FEYLĪ, group of Lor tribes located mainly in Luristan. During the two centuries in which the whole of Luristan was ruled by hereditary wālīs (descended from Ḥosayn Khan Solvīzī, appointed by Shah ʿAbbās I in 1006/1597-98) all the tribes in the region were called Feylī, but, at the beginning of the 19th century, the situation changed. Moḥammad-ʿAlī Mīrzā, eldest son of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah Qājār (1212-50/1797-1834) and governor-general of Kermānšāh, seized Pīš-e Kūh (the eastern part of Luristan), leaving to the wālī only Pošt-e Kūh (the western part). Because the name Feylī had been previously associated with the Solvīzī dynasty, it came to denote only those tribes in the Pošt-e Kūh (Eskandar Beg, tr. Savory, II, p. 721; Curzon, Persian Question, I, p. 278; Minorsky, p. 826).

There is little reliable information on the Feylī of the Pošt-e Kūh (for the most detailed reports, see Rabino, pp. 37-46; Razmārā, pp. 18-23). The two major Feylī tribes in the region are Kord and Mahakī (for a list of their subdivisions, or tīras, see Layard, pp. 99-100; Razmārā, pp. 21-23; Kayhān, Joḡrāfīā II, pp. 67-71).

In the 19th century H. C. Rawlinson (p. 107) estimated the population of Feylī in the Pošt-e Kūh at 12,000 families, A. H. Layard (pp. 99-100) at 10,000 families, George Curzon (Persian Question II, p. 274) at 210,000 individuals, H. L. Rabino (p. 40) at 10,000 families. More recently Henry Field (p. 184) has estimated it at 50,000-60,000 individuals and Masʿūd Kayhān (Joḡrāfīā II, p. 67) at 40,000 individuals.

Some of the Feylī of Luristan had supported Karīm Khan Zand (1163-93/1750-79) and accompanied him to Fārs (Oberling, p. 85), where their descendants are still to be found. In 1849 they were estimated at 100 families (Sheil, p. 398). In time these Feylī joined the ʿAmala tribe of the Qašqāʾī confederation; they were mentioned by Ḥasan Fasāʾī in Fārs-nāma (ed. Rastgār, II, p. 313). Since then some Feylī of the ʿAmala tribe have settled in and around Fīrūzābād. In 1956 they numbered approximately fifty individuals (Oberling, p. 86). Others have settled in Shiraz, where they live in the Maḥall-e Feylī. These Feylī were mentioned by Kayhān, who estimated their number at 150 families (Joḡrāfīā II, p. 83), and by Field, whose estimate was 100 families (p. 222). In 1956 they comprised between 800 and 1,000 individuals (Oberling, p. 86).



C. A. de Bode, Travels in Luristan and Arabistan II, London, 1845, p. 290.

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

A. H. Layard, “Description of the Province of Khuzistan,” JRGS 16, 1846, pp. 99-100.

O. Mann, Die Mundarten der Lur-Stämme im südwestlichen Persien, Berlin, 1910, pp. xxiv-xxv.

V. Minorsky, “Lur,” EI2 V, pp. 820-26.

P. Oberling, The Turkic Peoples of Southern Iran, New York, 1960.

H. L. Rabino, Les tribus du Louristan, Paris, 1916.

H. C. Rawlinson, “Notes on a March from Zoháb…to Kirmánsháh, in the Year 1836,” JRGS 9, 1839.

Ḥ.-ʿA. Razmārā, Joḡrāfiā-ye niẓāmī-ye Irān: Pošt-e Kūh, Tehran, 1320 Š./1941.

M. L. Sheil, Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia, London, 1856.

A. T. Wilson, Military Report on South-West Persia, Simla, 1912, pp. 27-28.

(Pierre Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: December 15, 1999