DARRAŠŪRĪ,one of the five major tribes of the Qašqāʾī tribal confederation (see CONFEDERATIONS, TRIBAL). According to Zīād Khan Darrašūrī, a former kalāntar (chief) of the tribe, whom the author interviewed in spring 1957, the name Darrašūrī comes from that of a valley, the Darra-ye Šūr (Valley of salt), in the area of the tribe’s summer quarters (Oberling, p. 226). The tribe is also sometimes called Darrašūlī, however, a name that Vladimir Minorsky connected with that of the Šūl (p. 392).
According to G. F. Magee (p. 20), the Darrašūrī are descendants of a group of Qezelbāš warriors headed by a certain Ḥaydar Mīnbāšī, a subordinate of Robert Sherley, and they were assigned the region that is their present-day summer quarters by Shah ʿAbbās I (r. 996-1038/1588-1629) as a reward for their bravery. The Darrašūrī are said to have joined the Qašqāʾī tribal confederation during the reign of Karīm Khan Zand (r. 1163-93/1750-79; Beck, p. 181). The tribe also contains Lur and Kurdish elements, like the Lek and Vandā tīras (clans), which were absorbed either when the Zand tribal confederation disintegrated in the late 18th century or when the Darrašūrī took over some of the pasturelands of the Mamasanī Lurs in western Fārs province during the 19th century.
According to Zīād Khan, the Darrašūrī tribe comprised about 8,000 families, or 35,000 individuals, in 1336 Š./1957. Lois Beck reported (p. 182) about 45,000 individuals in the 1960s. On the other hand,in 1342 Š./1963 Komīsīūn-e mellī-e Yūnesko (I, p. 144) estimated only about 5,265 families, of which only 782 had become sedentary. According to Persian government statistics, there were about 5,169 Darrašūrī families, or 27,396 individuals, in 1360 Š./1981 (Afšār-Sīstānī, p. 626).
The Darrašūrī summer around Vardašt, southeast of Borūjen, in Isfahan province; this area is the northernmost of all Qašqāʾī summer quarters. Their winter quarters are in the dehestān of Māhūr-e Mīlātī, southeast of Behbahān, as well as around Kāzerūn and Lake Fāmūr, in central Fārs; winter headquarters are at Tang-e Čogān, in the Šāpūr valley.
The Darrašūrī were “the greatest horse-breeders and owners among the Qashqai” (Wilson, p. 60). It has been said that before the Pahlavi period “each family possessed an average of three or four mounts, of which one or two were well bred” (Garrod, 1946, p. 40). The policy of forced sedentarization of the nomadic tribes pursued by Reżā Shah Pahlavī (1304-20 Š./1925-41) resulted in the loss of 80-90 percent of the Darrašūrī horses (Garrod, 1946, p. 40), but, under the leadership of Zīād Khan, the tribe made a speedy recovery after World War II, though William O. Douglas’ figure of 20,000 cavalrymen (p. 145) must have been exaggerated.
According to Zīād Khan, the tīras of the Darrašūrī are Narreʾī, Qarreḵlū, Jeyrānlū, Āyeblū, Ḵeyrātlū, Nāderlū, Āhangar, Ṭelābāzlū, Bolvardī, ʿOrojlū, Jānbāzlū, Hemmat-ʿAlī Kīḵāʾī, Šāvāzlū, Īmānlū, Ḵodāverdīlū, ʿAbd-al-Soleymānlū, Ṣādeqlū, Qarā Qoānlū (or Qarā Qoyūnlū), Šāhīn Kīḵāʾī, Nāṣer Kīḵāʾī, Dūndūlū, Qarā Gečlū, Karīmlū, Darzī, ʿAmala-ye Ḥosayn Khan, ʿAmala-ye Naṣr-Allāh Khan, Ṭayyeblū, Asad Kīḵāʾī, Golāblū, Lek, Kezīnlū, Korbīkūš, Vandā, Gowjelū, Čaroḵlū, Mešbī Sīār, Qābezlū, ʿAbu’l-Qārlū, Qarājūllū, ʿOṯmānlū, Rostamī, and Jelāllū (Oberling, pp. 226-27). The name Qarā Qoyūnlū suggests a past association of at least some Darrašūrī with the tribal confederation and nation of that name.
I. Afšār-Sīstānī, Īlhā, čādornešīnān wa ṭawāyef-e ʿašāyerī-e Īrān, Tehran, 1336 Š./1987, pp. 625-26.
M. Bahman-Beygī, ʿOrf wa ʿādat dar ʿašāyer-e Fārs, n.p., 1324 Š./1945, p. 52.
L. Beck, The Qashqa’i of Iran, New Haven, Conn., 1986, pp. 23, 117, 175-76, 180-82, 182n, 192, 221n, 222n, 231, 311-12, 316-17, 319, 334, 343.
G. Demorgny, “Les réformes administratives en Iran. Les tribus du Fars,” RMM 22, March 1913, pp. 97-98.
W. O. Douglas, Strange Lands and Friendly People, New York, 1951, pp. 138, 145.
H. Field, Contributions to the Anthropology of Iran, Chicago, 1939, pp. 88, 123, 219, 221.
O. Garrod, “The Nomadic Tribes of Persia To-Day,” Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 33, 1946, p. 40.
Idem, “The Qashqai Tribe of Fars,” Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 33, 1946, pp. 294, 302-303.
M. S. Ivanov, Plemena Farsa (Tribes of Fārs), Moscow, 1961, pp. 35-37, 39, 44-45, 67, 76, 142-43, 145, 147.
Kayhān, Joḡrāfīā II, p. 79.
Komīsīūn-e mellī-e Yūnesko (UNESCO) dar Īrān, Irān-šahr, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963.
G. F. Magee, The Tribes of Fars, Simla, 1945.
V. Minorsky, “Shūlistān,” in EI1 IV, pp. 391-92.
P. Oberling, The Qashqāʾi Nomads of Fārs, the Hague, 1974, pp. 17-18, 23n, 37n, 79, 106, 140, 156, 163, 165, 180, 203, 204n.
M. T. Ullens de Schooten, Lords of the Mountains. Southern Persia and the Kashkai Tribe, London, 1956, p. 116.
A. T. Wilson, Report on Fars, Simla, 1916.
Originally Published: December 15, 1994
Last Updated: November 17, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, pp. 63-64