BAYRĀNAVAND, a Lor tribe of the Pīš(-e)Kūh region in Lorestān. A. T. Wilson described it as “the strongest of the tribes of Luristan” and as “the wildest and least amenable of the Lot tribes” (Luristan, Simla, 1912, p. 22). In the early 1800s, according to H. C. Rawlinson, the tribe was divided into two sections, the ʿAlīvands and the Došīvands, the latter having come to Iran from the Mawṣel area in the previous century (“Notes on a March from Zoháb . . . to Kirmánsháh, in the Year 1836,” JRGS 9, 1839, p. 107). In the 12th/18th century, at least a part of the tribe was temporarily forced to reside in the vicinity of Shiraz by Karīm Khan Zand, when that ruler transplanted many Kurdish, Lor, and Lak tribes to Fārs province to buttress his regime. The present khans of the Bayrānavands are descended from Mīrzā Aḥmad Khan, who married a niece of Karīm Khan while in the latter’s service in Shiraz (C. J. Edmonds, “Luristan: Pish-i-Kuh and Bala Gariveh,” The Geographical Journal 59, 1922, p. 345).
The Bayrānavands are often mentioned as brigands and highwaymen. Between 1908 and 1910, they ravaged the valleys of Sīlāḵor-e Pāʾīn and Sīlāḵor-e Bālā, and their raids extended even to the environs of Malāyer and Nehāvand (Wilson, p. 22). In 1910, they defeated a punitive expedition led by the governor-general of Lorestān, ʿAbd-Allāh Mīrzā Montaṣer-al-Dawla, near Borūjerd, causing that official to flee from the city and abandon part of his artillery. But later that year they were, in turn, routed by an army of 5,000 men, including 1,000 Baḵtīārīs, under the command of the new governor-general, Amīr(-e) Mofaḵḵam Loṭf-ʿAlī Khan Baḵtīārī, and their leader was slain (ibid.).
In spring, 1306 Š./1927, the Bayrānavands revolted against the Pahlavi regime. They ambushed an infantry company between Ḵorramābād and Borūjerd, killing the captain and a hundred soldiers. They also momentarily laid siege to Ḵorramābād. But government troops quickly dispersed them and, in 1928, thoroughly defeated them (H. Arfa, Under Five Shahs, Edinburgh, 1964, pp. 207-11). Later during the reign of Reżā Shah, according to British Naval Intelligence, 5,000 Bayrānavands were forcibly moved to the Qazvīn and Varāmīn regions (Persia, British Naval Intelligence Division, 1945, p. 370). But according to M. Kayhān, they were moved to the Qom, Sāva, and Kāšān regions (Joḡrāfīā II, p. 67). By 1949, when W. O. Douglas visited Lorestān, the Bayrānavands had become sedentary and were living in dire poverty (Strange Lands and Friendly People, New York, 1951, p. 100).
Today, most of the Bayrānavands reside in the baḵš of Čaqalvandī, southwest of Borūjerd (Razmāra, Farhang, VI, pp. 4, 34, 112). Formerly, the Bayrānavands spent the summers on the Kūh-e Čehel Nābālegān and the Kūh-e Garrū (Wilson, p. 22). Some of them spent the winters on the foothills of the Pol-e Zāl mountains, 30 miles northwest of Dezfūl (Wilson, p. 22; M. L. Rabino, Les tribus du Louristan, Paris, 1913, p. 21; Persia, p. 379).
The population of the Bayrānavand tribe was estimated at 2,500 families by Rawlinson (p. 107); at 7,000 families by A. Houtum-Schindler (“Reisen im südwestlichen Persien,” pt. 4, Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin 14, 1879, p. 87; at 10,000 families by Wilson (p. 22), Rabino (p. 21), and Kayhān (II, p. 67); at 7,000 families by the authors of Persia (p. 370); and at 3,250 families by the authors of Īrānšahr (Tehran, 1342 Š./1963, I, p. 141).
Bibliography: Given in the text.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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Vol. IV, Fasc. 1, pp. 5-6