ḤAYĀT-DĀWUDI, a sedentary Lor tribe dwelling in the dehestān of Ḥayāt-dāwūd, stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Māhur-e Mīlāti mountains, northwest of Bušehr. According to A. T. Wilson, their ancestors came from the Behbahān region, supplanting a Persian population which, until about 600 years ago, was Zoroastrian (p. 170). Their chiefs resided at Bandar Rig, 40 miles north of Bušehr, and bore the title of “Khan of Bandar Rig.” The most distinguished of the early khans of Bandar Rig was Amir-ʿAli Khan Ḥayāt-dāwudi, who, in spring 1204/1789, joined Loṭf-ʿAli Khan Zand when the Zand ruler journeyed to southern Fārs in the hope of raising an army with which to recapture Shiraz (Fasāʾi, I, p. 230; ʿAli-Reżā Širāzi, Tāriḵ-e Zandiya, p. 48).

During the 19th century, a rival family of Ḥayāt-dāwudi chieftains under Morād Khan and his son Ḥosayn Khan gradually gained the ascendency over the tribe. In about 1870, Ḥosayn Khan’s son and successor, Khan-ʿAli Khan (b. ca. 1841), captured Bandar Rig, allegedly disposing of its khan by “throwing him down a well at Arash, which he then caused to be filled up” (Wilson, p. 172). Upon his death in about 1896, Khan-ʿAli Khan was succeeded as khan of Bandar-e Rig by his son, Ḥaydar Khan, who, with his family, became “the most important hegemony” between the tribes of Baluchistan and the Arab tribes subjected to the shaikh of Moḥammara (present-day Ḵorram-šahr). Ḥaydar Khan also started a tradition of harmonious relations with Great Britain, coming to the assistance of the British resident in Bu-šehr in 1908 by arresting pirates in the Persian Gulf (Chick, p. 2).

During World War I, the Ḥayāt-dāwudi sided with Great Britain, and in March 1915 they captured the German secret agent, Wilhelm Wassmuss and his entire expedition as they were making their way from the Persian Gulf to Shiraz. Although Wassmuss managed to escape almost immediately, his German companions, as well as all the weapons, codebooks, and propaganda materials of the German expedition were handed over to the British (Gehrke, I, pp. 77-78).

In September 1946, the Ḥayāt-dāwudi played a major role in the tribal rebellion against the central government. They also participated in the rebellion of 1963, as a result of which their leader, Fatḥ-Allāh Khan, was executed (Oberling, pp. 185-87, 212-13). The Ḥayāt-dāwudis also had the bad luck of living in an area that was largely expropriated by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). In the words of Manoucher Farmanfamaian (p. 376), absorbed into oil company, they lost all that had ever characterized them as Ḥayāt-dāwudis—their culture, their clothes and habits, their lives as migrant people, and important properties on the island of Kharg [Ḵārg].


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

ʿAli-Reżā Širāzi, Tāriḵ-e Zan-diya, tr. E. Beer, Leiden, 1888.

M. Farmanfarmaian, Blood and Oil, New York, 1977, p. 376.

U. Gehrke, Persien in der deutschen Orientpolitik wahrend des Ersten Welt Krieges, Stuttgart, 1961.

H. G. Chick, “Notes . . . on a Visit to the Khan of Hayat Daoud,” dated December 26, 1909, in F.O. 37, 1/946, 1910.

Lorimer, Gazetteer II, pp. 697-702.

P. Oberling, The Qashqāʾi Nomads of Fārs, The Hague, 1974. A. T. Wilson, Report on Fārs, Simla, 1916.

(Pierre Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 20, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 1, pp. 67-68