ḴᵛĀJAVAND,a Kurdish tribe in the Caspian province of Māzandarān. According to L. S. Fortescue, the tribe “was originally brought from Garrūs and Kurdistān by Nādir Shāh. A part returned to their native country at the end of the reign of Karīm Khān Zand, and were brought back by Āghā Muhammad Khān Kājār, to keep down the turbulent inhabitants of these districts” (p. 317). According to Hyacinth Louis Rabino, the Siyāhserāni, Šarafvand and Šāhsavand clans live in the district of Kojur southeast of Nowšahr; the Garrusi, Kordestāni and Kākāvand clans live in the district of Pul, southwest of Nowšahr; and the Sangzorāli, Malāmiri, Kermānšāhi, and Turk live in the district of Kalā-rostāq southwest of Nowšahr (p. 441). Grigorii Melgunof, who traveled in Māzandarān in the 1860s, wrote (p. 216) that there were also Ḵᵛājavand in the district of Saḵtesar (the present-day Rāmsar). According to Fortescue, in 1920 the Ḵᵛājavand of Kojur numbered 1,000 households, those of Pul 1,400 households, and those of Kalā-rostāq 1,500 households (p. 317).
Rabino tells us that, while a small branch of the Ḵᵛājavand tribe, numbering 100 families, remained Sunni, the rest of the tribe converted to Shiʿism. But he adds that most of the tribesmen have become ʿAli-Elāhis (or ʿAli-Allāhis, see AHL-E ḤAQQ), venerating ʿAbd-al- ʿAẓim Mirzā of Kermānšāh. As a whole, he also wrote, the Ḵᵛājavand “are hated by the other inhabitants of these parts, not only on account of their religion, but principally because they occupy the best ‘yailaks’ [summer pastures] of the district” (p. 441).
According to Fortescue, Ḵᵛājavand tribal levies “were usually sent for duty at Astarābād against the Turkomāns” (p. 317). But Ḵᵛājavand warriors apparently also participated in the campaigns of ʿAbbās Mirzā against the Russians in Northwestern Persia in the early 1800s, and they distinguished themselves particularly in a Persian counterattack in the vicinity of Naḵčevān in 1808. According to ʿAbd-al-Razzāq Donboli, ʿAbbās Mirzā, “along with his ever-victorious guards, the divisions of Chehar Duli and Khajewand, having drawn the sword of triumph, charged the Russians ... and many heads of Russian chiefs ornamented their spears” (Brydges, p. 349).
Because Moḥammad-Wali Khan Sepahdār-e Tonokāboni (Sepahsālār-e Aʿẓam) had seized some of their lands, the Ḵᵛājavand were staunch royalists during the Persian Revolution of 1906-1909, some tribal warriors forming part of the military retinue of Moḥammad ʿAli Shah in Tehran (Fortescue, p. 318).
Iraj Afšār-Sistāni, Ilhā, čādornešinān wa ṭawāyef-e ʿašāyeri-e Irān, Tehran, 1987, p. 1079.
Sir Harford Jones Brydges, The Dynasty of the Kajars,London, 1833.
L. S. Fortescue, Military Report on Tehran and Adjacent Provinces of North-Western Persia, Calcutta, 1922.
Grigorii Melgunof, Das südliche ufer des Kaspischen Meeres oder die Nordprovinzen Persiens, Leipzig, 1868.
Hyacinth Louis Rabino, “A Journey in Mazanderan (from Rasht to Sari),” Geographical Journal 42, Jul.-Dec. 1913, pp. 435-54.
Originally Published: July 20, 2004
Last Updated: July 20, 2004