FĀRSĪMADĀN, one of the most important tribes of the Qašqāʾī tribal confederacy. The popular explanation of the name is that it is a mispronunciation of Fārsīnadān (Those who do not know Persian) or Fārsīmīdān(Those who know Persian; Magee, p. 54). The Fārsīmadān claim that they are of Ḵalaj origin, and that, before moving to southern Persia, they dwelled in Ḵalajestān, a region southwest of Tehran (Magee, p. 54; Garrod, p. 294). They also believe that the tribe spent some time in the Kūhgīlūya before ending up in the province of Fārs (Magee, p. 54). In any case, the tribe was already in Fārs by the late 16th century, for it is known that in the month of Ḏu’l-ḥejja 998/October 1590 their leader, Abu’l-Qāsem Beyg and some of his followers were punished for having sided with Yaʿqūb Khan, the Ḏu’l-Qadr governor of Fārs, in a revolt against Shah ʿAbbās I (Fasāʾī, I, p. 124, ed. Rastgār, I, p. 434; for further details concerning this rebellion, see Eskandar Beg, I, pp. 418-26, 431-37, tr. Savory, II, pp. 595-611).

Like all nomads in Persia, the Fārsīmadān suffered greatly during the reign of Reżā Shah Pahlavī (1304-20 Š./1925-41). His establishment of direct government rule and taxation, introduction of compulsory conscription, imposition of European dress, appointment of brutal and corrupt military governors to supervise tribal activity, and particularly his forced sedentarization policy, played havoc with the lives of the Fārsīmadān and their pastoral economy. As early as 1929, Masīḥ Khan, the chief (kalāntar) of the Fārsīmadān tribe, played a leading role in a major tribal uprising in Fārs (Oberling, pp. 155-56). In 1933, Masīḥ Khan and his eldest son, Amān-Allāh Khan, were sent to Tehran and detained there. Masīḥ Khan died shortly thereafter, presumably of natural causes (Oberling, p. 166). Meanwhile, as a consequence of Reżā Shah’s forced sedentarization policy, the Fārsīmadān temporarily abandoned their nomadic way of life. About a thousand families of them settled down in the tribe’s summer quarters and the remainder of them settled down in the tribe’s winter quarters. In 1937, the Fārsīmadān lost many of their animals when they were forced to leave their flocks in the district of Kāmfīrūz (Magee, p. 54). Upon the abdication of Reżā Shah in 1941, the Fārsīmadān resumed their nomadic existence, and they have managed to retain their traditional way of life ever since (Komīsīūn-e mellī, I, p. 147; Afšār Sīstānī, p. 628). A new period of hardship started in 1980, when, following the Revolution of 1978, the Revolutionary Guards launched a campaign against the nomadic tribes of Fārs (Beck, p. 331).

The Fārsīmadān tribe contains the following tīras, or clans: Qara Mīr Šāmlū, Ṭawābeʿ, Awlād (the tīra of the chief), Korānlū, Doḡanlū, Kalbelū (i.e., Kalb-ʿAlīlū), Šeybānlū, ʿAmala, Qāsemlū, Gorjāʾī (Georgians), Morol (Moḡol), Mačanlū, Mūṣellū, Ẓohrāblū, and Yāndrānlū (Oberling, p. 228). Its summer quarters are north and northeast of the Kūh-e Denā range, halfway between Behbahān and Ābāda. Its winter quarters are between Lake Fāmūr and the Kūh-e Gīsakān range, south of Kāzerūn (Oberling, p. 228).

The population of the Fārsīmadān was estimated by Amān-Allāh Khan Fārsīmadān at 1,750 families in 1956 (Oberling, p. 228), by Komīsīūn-e mellī (p. 147) at 1,505 families in 1963, and by Afšār Sīstānī (p. 628) at 2,715 families, or 12,394 individuals, in 1982.

See also AFGHANISTAN iv.


Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):

Ī. Afšār Sīstānī, Īlhā, čādornešīnān, wa ṭawāyef-e ʿašāyerī-e Īrān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1366 Š./1987.

L. Beck, The Qashqaʾi of Iran, New Haven, 1986.

G. Demorgny, “Les réformes administratives en Perse: Les tribus du Fars,” RMM 22, 1913, pp. 98-99.

H. Field, Contributions to the Anthropology of Iran, Chicago, 1939, p. 220.

O. Garrod, “The Qashqai Tribe of Fars,” Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 33, 1946, pp. 293-306.

Kayhān, Joḡrāfīā II, p. 79.

Komīsīūn-e mellī-e Yūnesko (UNESCO) dar Īrān, Īrān-šahr, 2 vols., Tehran, 1343 Š./1964.

G. F. Magee, The Tribes of Fars, Simla, 1945.

P. Oberling, The Qashqāʾī Nomads of Fars, The Hague, 1974.

(Pierre Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: January 24, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fasc. 4, pp. 373-374