BĀVĪ (or Bābūʾī), a Luri-speaking tribe of the Kohgīlūya (Kūh[-e] Gīlūye). According to Ḥasan Fasāʾī, it is an offshoot of the Arab Bāwīya tribe of Ḵūzestān (Fārs-nāma II, p. 270), but V. Minorsky suggests that the name Bāvī could also have come from a mountain by that name south of Ḵorramābād (“Lur,” in EI2V, p. 822).
According to tribal legend, the Bāvīs opposed Nāder Shah, and were transplanted to Khorasan as a result. There, their chief, Hāšem Khan, was at first made a governor by Nāder and then blinded by him. After Nāder’s death in 1160/1747, the tribe, under the leadership of Hāšem Khan’s son, returned to the Kohgīlūya (C. A. de Bode, Travels in Luristan and Arabistan, London, 1845, I, p. 278).
The Bāvīs reached the apex of their power and influence during the reign of Karīm Khan Zand. In 1173/1759-60, their chief, Heybat-Allāh Khan, son of Masīḥ Khan, was made the governor of the districts of the Čahār Bonīča tribes (Boir Aḥmadī, Čorām, Došmanzīārī, Novī), of the Līrāvīs, and of the Tayyebī and Bahmaʾī tribes. After he died, his son, Moḥammad-Taqī Khan replaced him as the chief magistrate (kalāntar) of the Bāvī and Bāšt districts (Fasāʾī, II, p. 270; M. Bāvar, Kūhgīlūya wa īlāt-e ān, Gačsārān, 1324 Š./1945, p. 111).
In general, the Bāvīs have been a small tribe surrounded by more powerful and more belligerent neighbors, such as the Mamasanīs and the Boir Aḥmadīs. The latter, in particular, proved to be a constant threat. For example, in 1273/1856-57 Allāhkaram Khan Bāvī, the kalāntar of the Bāvīs, and his son were treacherously murdered by the men of Ḵodākaram Khan, the kalāntar of the Boir Aḥmadī, and then the Boir Aḥmadīs plundered the entire Bāvī district (Fasāʾī, II, p. 270). And again in early 1309 Š./1930, Sartīp Khan Boir Aḥmadī slew the Bāvī chief, Asad-Allāh Khan, and then plundered his fort and possessions (Bāvar, p. 113).
The Bāvīs are now sedentary. They dwell in the dehestān of Pošt-e Kūh Bāšt Bābūʾī, and their principal center is the large village of Bāšt, 6 0km east of Behbahān (Razmārā, Farhang VI, pp. 36, 76). The population of the Bāvīs was estimated at upwards of 4,000 families by de Bode (p. 277), at 1,200 families by M. L. Sheil (Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia, London, 1856, p. 399), at more than 1,500 families by Fasāʾī (II, p. 270), and at 1,200 families by G. Demorgny (“Les réformes administratives en Perse: Les tribus du Fars,” pt. 1, RMM 22, March, 1913, p. 112) and by M. Kayhān (Joḡrāfīā II, p. 88).
According to Kayhān, the Bāvī clans were: ʿAlīšāhī, Gašīn, Mūsāʾī, Barāftābī, and Qaḷʿaʾī (or ʿAmala; Joḡrāfīā II, p. 88).
Given in text. See also M. Żarrābī, “Ṭawāyef-e Kohgīlūya,” FIZ 9, 1340 Š./1961-62, pp. 300-01.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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Vol. III, Fasc. 8, pp. 875-876