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Exotic Tribes
Be a responsible traveller. Show tribal people respect and meet them on their premises. Visiting people with a different lifestyle and culture could sometimes be a very rewarding adventure, but be aware of that many tribal communities are extremely vulnerable to outside influences. All tribal people need to be protected from tourists in order to preserve their unique lifestyle and cultures. Travellers should understand that some tribes would like to live undisturbed, and that visit would be an intrusion.

Experience of warm hearted hospitality by the Bakhtiaria nomads in Persia, Iran - Our home is your home! View video clip!

The Bakhtiaria are called the People of the Wind. About one third of them are nomads who migrate seasonally from one place to another with their tribe, family, livestock, and all their belongings. Iran is the largest consentration of traditional nomads in the world. Here is a video clip of one of them, the Bakhtiaria.
Photo. The Bakhtiaria are called the People of the Wind. Some of the nomadic groups in Iran are known as Turkmen, Shahsavans, Lurs, Bakhtiaries, and Qashqaies. All these groups had a tribal structure with some living in villages and others partly migrating. Tribe people in Iran refer to the villagers as "land-bound" and call themselves "People of the Wind". The Bakhtiari are Shiite Muslims and are famed for their courage and independence, but also for their great hospitality. Photo. Bakhtiari nomads live high up in the mountain hillsides. The scenery with snow capped summits in the background was something for itself!

As the sun lightened up the snow capped mountains in the late morning, I was walking up a hillside to visit a group from a Bakhtiari nomad tribe in Iran. I could really feel the heat, and hoped that I would be invited in to a cool tent for a rest. It didn't take long time before I experienced the nomads' unique hospitality. 
The good smells from the beautiful Shabdar flowers that grow around created a unique atmosphere. When I approached the nomads I could see that it started to be activities in the small camps. People looked curious out from the tents, and some of them come toward me. This was the start of a real adventurous journey in Iran in July 2004. Both adults and children welcomed me everywhere I showed up. 

See the video clip from the Bakhtiari nomads great hospitality. COMING UP!

I visited the Bakhtiari nomads in Shahr-e Kord region. The Bakhtiari tribe, live in Khuzestan Province in winter and immigrate to the altitude of Zagros in Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari in summers. They migrate in search of water and food for their animals. Their migration is among the most spectacular known among nomadic pastoralists anywhere. It is an epic of human courage and endurance in which men, women and children of all ages, with their animals and household goods, travel by five different migrations routes across some of the wildest and most difficult mountain country in Persia in their search for grass.

Photo. The Bakhtiari nomads live in a wild and harsh landscape, but that didn`t prevent them from smiling.

Many Bakhtiari people still live in black goat hair tents and are nomads. The Bakhtiari language is part of the Persian family of languages and is not Turkic.

The group can be divided into two large branches, the Haftlang, with about 55 tribes, and the Charlang, with about 25 tribes.

They make colourful hand-woven crafts, each symbolizing a tribe's colour, its land and myth in the design. The patterns they use to weave their rugs are handed down from generation to generation, and they still use the old method of processing the natural dyes.

In Iranian mythology, the Bakhtiari consider themselves to be descendants of Fereydun, a legendary hero from the Persian national epic, Shahnameh.

There are over one hundred different nomadic tribes in Iran today, each with its own dialect, style of dress and housing, and its own chief or leader. 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.

The Bakhtiari nomads retain its traditional lifestyle and culture
The Bakhtiari nomads, 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 Lori (Luri), and are Shiite Muslims. About one third of the tribe is nomadic. The last chieftain (Khan) of the Bakhtiari tribe was Jafar Gholy, whom died 2003.

Iran has many unique features of its own in its people, landscapes, arts and customs. One of the things I found most interesting on my journey in this country was the nomads. They were really great!

Stein Morten Lund, 24 March 2006

Additional information
Read more articles and view more video clips about nomads in Iran and other interesting articles about Iran on our website Travel Explorations.

Facts about Iran:
Formal country name: Islamic Republic of Iran.
Area: 1.64 million sq km.
Population: 68.27 million.
People: Persian (Farsis) (65%), Azari (25%), Arab (4%), Lors (2%), Turkmen (2%), Kurdish, Armenian, Jewish.
Language: Persian, Kurdish.
Religion: Shi'ite Muslim (89%), Sunni Muslim (10%), Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, Baha'i (1%).
Government: Islamic republic.

Movie about the nomads:
Milestone Film & Video presents
A f i l m b y A n t h o n y H o w a r t h

The Chronicle of a Nomadic Chief
There are two hundred miles of impassable mountains to cross.
There are no towns, no roads, no bridges.
There is no turning back.
Featuring the voice of James Mason

Academy Award® Nominee: Best Documentary
Golden Globe Nominee: Best Documentary

A Milestone Release 
PO Box 128 
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (201) 767-3117 
Fax: (201) 767-3035 
Email: milefilms@aol.co

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