distributed the country based on name and geographical locations such as Kurds in western Iran, Bakhtiaris in the center, Lores in Lorestan, Arab tribes in Khuzestan, Ghashghayee in Fars, Balooch and Brahuyee in Baloochestan, Turkomans in the north and Ghazalbash in Azerbaijan.


Ethnicity refers to a group of people with a particular language, mainland, culture, customs, traditions, heritage, and race distinct from other social groups with racial affiliations. In other words, ethnicity is attributed to a social organ that includes people whose economy and culture are tied together and common in language, culture, society, religion, traditional specialties, and values.

Iranian Ethnic Groups

In the history of Iran, due to the migrations, wars, attacks, and conquests in the Iranian plateau, various ethnic groups have emerged in Iran. Actually, because of the geographical location of Iran, these events have occurred throughout its history.

In one classification that has paid attention to anthropological, linguistic, and social particularities, Iranian nations and tribes have been disturbed as follows:

 Balooch Tribes: 

Lived in the area around Baloochestan, off the Coast of Oman Sea to northern Baloochestan and southern Khurasan [Khorasan].

 Brahuyee Tribes: 

Lived in northern Baloochestan. They are Dravidian and speak the Dravidian language.


a) Ghazalbash lived in Azerbaijan, Maghan [Moghan] Plain, Sabalan Mountains, and Orumiyeh (Afshar clan). 

b) Afshar Ghazalbash lived in the Zanjan region; 

c) Inanlu and Baghdadi Ghazalnash lived in Qom and Saveh area; 

d) Three tribes of Inanlu, Baharlu, and people from the Khumsek Farsi clan; 

e) Ghashghayee in Fars province;

f) Turkomans, including Yamut, Takeh, and Goklan tribes, lived in the whole Gorgan Plain and northern Khurasan; 

g) Ghazzaq consisting of three groups lived in the vicinity of the cities of Gumbad, Kavush, Gorgan, and Bander Turkoman; 

h) Elat Turk is in the rest of Iran, like Sirjan, Ghazvin, and Karaj.


a) Kurd clans living in the provinces of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Western Azerbaijan; 

b) Kurd clans living in the cities of Bajnurd [Bojnord], Ghoochan, and Shirvan in Khurasan province; 

c) Kurds living in the area around Mazandaran, southern Gilan, and Tehran.

Lores and Laks: 

a) Lores especially are living in the Lorestan area, part of the northern plain of Khuzestan and the foothill of Zagros; 

b) Charmahal Bakhtiari region and northeastern Khuzestan. 

c) Posht-e-Kuh (Elam); 

d) Kehkiloyeh, Bovir Ahmad [Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad], and similar clans.

Arab Clans: 

a) Different Arab clans living in the Khuzestan area; 

b) Arab Fars clans (from Khamseh Fars) living in the Khuzestan area; 

c) Arab clans living in Khurasan area (Taimuri). 

d) Arabs living around Varamin and other points of Iran and Lorestan and often forgotten their characteristics of being Arab and even lack their Arabic language

Iranian Ethnic Groups in Detail

1. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is the meeting place of two mountain ranges, Zagros and Alborz. Because of that and also the people of these two regions, a culture is merged, called the culture of Azerbaijan. Azeri people, or Azerbaijani, live in the north of Iran, in the provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Ardebil, and Zanjan. In general, in the south of the Aras River, which is the northwest border of Iran. Also, Azeri people are scattered in Hamedan province and west of Gilan, and some live in the cities of Tehran, Qom, Arak, and Ghazvin.

In addition to Farsi, as the official language of Iran, their language is Azeri which is close to Turkish spoken in Turkey. There are different dialects in the Azeri language, which Khalkhali, Tati, and Harzandi are remnants of the Madi (231 -708 BC) language. Tati, or Today's Turkish language in Hamedan, Zanjan, and Qazvin and around Karaj and Saveh, has some words used in the Median era. 

Also, these people are famous for being religious and patriotic, so their role in the important political movements of Iran has always been prominent throughout history due to their fighting and hostile spirit. In light of that, some dynasties in Iran were founded and ruled by Azeri ancestors. Moreover, during different periods, the Azeri people have fought bravely against opponents of honor and humanity; actually, these people belong to a region that has always felt responsible for Iran and has made all its effort to preserve the territorial integrity of Iran.

Azeris' costumes, which are worn nowadays just in villages and during their traditional ceremonies and also for dancing, consist of different parts with colorful qualified fabrics for women with slight differences in single and married ones'; also for men, their costumes are mainly made of wool, decorated with delicate fancywork; such as felt hats, and sleeved long garments and shawls around the waist. It is worth mentioning that the costumes of different villages are rather different from each other. Moreover, their dance is well-known and has a fast rhythm to Azeri folk music, which is so attractive.

Azeri Clothes

Furthermore, to know this group in more detail, after Timur's victory over the Ottomans, Timur ordered all Ghazalbash clans, including the seven important clans of this tribe, to settle wherever they were. Therefore, the Qajars, who had reached the north of Aras then, and the Afshars, who had reached the Khuzestan region and the west of the country, stopped and settled there. Also, the Baharlus settled in Hamedan, the Ramloes settled in the north of Hamedan, and the rest settled in other places. In this way, the most important seven tribes of Ghazalbash settled in Iran. Ghazalbashs are the ancestors of Azeris. 

2. Kurds

Kurds, one of the great Iranian ethnic groups, are today scattered among countries such as Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Armenia, and other neighboring areas. Kurdistan province of Iran is one of the largest Kurdish regions. Apart from living in Kurdistan province, Iranian Kurds are also scattered in West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah, Khorasan, and some other provinces of the country. Unlike some other ethnic groups, such as Arabs or Turkmens, who came from outside the borders of Iran, Kurds have been present in this land since the beginning of the formation of Iran. They are considered to be the most authentic Iranians based on their age. 

Due to its cultural richness, this tribe has been destroyed and digested in the victorious nation much less than other tribes by foreign invasions, so that even today in Kurdistan, we witness the authentic Iranian behavior of this tribe, celebrating Nowruz, reciting the Shahnameh and honoring the legends of the Shahnameh in various forms, as well as other behaviors, ceremonies, beautiful and epic Kurdish dance, etc. are reasons for this claim. It is worth mentioning that despite the many commonalities that the Kurdish people have with the Fars people and other Iranian ethnic groups, their linguistic and religious characteristics are a factor for the enemies of this land to abuse these noble and ever-Iran-guarding people. Also, Kurdish nomads are considered to be communities of united people against the encroachments of others and the guardians of ethnic and racial rituals and traditions, and customs of tribal life.

Kurdish people

During the Qajar period, Kurdistan was divided into Iranian and Ottoman parts, and Sulaymaniyah fell into the hands of the Turks. At the beginning of the 20th century, Mosul was handed over to Iraq. The Kurds are scattered among several countries: Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Armenia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, etc.; Iranian Kurds mostly live in the western regions of the country and the provinces of Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah, and Khorasan. The Kurds of Khorasan live in the border areas of Iran and Afghanistan. They were gradually moved to these areas from Kurdistan during the Safavid Dynasty. In addition, Iranian Kurds are divided into several groups and branches. These groups include the four major branches of Kurmanj, Lur, Kalhor, and Guran.

Moreover, Kurds, like other Iranians, followed Zoroastrianism before Islam. Finally, after the rise of Islam, the Kurds became Muslim and Sunni Shafi'i. Apart from Islam, they also believe in other sects, and the Sufi sects have many followers in Kurdistan. Some Kurds are also Jewish, Armenian, and Assyrian.

Regarding the language of the Kurdish people, it should be said that the language of the Kurds is known as Kurdish; this language, like Dari Farsi, Turkish, and other common dialects in Iran, is one of the dialects of the Middle Persian language and due to the fact that this dialect has the structure of the Persian language, despite the presence of Kurdish words, it cannot be considered an independent language. This situation has made the enemies of Iran's unity unable to penetrate most Iranians, the Kurds, and achieve their divisive goals by using some differences. It is worthy of note that Kurdish language dialects include Kurmanji, Kurdish, and Laki.

Kurdish clothing is diverse with cheerful and lively colors and varies according to social situations and seasonal changes. The special features of Kurdish clothing are a measure to distinguish them from other Iranian ethnic groups. Kurdish men wear a round-necked and voluminous shirt called "Keras"; on top of it, they wear a button-up jacket resembling a military uniform. The most distinctive parts of Kurdish clothing are wide pants that narrow near the ankles and are known as Kurdish pants (Dameh Qopan). Kurds wear a turban-like head scarf with tassels wrapped around a hat. In the past, tying a chain of cartridges and a dagger on the waist shawl was one of the signs of the pride of men and was considered an ornament of their clothes. Some men also hung tobacco bags and sticks on their waist shawls. Besides, Kurdish women wear loose pants with tight hems and a dress over them. They wear a wide and loose cotton shawl loosely around their waist and wear a short bodice over the dress. They also wear a long scarf around their head embroidered with coins, colored beads, and sequins. It is interesting to know that today the Kurds in the Oramanat region wear almost the same style as the Medes used to put on in the first millennium BC.

Kurdish Cloths

Music, dance, and singing play a prominent role in the social life of Kurds. There are different types of Kurdish dance, such as Chupi, Rash Balak, etc. During holidays and celebrations, they hold each other's hands, form a circle, dance, and rejoice. Two or three singers also sing poems suitable for the festival with the sound of Dohol and Sorna. Kurds are skilled in playing Bulur (a type of Fife or Reed), Dozaleh, Tanbur, Oud, Rubab, Setar, and Dutar.

It can be engaging to know that the "Do Tablah" is a musical instrument exclusive to the Kurdish nomads, which was used in times of war or to gather people and forces as well as issue commands such as attack and preparation for the migration of the tribe. Even today, this ceremony is common among Kurdish tribes in some regions of Kurdistan. They often tie the "Do Tablah" in front of the horse's saddle and perform songs on it while riding and moving in groups. The "Shemshal" is also a cylindrical musical instrument that is customary to play among Kurdish shepherds and mountain dwellers.

To know more about this Iranian ethnic group, the Kurds have rich oral literature and usually embellish their sentences with many proverbs, simple allusions, and rhyming phrases. Love songs, happy songs, sad mourning poems, lullabies, etc., are cultural characteristics of Kurds and are part of their daily life. They also have many Kurdish stories and legends with romantic, martial, epic, and moral themes.

3. Arabs

Arabs, who comprise about 4% of Iran's population, are of Arab descent, most of whom have settled in Khuzestan province (mostly in the central and southwest of this province) and the Persian Gulf islands.

Nomadic Arab nomads had come to the land of Iran, especially Khuzestan, before the Muslim conquests during the Sassanid period. After Islam, the Arab tribes came to this region of Iran along with the conquering armies due to the presence of the people with their own language and religion in Khuzestan. They started a new life alongside the Persian speakers (Bakhtiari, Shushtari, and Dezfuli), but by adhering to their ethnic customs. According to this, the Arab race of Khuzestan is the same as the Semitic race, which in terms of appearance, has green skin and relatively thick hair. Although among the Arabs, due to the difference in the origin of migration, white skin, colored eyes, blond hair, and even black people are also seen. The Arabs of Iran are Muslim and Twelver Shi'ism. Among the most important Arab clans, we can mention Banu Ka'b, Banu Saleh, Banu Taraf, Banu Malik, Al Khamis, Al Kathir, and several other tribes. The primary and general livelihood of the Arabs is fishing and trading in the sea with barges; in addition to this, animal husbandry and some horticultural activities such as palm cultivation and production dependent on palm-related industries are among the main occupations of the Arab farmers of Khuzestan.

Iranian Arabs

The most common clothing of the Arabs men is a long robe known as a "thobe" or "dishdasha", along with a scarf called a ghutrah. Dishdasha is a one-piece and ankle-length dress (without pants) that is usually white and light and suitable for summer. Also, the older people in the village mostly wear dishdasha, and the new generation usually prefers to appear in the community and with other Iranian compatriots with modern clothes. One of the characteristics of Arab women's clothing is a black shawl called a "Magh'naeh". Besides, the use of makeup among Arab women is only for married women. They also tattoo their hands, forehead, and face.

Most Iranian Arabs still speak the language of their fathers and ancestors, Arabic. The language of Iranian Arabs has many differences from the Arabic language of the Hejaz people, in such a way that the language of Iranian Arabs is closer to Iraqi colloquial Arabic. Especially the Arabic language of the Arabs living in Khuzestan has been greatly influenced by the Persian language and the local dialects of Khuzestan. Moreover, the Arabic of Abadan and Khorramshahr is slightly different from that of other parts of Khuzestan and closer to authentic Arabic.

Iranian Arab Coffee

Arab life is derived from their tribal customs. One of the important ceremonies of Khuzestan Arabs is their traditional coffee-drinking ritual. In this ceremony, a tray containing sand is placed on the flame, and then a special pot called "Dallah", which contains Arabic coffee with water, is rotated around on the sand until the coffee boils and is now ready to be served. Further, this ritual is held in spaces without doors called "Mozif".

4. Baloochs

Baloochs are one of the original and well-known Iranian ethnic groups who speak the Baloochi language (which is actually more of a dialect than a language), and their largest population lives in the countries of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The main homeland of the Balooch is Sistan and Balouchestan, referred to as "Makran" in the old history books. The history of this land is very long, and its age is estimated to be between eight and ten thousand years. According to old inscriptions and books, Balooch and Balouchistan existed before Islam. These people, are known for their hospitality and are from Iranian and Aryan tribes, live in southeast Iran, southwest Afghanistan, and east Pakistan.

Balouchistan province has a hot and dry climate, and its people are divided into residents and nomads. The main source of income for the resident Balooch is agriculture and for the mobile Balooch, animal husbandry. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to drought, agriculture and animal husbandry have decreased to a great extent. As a result of these factors, the people of Balouchistan have inevitably turned to non-agricultural activities and tried to manage their lives by resorting to their products. In addition to songs, handicrafts also express a face of the life of the Balooch people, which can be understood in the colors and patterns of Balooch needlework or rugs and carpets.

Balooch Soozandoozi

Women traditionally do handicraft activities in this province. Because Balooch women do not do much housework due to their very humble life, and because of the traditions and beliefs of men, they cannot work outside the home either. Therefore, every Balooch woman and girl learns Balooch needlework from age seven under the pretext of decorating their clothes, thus contributing to the family's livelihood. Pottery, carpet and rug weaving, and even felt-making, which is a hard and masculine job, are also done by the women of Balouchistan.

Among the most important fields of handicrafts common in the province are carpet weaving, kilim weaving, pottery, wicker weaving, curtain weaving, tent weaving, felt-making, woodturning and Balooch needlework, coin embroidery, and mirror embroidery.

The Baloochs are of noble people with Iranian history and characteristics, with special and sometimes different cultures and beliefs. Balooch people are free, hospitable, honest, brave, courageous, hardworking, and warriors. Under the influence of the special conditions of their environment, the Balooch people live steadfastly and tolerantly and with minimal facilities; and perhaps their tolerance against problems and hardships is unprecedented among the tribes and ethnic groups of Iran. They are steadfast and loyal in friendship and stubborn and vengeful in enmity. In other words, some characteristic that distinguishes the Balooch people is their oath; if a Balooch makes a promise to someone, he is true to his word. Another characteristic is hospitality; The hospitality of the Balooch people is an admirable trait among all the rich and poor Balooch classes. The hospitality and reception of guests are associated with intimacy and the expression of special feelings.

Balooch Woman

Hashr and Madad are other characteristics of these people; Living alone has no meaning for a Baloch persoon, and loneliness means destruction. Therefore, in life and an unequal confrontation with the harsh nature, he has learned to always live with his people and co-religionists to be safe from any bite and harm. They always help each other in building schools and houses, cultivating rice crops, harvesting crops, building and dredging canals (qanats), water dams, and defense. Bjar, which means help in marriage, is also one of the characteristics of these people; One of the Baloochi people's most popular and useful traditions, which can rarely be found among the most eastern tribes and nations, is the topic of 'Bjar'. Bjar means financial help and companionship with the young man and groom who intends to get married and start a family. In addition to these cases, revenge is also one of the characteristics of these ethnic groups; If a person or tribe is harmed or someone is killed, and the wrongdoer does not express regret for his action and does not apologize while compensating for the damage, he must wait for the revenge of the other party because the other party takes his revenge whenever the conditions are met.

One of the appearance indicators of Balooch men and women, which distinguishes them from other ethnic groups, is their clothing. Balooch clothing has taken a special shape due to the geographical location and high heat of the region and the work and efforts of the people. Balooch women's needlework (Suzanduzi) on their clothes in dozens of designs and patterns is one of the most important handicrafts of the country and has gained world fame. 

5. Turkmens

The beautiful and pleasant province of Golestan is located in northeast Iran. It is the residence of one of the largest and oldest nomadic tribes in northeastern Iran (Turkmen). Due to the fact that this province is the home of the Turkmen nomads of Iran, it has many social attractions, such as the manifestations of the nomads and their ruling customs, the traditional and special music of the region, and various festivals and rituals.

These Iranian Turkmen live mostly in the north of Golestan province and the northeastern part of North Khorasan province, including the cities of Gonbad, Maraveh, Bandar-e Turkmen, Bojnord, etc. In the Turkmen-inhabited areas of Gonbad and Gorgan, located in the vicinity of the Turkmen-inhabited areas of Central Asia, most of the inhabitants are Sunni Hanafi. Turkish or Turkmen's language is also common among Turkmen.

Turkmen are considered the most important nomads of Northeastern Iran who live in two mountainous and plain regions from around the Gorgan River to the border strip of Iran and Turkmenistan. Another part of this great tribe also lives in the Republic of Turkmenistan. The largest Turkmen nomadic clans are "Yamut" and "Goglan". Turkmen lived with other Turkic and Mongol tribes in Central Asia for centuries. The life of the people of these tribes is based on animal husbandry due to the climatic and social conditions, and due to climate changes, they have to spend the seasons with their herds and cattle in different areas. Therefore, they constantly spent their time searching for better pastures full of water and grass. These continuous migrations of the Turkmens have raised hardworking and courageous people.


The nomads of Golestan can be mainly divided into nomadic nomads (Kurds of North Khorasan) and semi-nomadic nomads (Turkmen). The biological territory of these nomads includes pastures in parts of Gonbad and Minodasht cities. Turkmen nomads have a provincial migration and are considered semi-nomadic nomads. Turkmen have been nomadic people for a long time, and a major part of their population has gradually settled over time due to various historical trends and the pressure of past governments. Nevertheless, a significant number of them are herding and migrating to the eastern part of the province.

One of the main appearance characteristics of Turkmen men is their woolen hats. Also, this tribe has a special skill in horse breeding, so the Turkmen horse breed is one of the most original and valuable horses. In general, the horse plays an important role in the life of the Turkmen, and horse races are always held in all their ceremonies; they are taught to ride horses from childhood.

Turkmen Horse

Themes of Turkmen music include love songs, heroism, the beauty of nature, and praise of animals, especially horses, which can be heard from Turkmen musicians. They play these songs with their traditional musical instruments, Tar and Do-Tar.

It is customary among the Turkmen that every man who reaches the age of sixty celebrates to commemorate the sixty-three years of the life of Prophet Muhammad. This celebration, which in Turkmen's language is called Agh Quyoun (white sheep), may be elaborate or brief, depending on the financial situation of the organizer. But at least the guests should be treated to a quick meal. Of course, if the owner of the celebration has the financial ability, he slaughters one or two lambs, white sheep, or goats and distributes (gives away) them among the families. Sometimes they may organize wrestling and horse racing as well. It is worth mentioning that the Turkmen do not insist on the whiteness of the goat or sheep sacrificed for this celebration. 

6. Lors

Iran's society comprises Lors, Kurds, Turks, Turkmen, Persians, Baloch, Arabs, etc. These ethnic groups have a historical background and special ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and social characteristics. The Lors are one of the largest ethnic group in Iran, spread over a wide area of Iran. The Lors' history and culture have significantly contributed to the glory of Iran's ancient civilization. The land of Lors has been considered one of the first biological bases for developing human culture. Also, not so long ago, the land of Lorestan included the regions of Fars province, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Ilam, and Lorestan. However, in history, due to various reasons, such as internal rivalries and control policies of the ruling dynasties, the great Lor clan was divided into two regions, the large Lor and the small Lor, at the beginning of the 10th century AD. Then, from the Safavid period, the large Lor region was divided into two parts, Bakhtiari and Kohgiluyeh, and from the Qajar period, Lorestan (small Lor) was also divided into two regions, Poshtkouh and Pishkoh; Poshtkoh was Ilam and Pishkoh was called Lorestan. Today, although the Lors are scattered in different regions such as Khuzestan, Takestan, around Damavand, a part of Hamedan province, Arak, etc., in the country divisions, a small province with the center of Khorram Abad is known as Lorestan.

Lori People

The Lors were Zoroastrians in the pre-Islam era. But from the time of the Sassanids, people with different religions came to the land of Lors. Some Lors, like the Bakhtiaris, converted to their religion when the Christians entered their land and became Christians. During the Islamic period, the Lors also became Muslims. In addition, the language of Lors is Lori, one of the Indo-Iranian languages from the branch of Indo-European languages. The Lori language can be divided into two dialects: - Lori Mamasani dialect or Kohgiluyehi, which is known as the large Lor. - Dialects of small Lors such as Khorramabadi, Lorestani, Aligodarzi, etc.

One of the most important celebrations of Lor can be mentioned as the "Eid Nowruz" celebration and its ceremonies and rituals. Like other Iranians, they celebrate Nowruz by planting "Sabzeh Eid" and "Khaneh Tekani" (spring cleaning) in the middle of March. 

Lori Dress

Furthermore, the clothes of the Lors, especially the Boyar Ahmadis and the Bakhtiaris, had a special feature in the past, which has gradually faded. The clothing of Lor men consists of a felt hat, a simple shirt, and very loose trousers called Tombon and shoes called Giweh. One of the garments distinguishing Lor Bakhtiari men from others is a sleeveless garment called Chuqa (Chukha), which is knee-length and made of white wool with vertical black stripes. Lor women also wear a long garment (Pirhan) over which a slitted and pleated shirt is placed. A handkerchief-like headscarf also covers the hair. Lor women's clothing is in bright and cheerful colors and is decorated with glass beads, coins, etc.

7. Bakhtiaris

The Bakhtiari tribe lives in the central region of Iran along the Zagros mountain chain and in parts of Chaharmahal Bakhtiari, Isfahan, Lorestan, and Khuzestan provinces. Although only one-third of the Bakhtiari are nomads and the rest are mainly engaged in agriculture as established communities, what is known as the culture of the Bakhtiari people is more visible among the mountain Bakhtiari nomads than the rest. These people, who live through the production of meat and dairy products, every year after the end of the summer season, migrate from the vicinity of Isfahan to the slopes and plains of Khuzestan province with their herds of cattle and sheep to spend the cold summer in the pastures of this region. The annual migration of the Bakhtiari tribe is one of the most interesting and complex examples among nomadic tribes and peoples worldwide. This migration, which lasts between four and six weeks, is a very large population movement and an example of the resistance of men and women, young and old, along with thousands of livestock, during which they cross the most difficult and impassable mountain areas through five different routes to reach new pastures and grazing lands. Because the Bakhtiaris have to pass altitudes that sometimes reach more than 3 thousand meters during their migration, and they should determine the time of the migration with the utmost precision so that they do not suffer from early snow, flooding of mountain rivers, and lack of pastures and grazing lands along the way; In this situation, the calculations and planning of the move and migration must be done accurately.

The Bakhtiari tribe is of the Aryan race, and the rest of the Indo-European immigrants settled in this mountainous land several thousand years ago. According to various sayings, the Bakhtiaris are of the Persian race, mixed with the Elamites in the 6th and 7th centuries BC, and created a single race. Bakhtiaris speak the Lori dialect and are Shiites.

Lor People

Due to the geographical location of this tribe's residence, surrounded by high mountains and impassable passes, foreigners have less access to this region, which is why this tribe has been spared from mixing with other tribes for several centuries.

One of the interesting sights of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province is the migration of Bakhtiari. Although in the early decades of the current century, many groups of the Bakhtiari tribe settled together like other tribes and nomads of Iran, still a part of the tribe is nomadic and mobile. Bakhtiari nomads spend the winter in the eastern plains of Khuzestan and the summer in the western parts of the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari regions. Every year from the end of May, they disperse from five different routes along with a tireless struggle against the hardships of nature while crossing rivers and valleys and leaving Zardkoh Heights in certain areas of the Zagros slopes. They stay in this area for about three months and engage in herding by grazing livestock in green pastures. The way of livelihood and life, the pattern of residence and beliefs, traditions, and customs are among the attractions of this way of life.


Regarding the clothing of this tribe, it is interesting to know that Bakhtiari hats are made of thick felt, and usually, the color is very light brown or dark brown. Its general shape is a hemisphere that takes the shape of the head. In the not-so-distant past, the most important part of Bakhtiari's clothing was a loose and wavy shirt woven from the thick cotton thread that men wore under their clothes and buttoned on one side. However, this shirt has now been replaced by a non-native shirt bought from the market. Bakhtiaris also wear jackets and especially coats in the modern style. Bakhtiaris wear a straight, sleeveless garment, which is knee-length and open in the front, called Chuqa, over their shirts, coats, etc. This Chuqa is the only piece of clothing that everyone wears in the tribe, and it is woven horizontally by women on a machine. Chuqa is made of natural white wool and has dark blue or black vertical lines previously dyed with indigo.

The Bakhtiaris wear loose and black trousers with a narrow waist and loose and wavy legs that reach the ground, and they are called Tombon. The Bakhtiaris wear a type of footwear called Giweh, which is very thick and consists of strips of fabric.

To prepare the clothes of Bakhtiari women, they buy colorful fabrics made in the factory from the shopkeepers in the villages, and the women cut and sew them. A Bakhtiari woman ties her hair with a "Lachak" made of a 40 cm x 12 cm green or pomegranate velvet strip that reaches the back of the neck. Its outer edge is decorated with small pieces of glass (beads) (diamond look), which are sewn on the velvet in the form of flowers. The most common pattern of women's clothing is a long shirt that goes down to the knees and has long sleeves and a straight seam. Women, like men, use giweh and rubber shoes. However, most of the time, they are under the black tent of their residence, where they do their daily work. So they are barefoot and wear shoes only when they go out.


A special dance among the Bakhtiari people is called "Chub Bazi". Chub Bazi is a kind of martial music in which men sometimes attack and defend against each other in a show fight in the arena. Its roots can be found in the field dances of ancient Iranian men, which itself is an allegory of war, that is theatrical war.

The most influential music of the Bakhtiaris is mourning music, which is usually in the grief of the young; Relatives saddle the deceased's horse and cover it completely with black cloth, and then they hang the deceased's clothing along with his weapon (gun or sword) from the horse's saddle; Mourners turn the horse with bare heads and feet and shed tears with lamentation. On the other hand, at the tribe's wedding, women dance in one circle, and men dance in another. This dance has special songs like the Chub Bazi. Each participant in the dance has a colored handkerchief in their hands, which they wave in the air and around their heads. The movements of the hands and handkerchiefs are also coordinated with the movements of the feet and beats of the drum.

One of the most important musical instruments of the Bakhtiari people is called "Saz Kochk," a wind instrument with a length of half a meter and a large opening like a trumpet used in group dances. Dohol and Sorna are other musical instruments of the Bakhtiari ethnic group.

8. Qashqais

The Qashqai tribe is one of the most populous tribes in Iran, an ethnic group with a brilliant history and culture without exaggeration.

The noble and brave people of this tribe have been living in the geographical territory of Fars, Isfahan, Khuzestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Bushehr provinces for many years.

Although currently most of the people of the tribe have settled in villages and small and big cities according to the time, political and social conditions, the beliefs, customs, and beautiful cultural manifestations among most nomadic families are still strong.

Qashqais have two cold or Yalagh areas; One is an area between Shiraz and Dasht-e Arjan in the vicinity of Kazeroon, and the other is in the northeast of Shiraz. This region extends from Ardakan in Fars to the borders of Kohgiluyeh and from the north of Abadeh to Shahreza and is known as the "Great Border" (Sarhad-e Bozorg). Because this region includes the highlands around Firuzkoh to the neighborhood of the Bakhtiaris and the highlands of Dena, and different Qashqai clans are scattered throughout it. The warm areas or Qashlaq of the Qashqais are in the southeast of Fars, which starts from the low-altitude plains and lowlands of Lar, Jahorm, and Firozabad and continues to the shores of the Persian Gulf.

The Qashqais do agriculture and horticulture in cold and warm regions. Their products are wheat, barley, rice, legumes, vegetables, citrus fruits, and dates. Agriculture is mostly done with old principles and cow plows. Women cooperate with men in everything. Also, the Bakhtiaris weave the tents of the tribe, called "Bohun", from goat's hair and are black. These tents are rectangular.


The common language of the Qashqai tribe is Turkish. Regarding the root of the Turkish language of the Qashqai people, as well as the appellation and its origin, there is a difference of opinion among researchers. Some consider the Qashqai people to be of Aryan race, and some consider the Qashqai language to be the same as Azerbaijani Turkish. Qashqai Turkish dialect has differences from Azari Turkish dialect. The modern language of the Qashqai tribe is mixed with many Persian, Lori, and Kurdish words. The reason for this can be seen as the immigration of tribes from the Bakhtiari clans of Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh, and Boyer-Ahmad to the Qashqais' habitats and joining their union.

Qashqai women's clothing is beautiful and interesting and consists of four or five pleated skirts called Tonban or undergarments. The tonbans are worn on top of each other, each sewn from 12 to 14 meters of fabric. The lower tonbans are made of cheap fabrics, and the upper skirts are made of better fabrics such as velvet and lace and have decorations on the lower part of the border. The women's shirt is up to the leg, has a closed collar and long sleeves, and has slits on both sides of the bottom, which are placed on the skirts. If the shirt is not made of simple and floral fabric, the front of the chest is embroidered with sequins. Men's clothes are generally suits. But their clan's clothing is a long dress that reaches the ankles has long, wide, slitted sleeves, and is plain or flowery.


One of the important festivals of the Qashqai tribes is the festival of Esfand (March). Esfand represents spring in the tribe. In this month, in the Qashlaq region, due to the change in weather and the greenness of nature, the breeding of livestock, and the abundance of dairy products, the nomads appear in better moods than before. For this reason, on the first night of Esfand, they dissolve some red ink in water and paint a part of the back and side of the sheep. According to them, sheep should also change their face because nature has become beautiful and colorful. During the drought, there is no news of this ceremony and celebration. In addition, during the celebration of the month of Esfand among the Qashqai people, it is customary for girls to collect some dry fodder, thorns, and thistles from the desert in the evening. When the sun sets, they burn them in a place and rejoice around it.

Qashqai people are cheerful and interested in celebration, joy, and ritual dances. In celebrations and weddings, their wooden dance (Chub Bazi) as a group is very beautiful, unifying, and pleasing to all, both dancers and viewers. Qashqai people are very fond of drinking tea and get their children used to it from childhood. Tea is one of the available drinks of Qashqai.

Dance in the Qashqai tribe is a sign and symbol of solidarity, unity, and friendship. During the dance, everyone is holding each other's hands and is side by side. Various dances are common among Qashqai nomads, in which men and women are next to each other, and in almost all Qashqai dances, both men and women are present. During the celebrations, men and women each hold two handkerchiefs in their hands, stand around a large circle, and move in rhythmic movements with the music of Korna and Dohol while waving the handkerchiefs.

Qashqai Dance

Wood playing (Chub Bazi), a dance for men, is done so that the drummer beats on the drum and the trumpeter blows on his instrument, the women stand around a circle, and the men play wood or dance in the middle. In this game, men dance and fight with eachother in pairs with short sticks, and a long stick, and along with the song that gradually rises and its rhythm becomes faster, they try to take possession of the long stick by hitting the opponent's feet and eliminate the opponent from the field. Thus the dance continues until the final winner is determined.

The traditional Qashqai music, which expresses the epics, bravery, affections, separations, and battles of the people of this tribe, has perhaps been more expressive and influential than other norms and cultural productions of the tribe; Because inside every tune, song, and melody, lies a bitter and sweet anecdote and a pure and pleasant story. It is enough to look into the eyes of the older men and women of the tribe while these songs are being played to realize the existence of such amazing stories by observing the clear drops falling from their cheeks.

Like other nomads of Iran, the folk literature of Qashqai nomads is full of manifestations of nature and features of nomadic life. Mountains, plains, sky, forest, rock, mountain plants and desert grasses, birds and animals, tools of work and livelihood, and other elements of the environment form the fabric of folk culture, including the music of Qashqai nomads. Playing Lori folk songs is also common among Qashqais. Lori's songs (Mamasani and Boyer Ahmadi) are lively and upbeat compared to Qashqai's songs, which are often sad. Qashqais have many folk songs and music.

9. Mazanis, Gilakis, and Taleshis

These three tribes live in the southern regions of the Caspian Sea and have long been residents of this land, i.e., Iran. Most of the Mazani population lives in Mazandaran province and speaks the Mazani dialect. In contrast, most Gilak people speak the Gilaki dialect in the Gilan province. Also, Talesh people live scattered between the Talesh mountains and Mazandaran sea coasts, as well as in some cities of Gilan province and a small part of Ardabil province.

In other words, in another corner of the land of Iran, on the edge of northern Iran's green and evergreen forests, there live little-known tent dwellers. Taleshis, who spend winters in the vicinity of Masal, Shanderman, and Foman and are actually in Qashlaq; In the spring, they migrate from the vicinity of Asalem to the Khalkhal mountains and spread their black tents (Siah Chador) in the mountain's chest and end the summer months as summer cottages (Yalaq). Taleshis begins the journey with music. They are mountain dwellers and livestock breeders in the Gilan region. Taleshi songs are accompanied by songs inspired by the lives of Taleshi ranchers, about horses and their foals, sheep and lambs, herds and the problems of herd management, etc.


One of the most prominent ceremonies among the Mazani tribe is the "Warf Chal or Barf Chal" ceremony, held in the middle of Ordibehesht (May). The reason for holding this ceremony is to supply the water livestock needs in the hot seasons of the year. Today, on the day of the Barf Chal ceremony, men leave the village and first clean the road leading to a well known as Barf Chal, and then they prepare the water storage well by dredging it to fill it with snow. Some people divide the large pieces of ice into smaller pieces with shovels, and others carry these pieces on their shoulders and throw them into the well, and finally, the well is closed with pieces of stone. However, on this day, when the village is completely devoid of men, women have their plans and celebrate a day without men. On this day, women temporarily take over the management of the village. To manage affairs as best as possible, they choose a ruler from among themselves to organize the management and government system of the village. On the day of the Barf Chal ceremony, all men and even boys over five are obliged to leave the village and participate in the Barf Chal ritual. They believe that men not participating in this ceremony will face unpleasant consequences that year.

Barf Chal

Today Gilani men and women can be seen in Qasim Abad in Talesh and Deylaman wearing local clothing. Among the signs of this covering, the length of the dress up to the ankles, the design on the front of the dress, the zigzag design on the skirt, and the way the scarf is tied can be mentioned. These days, women's clothes in West Gilan have a special beauty. Taleshi women's clothing in the general view and the westernmost region of Talesh consists of a plain white scarf. This vest is sometimes decorated with large coins, a long shirt up to the ankles, and a skirt called Shaliteh in Farsi. Taleshi women wear several of these shalitehes on top of eachother. The length of the shirt and shaliteh is the characteristic of different parts of western Gilan, for example, in the westernmost region of Talesh or Hashtpar mentioned above, whereas, in Masal, the shirt is short up to the knee.

Qasemabadi Dance

In the east of Gilan, that is, in the Qasimabad region in Rudsar city, clothes have a special cultural characteristic, Qasim Abad, women's clothes, are very famous due to their wide variety of colors and high attractiveness, and these days, are considered a kind of honor in formal and informal parties and even in weddings. This dress includes an underscarf that is decorated with a large number of coins on the forehead. Vests are also decorated with coins. The Ghasemabadi dress is also like that the skirt is made of plain or flowery fabric and is embroidered with a standard pattern. A knee-length dress, a design on the front of the dress, a collar that opens at the back, and a simple floral skirt make up the overall shape of this dress in the villages.

It is worth mentioning that Deylaman's clothes are also very beautifully sewn. The characteristics of these clothes are: sewing simple colored thread on the surface of the clothes, using the design of flowers and vases and the design of the moon and stars, which are used in Iranian architecture, along with the zigzag design; Deylamani dress with full coin embroidery is also a special type of this dress. In the Deylaman region, a type of women's skirt is made of velvet fabric, preserving its historical features. There is also a type of cloth known as Chador Shab, a part of Gilani women's clothing.

Regarding Gilani men's clothes, Taleshi hats and felt hats, and leather hats made from lamb skin are examples of the variety of hats among Gilani men. 

10. Persians

The Fars ethnic group, actually Aryans who entered the Iranian plateau in the second millennium BC, are the dominant race of this land. Today, these ethnic groups should be considered a combination of different ethnicities in Iran. These people speak the Persian language, and their places of residence are scattered throughout this land.


And in short, history does not remember that so far, a tribe has entered the land of Iran, and even if it has an independent culture, it has not been influenced by the rich Iranian culture. Therefore, today, all Iranian ethnic groups have commonalities that can only be called Iranian culture; in other words, today, weakening or humiliating any Iranian ethnic group is equal to humiliating and weakening Iranian culture.

Iranian culture means a collection of cultures and subcultures of Iranian peoples; This concept is in no way specific to a particular time, place, nation, or specific concept. Iranian culture means years of being influenced by all events, happenings, and cultural achievements throughout the history of this land.


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