Lak people (Iran)

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For additional information refer also to Lur people.
To be distinguished from the Lak people of Dagestan, Russia.
Laks
Total population
c. 1 million (est. 2000)
Regions with significant populations
Western Iran:
  1,000,000 [1]
Languages
Laki
Religion
Ahl-e-Haqq, Shi'a Islam
Related ethnic groups
Lurs, Kurds, other Iranian peoples

The Laks are an Iranian group in southwestern Iran. They speak Laki (or Leki), a northwestern Iranian language, which is usually grouped with southern Kurdish dialects.[1][2][3][4] [5] [6][7][8]

Geography[edit]

The Laks inhabit a huge part of northern Luristan province (Laks of Pishekuh), and most of south eastern region of neighboring province of Kermanshahan (Poshte-Kuhi Laks). and some of western Ilam province. The area to the east of Mount Kabir is known as Pishe-Kuh and west of the mountain is Poshte-Kuh.

Origins[edit]

There has been much debate over the ethnic identity of the Laks throughout the twentieth century.

Vladimir Minorsky, who wrote the entry "Lak" in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, referred to the Lak as "the most southern group of Kurd tribes in Persia" and stated that their language has the characteristics of Kurdish.[8] Some of the Lak tribes live in Lorestān Province, among Lur tribes, although Minorsky quotes some evidence that they were brought there from further north. He mentions that they are often confused with the Lur, but are different.[8]

History[edit]

The Zand dynasty who ruled parts of southwestern Iran was of Laki origin.[5]

Laks were the Zand people. They lived alongside valleys and mountains. They spoke "Lakistani" kurdi, which was their homeland, so their language was known as "Laki", a dialect of Kurdi. Zands were also known for their skills in battle. For that very reason, Karim Khan Zand lead the Zand tribe, as an army they conquered and established their own dynasty, which Karim Khan Zand moved his kingdom to Shiraz and brought all the Zand people from their original homeland of Lakestan, which was northeast Luristan at the time, to Shiraz. After Zand dynasty fell, the Zand people went back to Luristan. There they started making their own family alliances and tribes after land and power disputes.

Years and years of growth, Laki has become one of the largest branches of Kurdi language in Iran. Their original land has expanded in an area that covers most of southern and south eastern Kermanshah and northern Lorestan, and parts of Western Ilam.

Laki Tribes[edit]

Jalilavand Osmanvand Pauravand Kakavand Kolivand Gorgavand Shahyvand Rizavand Jalalavand Mafivand Balavand Biranvand Zohravand Eslavand Hassanvand Khajevand

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Windfuhr, G. (2009). The Iranian Languages, Routledge, p. 587
  2. ^ Rüdiger Schmitt: Die iranischen Sprachen in Gegenwart und Geschichte. Wiesbaden (Reichert) 2000.
  3. ^ Rüdiger Schmitt (Hg.): Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden (Reichert) 1989.
  4. ^ V. Minorsky, "Lak", Encyclopaedia of Islam.
  5. ^ a b Zand dynasty
  6. ^ Hamzehʼee, M. Reza. The Yaresan: a sociological, historical and religio-historical study of a Kurdish community, 1990.
  7. ^ Bidlīsī, Sharaf Khan. The Sharafnam̂a, or, The history of the Kurdish nation, 1597.
  8. ^ a b c V. Minorsky, "Lak", Encyclopaedia of Islam.