BANĪ SĀLA (not to be confused with the Āl Bū Ṣāleḥ of southern Iraq), a Shiʿite Arab tribe of Howayza (Ḥawīza) district in Ḵūzestān. Their territory, centered on Šowayb, extends some 25 miles along the banks of the Karḵa river southwest of Ahvāz as far as Šeyḵ Moḥammad and into the Tigris-Karḵa marshes (Persia, pp. 378-79). Their numbers were estimated earlier this century at 15,000 (Lorimer, Gazetteer II, pp. 123, 1654-55) or 2,100 families (Field, p. 199). Once camel breeders, they are now mostly settled cultivators and stockbreeders, but include marsh men (meʿdān; notably the Ḥalāf section, ca. 800 huts) and nomads (esp. the Ḥamūdī section, 400 tents). The latter spend winter and spring on the plains away from the river. The Banī Sāla originated from the Ṭayyeʾ tribe, or by other accounts from Tamīm (ʿAzzāwī, IV, pp. 194), and in the 12th/18th and 13th/19th centuries were subjects of the Montafeq confederacy (Oppenheim, IV, pp. 34).
(Great Britain) Admiralty, Persia, Geographical Handbook Series, Oxford, 1945.
ʿA. ʿAzzāwī, ʿAšāʾer al-ʿErāq, 4 vols., Baghdad, 1947.
H. Field, Contributions to the Anthropology of Iran, Chicago, 1939.
M. F. von Oppenheim, Die Beduinen, ed. W. Caskel, 4 vols., Wiesbaden, 1967.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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Vol. III, Fasc. 7, p. 695