The Basseri of Iran

THE BRASSERI OF IRAN Introductory Paragraph Basseri of Iran is pastoral nomads that that live in the temperate, grasslands and scrublands of the Iranian province of Fars. The Basseri are one of the groups that live in this area of Iran. There are at least 16,000 Basseri in Iran (Johnson, 1996). The Basseri are political rather than ethnic, most common language is a dialect used by the Basseri. The Basseri comes from the hot and arid climate of the Persian Gulf. I am going to talk about ; pastoral migration, marriage and kinship, their economy, political, social and economy.

The ways of the traditional Basseri is breaking down and where is this group going in the future? Kinship-One of the main social units of the Basseri society is an assembly of people who share a tent. The Basseri keep count of their population numbers and describe the camp groups is tents (house)every tent lives in one independent household consisting of a nuclear family. These tents are units of production and consumption; each is represented by the male head. They are in control over movable property including flocks, and acts as independent units for political purposes.

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One of the main purposes is for more efficient herding in small units; the makeup of these units depends on proficiently rather than kinship. Pastoral migration-The winter, groups of two to five units in charge of herding separate by 3or 4 kilometers from the next group. When usually numbering ten to forty tents, by all purposes this is the real communities of the nomadic society. The members of a camp are clearly bounded social group. The camp needs total agreement on questions of; migration, where to set up camp, and all other economic matters.

That came about through coercion by a powerful leader to a general consensus. The unity of the camp is enhanced by a recognized leader, who will represent them for political and administrative purposes. In different camps there are two kinds of leaders; headman and where there is no head man, white beard is considered the Basseri chief. Economic unit is the tent, which has a husband, wife, and children plus or minus other dependents. The tent owns about 100 sheep and ten donkeys.

Usually the sheep are tended by a boy, either by a member of a tent or a hired herdsman. Normally two to five households pasture their flocks under the care of one shepherd, and the herding unit so formed is the second biggest unit in the Basseri society. The most important products are milk, lambskins and wool. The Basseris spin, weave wool and goat hair, and make their own tent poles, pack-saddles, and cordage. Some of the Basseris own village lands from which they receive shares of crops (Barth, 1961).

The Basseris being pastoralists, risk losing their livihood at any time due to disease, drought, and other disasters. They have to make strategies to minimize the risks to their flocks. They do this by using; mobility, herd maximization, and social organizations (Mark Mortz, 2011) The Basseri only became relevant, because it formed the Khamseh confederacy 100 years ago. The confederacy which is only 100 years old has fallen apart, because among South Persian nomads a tribe is considered as political rather than ethnic and they give their loyalty to the chief.

Social Organization-The chief’s main duties are to allot pastures and control the migration of the camps, to settle disputes, and to represents his tribe or any members in dealings with chiefs of other tribes. His only contact in dealing with his people indirectly is in allotting pastures and ordering migration (Barth, 1961). The traditional political structure of the Basseri as well as many nomadic tribes was formed by two important factors. The first is that that there was weak central government, the central government could institute law and order.

The central government also could not be responsible for protection in the area where the nomads reside. The second was that the migration depends on the environment they needed to be near pastures for the herds to eat. The Basseri depended on their flocks to survive, seasonal changes made them move from the upper to the lower altitudes during seasonal changes. The Basseri tribe migrated in the steep mountains of South, East, and North Shiraz province of South Persia. Basseri tribe has a wide variety of animals and birds to hunt in what is known as the “land of the nomadic tribes”.

It is hot and arid at 30 degrees and the winters are cold in the highlands; mild in the plains (Barth, 2009). The amount of people of the tribe fluctuates on whether the changing fortunes of their chiefs as political leaders Works Cited Barth, F. (1961). Nomads of South Persia: The Basseri Tribe of the Kkamseh Confederacy. Oslo, Norway: Oslo University Press. Johnson, R. (1996). Basseri. Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Mark Mortz, J. G. (2011). Cross Cultural. Cross Culture, 286-317.



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