JABBĀRA, a group of Shiʿite Arabs in Fārs province who, together with the Šaybāni. form the Arab tribe of the Ḵamsa tribal confederation (q.v.). In all likelihood, these Arabs came to southern Persia by way of the Fertile Crescent, for there is a tribe by the name of Jabbāra in western Iraq (Oppenheim, p. 119), as well as a clan of the Šaybāni of Fārs by the name of Takriti. Both the Jabbāra and the Šaybāni could be descendants of a tribe of Syrian Arabs which the Buyid ruler ʿAżod-al-Dawla (r. 949-83; q.v) transplanted to Fārs (Le Strange, Lands, p. 321).
The following list of the Jabbāra clans given by Ḥasan Fasāʾi (1821-98) in his Fārs-nāma-ye Nāṣeri (q.v.) shows that the group has absorbed many Lor and Turkic elements: Āl-e Saʿdi, Abu’l-Ḥosayni, Abu’l-Ḡani, Abu’l-Moḥammadi, Arboz, Borbor Čārboniča, Boz Sorḵi Čārboniča, Pir-e Eslāmi, Bahluli, Tāti, Torbor, Jāberi, Jaheki, Jelowdāri Čarboniča, Ḥannāʾi, Darāzi, Sādāt-e Ḥosayni, Šāhiseven, Šaʿbāni (who might be related to the Āl Bu Šaʿbān of northern Syria), Širi, Ṣafari, ʿAzizi, ʿIsāʾi, Qarāʾi, Qaraḡani, Qanbari, Lon (Lor in lith. ed., 2 vols., Tehran, 1895), Čārboniča, Lavārdān, Faridi (Mazidi in lith. ed., 1895), and Naqd ʿAli (Fasāʾi, ed. Rastgār, pp. 1579-80). Referring to the Ḵamsa Arabs in general, Ḥasan Fasāʾi points out that, as a result of their ethnic diversity, their language “has undergone so many changes both in form and in pronunciation that it is no longer Arabic, nor is it ordinary Persian, Turkish or Lori” (ibid., p. 1578).
The Ḵamsa Arabs suffered great hardship during the reign of Reżā Shah Pahlavi (r. 1925-41). When Oliver Garrod visited Fārs province in 1945, he observed that “many sections are in a miserable plight, having been reduced to a state of beggary and petty robbery,” and he concluded that “they suffered, perhaps more than any other tribe in Fārs, from the oppression and enforced settlement of the past ten years, the misery of many sections having been accentuated by the somewhat arid and barren nature of their lands compared with those of the Qashqai” (p. 44). Because of a lack of cohesion and effective leadership, the Jabbāra have remained among the poorest nomads of Fārs province. According to a list of the tribes of Fārs sent to me by the Persian court minister in 1958, the Jabbāra numbered some 2,490 families. During the winter, they occupy a large swath of land southeast of Shiraz, from Sarvestān to Forg. During the summer, ṱheir grazing lands stretch all the way from Deh Bid, on the Shiraz-Isfahan road, to Bešna, 78 kilometers northeast of Neyriz.
Oliver Garrod, “The Nomadic Tribes of Persia To-Day,” Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 33, 1946, pp. 32-46.
Max Freiherr von Oppenheim, Erich Bräunlich, and Werner Caskel, Die Beduinen: Band I, Leipzig, 1939; repr., Hildesheim, 1982.
Originally Published: December 15, 2007
Last Updated: April 5, 2012
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Vol. XIV, Fasc. 3, p. 312