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Luri-speaking people of western Iran.

Lurs are found primarily in three provinces in and adjoining the Zagros Mountains of western Iran: Luristan in the west, Chahar Mahall Bakhtiari in the center, and Boir Ahmad/Kuhgiluyeh in the south. Lurs also comprise a majority of the population of Ilam, to the west of Luristan, and many Lurs live in northern Khuzistan province. Lurs speak Luri, a nonwritten language closely related to Persian. During the nineteenth century, most Lurs were organized as tribal groups and practiced pastoral nomadism, although there were some Luri agricultural villages in the fertile plains of Luristan. The largest Luri tribe was the Bakhtiari. Other important tribes included the Boir Ahmadi, the Kuhgiluyeh, and the Mamasani. During the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Luri tribes, as well as others, were forcibly disarmed and settled. Although many tribal groups returned to pastoral nomadism after 1941, the economic changes in Iran before and since that date have made this way of life less and less appealing. By the early 2000s, the majority of Lurs lived in cities, including the major industrial centers of Borujerd and Khorramabad in Luristan, and did not identify with any tribal group. About one-third of Lurs lived in villages, and only 10 percent continued to practice seasonal migrations organized by livestock-herding tribes. The overwhelming majority of Lurs are Shiʿa Muslims, although a small number are Ahl-e Haqq.

see also persian.


Black-Michaud, Jacob. Sheep and Land: The Economics of Power in a Tribal Society. New York and Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

eric hooglund

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