BARĀDŪST (Kurdish Brādōst), name of Kurdish tribe, region, mountain range, river, and amirate.
The tribe, mostly settled now, lives in Barādūst nāḥīa of Rawāndūz qażā in Arbil lewā/moḥāfaẓa, Iraq. They are Shafeʿite Sunnis and speak the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish mixed with the neighboring Sorani dialects (see the folklore material collected by Ḵōšnāw). According to the information provided by the earliest available account (Bedlīsī, pp. 382-88), the tribe (ʿašīrat-e Barādūst, p. 385) or, rather, the conglomerate of Barādūst tribes (ʿašīrat wa aqwām, p. 386), must have been much larger, occupying the entire region to the west of Lake Urmia.
The region comprised, in the early 11th/late 16th century, several nāḥīas including Targavar, Margavar, Dol, Sumay, and Urmia (Bedlīsī, pp. 382-88). The Ottoman-Persian frontier of 1639, which survived until World War I and forms the present boundary of Iran with Turkey and Iraq, divided Barādūst territory into two parts. In the late 13th/19th-century administrative division of the Ottoman empire, Barādūst was a nāḥīa of Rawāndūz qażā, Šahrezūr sanjaq, Mosul welāyat (Cuinet, II, p. 846). Following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, this nāḥīa was officially incorporated into Iraq in 1925, where it had 108 villages with a population of 5,185 in 1957 (Iraq Republic, pp. 238-42). Under the Qajar dynasty, the western limits of Margavar, Dašt, Targavar, Barādūst, and Ṣūmāy formed part of the often disputed Ottoman-Persian frontier (Mohandesbāšī, p. 150). In the administrative redivision of Iran under the Pahlavis, the boundaries of the traditional nāḥīas or maḥāls of Barādūst, Targavar, Margavar, Dol, and Ṣūmāy were left more or less intact forming dehestāns of Urmia (Ketāb-e asāmī-e dehāt-e kešvar, pp. 460-73). The decennial census of 1335 Š./1956 counted 63 villages with a population of 7,302 in Barādūst dehestān (Iran Government, p. 37).
Barādūstdāḡ or Čīa-y Nīwaḵēn, a mountain range over 5,000 feet above sea level and about 25 miles long, stretches northwest from the Rawāndūz river opposite the town of Rawāndūz in Iraq to Rūbārī Rūkūčūk, a tributary of the Great Zab (Naval Intelligence Division, p. 109 and fig. 27 facing p. 103). The snow-fed Barādūst river rises in the peaks of the mountain range along the Iran-Turkey border, flows through Barādūst territory, and, joined by other headwaters, forms Nāzlūčāy, which discharges into Lake Urmia to the northeast of the city of Urmia (Times Atlas, pl. 37; Gazetteer of Iran I, map I-11-B).
The formation of Barādūst amirate was part of the process of the rise of Kurdish political power in the form of small dynasties and numerous (semi-)independent amirates that appeared all over Kurdistan in the 10th-11th/15th-16th centuries (see Bedlīsī for an early account of the principalities until 1005/1597). Bedlīsī (p. 382) related the founders of the principalities to the Hasanwayhid dynasty (348-406/959-1015, q.v.) and divided them into two lines—the amirs of Ṣūmāy and those of Targavar and Qaḷʿa-ye Dāwūd (pp. 384-88). At the climax of its power, the amirate’s domain extended from the western shores of Lake Urmia to parts of the welāyats of Arbil, Baghdad, and Diyarbakır (ibid., p. 383).
The hereditary rule of Barādūst, like that of other amirates, was, however, soon threatened by the centralizing and expansionist policies of the Ottoman and Safavid empires, which turned Kurdistan into a battlefield for more than three centuries. To protect their sovereignty, Barādūst princes put up continued resistance to both empires though they often relied on one against the other. Thus, after initial opposition to Shah Esmāʿīl’s efforts to establish his authority over the area, the powerful Barādūst amir Ḡazī Qerān rallied to the Safavids (Bedlīsī, pp. 382-83). However, after the famous Ottoman-Safavid battle of Čālderān (920/1514), the principality switched allegiance to the victorious Ottoman side.
Shah ʿAbbās I (996-1038/1588-1629) initially recognized the hereditary rule of Barādūst princes though relations deteriorated and Amir Khan Barādūst (Ḵānī Lapzērīn, “The Gold-Hand Khan”) revolted against the shah in the fortress of Demdem (Kurd. Dimdim) in 1017/1608. The neighboring Mokrī principality joined forces with the Barādūst throughout the revolt, which has become a major theme of Kurdish folklore and literature (Dzhalilov) and is also described in an eyewitness report by the shah’s chronicler Eskandar Beg (pp. 791-801, 807-11).
To undermine the growing power of the Kurdish element, the Safavid and Qajar monarchs sent numerous punitive expeditions to the area, massacred the population of Mokrī principality (Eskandar Monšī, pp. 811-14), transferred thousands of Kurds (Perry, pp. 205, 208, 209) from the western lake area, and resettled there the Turkish tribes of Afšār (q.v.; see also Mīrzā Rašīd, pp. 49-55) and Qarapāpāḵ (q.v.).
By the late 13th/mid-19th century, when Qajar and Ottoman state power was extended to all parts of Kurdistan, the principality had already disintegrated. Conflicts with the central government continued, however, and once more the entire territory of West Azerbaijan came under the rule of the Šakār (Kurd. Šikāk) tribe led by Esmāʿīl Āḡā Simkō, “Semītqu” (see Arfa; van Bruinessen). Princely families and tribal organization have largely disappeared since World War II, giving way to modern party organization of Kurdish nationalism (e.g., the autonomist Kurdish Republic established in West Azerbaijan in 1946 and the autonomist war that began in August, 1970).
See boundaries i.
G. H. Arfa, Under Five Shahs, Edinburgh, 1964, s.v. Simko. Amir Šaraf Khan Bedlīsī, Šaraf-nāma, ed. M. ʿAbbāsī, Tehran, 1343 Š./1964.
M. van Bruinessen, “Kurdish Tribes and the State of Iran: The Case of Simko’s Revolt,” in The Conflict of Tribe and State in Iran and Afghanistan, ed. R. Tapper, New York, 1983, pp. 364-400.
V. Cuinet, La Turquie d’Asie II, Paris, 1892, p. 846.
D. Dzh. Dzhalilov, Kurdskiĭ geroicheskiĭ èpos “Zlatorukiĭ Khan,” Moscow, 1967. Eskandar Monšī Torkmān, Tārīḵ-eʿālamārā-ye ʿabbāsī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971-72.
Gazetteer of Iran I, p. 105, map I-11-B. Ghilan, “Les Kurdes persans et l’invasion ottomane,” Revue du monde musulman 2/5, May, 1908, pp. 1-22; 2/10, October, 1908, pp. 193-210.
Iran Government, Ministry of Interior, Public Statistics, National and Province Statistics of the First Census of Iran, Nov., 1956, I, Number and Distribution of the Inhabitants for Iran and the Census Provinces, Tehran, August, 1961, p. 37.
Iraq Republic, Wezārat al-Dāḵelīya, Modīrīyat al-Nofūs al-ʿĀmma, al-Majmūʿa al-eḥṣāʾīya le-tasjīl ʿamm 1957; Sokkān al-qorā le-alwīat al-Mūṣel wa’l- Solaymānīya wa Arbīl wa Karkūk wa Dīālā, Baghdad, 1961, pp. 234-42.
Ketāb-e asāmī-e dehāt-e kešvar, Wezārat-e Kešvar, Edāra-ye Koll-e Āmār wa Ṯabt-e Aḥwāl, vol. 1, 1329 Š./1950, pp. 460-73.
S. Ḵōšnāw, “Bašēkī dīš la gōrānīī folklōrī kurdī la nāwčay Brādōst dā” (Kurdish folk songs in the Brādōst region, pt. 2), Karwan (Arbil), 4/39, December, 1985, pp. 101-05.
V. Minorsky, “Ṣōmaī,” in EI1 IV, p. 193.
Idem, “Shakāk,” ibid., p. 290. Idem, “Urmiya,” ibid., pp. 1032-36.
Mīrzā Rašīd Adīb-al-Šoʿarāʾ, Tārīḵ-eAfšār, ed. P. Šahrīār Afšār and M. Rāmīān, Tabrīz, 1346 Š./1967 (numerous accounts of Barādūst /Afšār encounters).
Jaʿfar Khan Mohandesbāšī Mošīr-al-Dawla, Resāla-ye taḥqīqāt-e sarḥaddīya, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 150-66.
Naval Intelligence Division (Great Britain), Iraq and the Persian Gulf, September, 1944, p. 109 and fig. 27 facing p. 103.
B. Nikitine, “Barādūst,” in EI2 I, pp. 1030-31.
Idem, “Rawāndız Ruiyndız,” in EI1 III, pp. 1130-32.
J. Perry, “Forced Migration in Iran during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” Iranian Studies 8/4, 1975, pp. 199-215.
Razmārā, Farhang IV, p. 85.
The Times Atlas of the World, 7th ed., New York, 1985, pl. 37.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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