Lurs

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For the original group, see Persian people and Iranian peoples.
For the ancient Scandinavian musical instrument, see Lur. For the commune in France, see Lurs, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Lurs
لۆر, Lur
Baba tahir Lur Poet.jpg
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Sardar Assad.jpg
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Portrait of Bakhtiar.jpg
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Total population
5 million - 9 million
Regions with significant populations
 Iran 4–5 million
Approximately 6% of Iran's population[3][4]<
 Iraq 117,000[5]
 Oman 5,100[6]
Languages
Lurish languages` dialects including: Bakhtiari, Laki & Feyli
Religion
Shi'a Islam, Sunni Islam, Yaresan[clarification needed]
Related ethnic groups
Iranian peoples (Persians and Kurds in particular)

Lurs (also Lors, Luri/Persian:لُر) are an Iranian people living mainly in south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at around nine million. They occupy Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan, Fars (especially Lamerd), Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Hamadan, Ilam and Isfahan provinces.[7] The Lur people mostly speak the Luri language (sometimes called "Lori"), a Southwestern Iranian language closely related to Persian and Kurdish languages. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Lurs speak an form of Archaic Persian.[8] According to the linguist Don Still, Lori-Bakhtiari alongside Persian is derived directly from Old Persian.[9] Michael M. Gunter states that Lurs people are closely related to the Kurds but that they "apparently began to be distinguished from the Kurds 1,000 years ago."[10]

The provinces of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Lorestan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari are mostly inhabited by Lurs. Half of Khuzestan's population is Lurs and 30% of Bushehr's population is Lurs.[11]

Language[edit]

Professor Richard N. Frye wrote that "the Lurs and their dialects are closely related to the Persians of Fars province, and naturally belong to the southwestern branch of the Iranian peoples...".[12]

Luri Language are divided into two main groups:[citation needed]

  • The dialect spoken in Luri-i buzurg (Greater Lur) which is closely related to Persian. This dialect is spoken by the inhabitants of Bakhtiari, Kuh-Gilu-Boir Ahmed, in the north and east of Khuzistan, in the Mamasani district of Fars, and in some areas of Bushehr province.
  • The dialect spoken in Lur-i-Kuchek (Lesser Lor) which is closely related to southern Kurdish, with has some similarities to Persian. This dialect is spoken in Luristan, several districts of Hamadan (Nahavand, Towisarkan) and by the inhabitants of south and southwest Ilam and northern part of Khuzistan province.
  • There is a 3rd group of Luri people that speak Luri Minjaee, they are ethnically part of Lur-e- kuchak but dialectically part of Lur-e-bozorg.

Lurs are a mixture of aboriginal Indo-Iranian tribes, originating from Central Asia. Michael M. Gunter states that they are closely related to the Kurds but that they "apparently began to be distinguished from the Kurds 1,000 years ago." He adds that the Sharafnama of Sharaf Khan Bidlisi "mentioned two Lur dynasties among the five Kurdish dynasties that had in the past enjoyed royalty or the highest form of sovereignty or independence."[10] In the Mu'jam Al-Buldan of Yaqut al-Hamawi mention is made of the Lurs as a Kurdish tribe living in the mountains between Khuzestan and Isfahan. The term Kurd according to Richard Frye was used for all Iranian nomads (including the population of Luristan as well as tribes in Kuhistan and Baluchis in Kirman) for all nomads, whether they were linguistically connected to the Kurds or not.[13]

Luri populates areas in pink

Genetics[edit]

Considering their NRY variation, the Lurs are distinguished from other Iranian groups by their relatively elevated frequency of Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b (specifically, of subclade R1b1a2a-L23).[14] Together with its other clades, the R1 group, associated with Upper Palaeolithic West/Central Eurasia, comprises the single most common haplogroup among the Lurs.[14][15] Haplogroup J2a (subclades J2a3a-M47, J2a3b-M67, J2a3h-M530, more specifically) is the second most commonly occurring patrilineage in the Lurs and is associated with the diffusion of agriculturalists from the Neolithic Near East c. 8000-4000 BCE.[15][16][17][18] Another haplogroup reaching a frequency above 10% is that of G2a, with subclade G2a3b accounting for most of this.[19] Also significant is haplogroup E1b1b1a1b, for which the Lurs display the highest frequency in Iran.[19] Lineages Q1b1 and Q1a3 present at 6%, and T at 4%.[19]

Culture[edit]

Luri woman's costume

The authority of tribal elders remains a strong influence among the nomadic population. It is not as dominant among the settled urban population. As is true in Bakhtiari and Kurdish societies, Lur women have much greater freedom than women in other groups within the region.[20]

Religion[edit]

The Lur peoples are diverse and individualistic in their religious views and practices. Religious views can differ immensely, even within a family group. While the overwhelming majority of Lurs are Shia Muslims, some practice an ancient Iranian religion known as Yaresan which has roots in Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Manicheism. Traditionally the Lur people outwardly profess Shia Islam, but the degree of piety varies, and the religion of some is a mixture of Ahl-e Haqq involving a belief in successive incarnations combined with ancient rites.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The relations of these dialects to one another, and to the languages of ancient Persia, have not yet been fully worked out, though excellent monographs on several of them exist, and the quatrains of the celebrated Baba Tahir, "the Lur...,""; "A little volume containing the quatrains of 'Omar Khayyam, of Baba Tahir the Lur of Hamadan (the most celebrated dialectical poet of Persia)"; "Two modern copies of quatrains (in W. Persian dialect) of Baba Tahir 'Uryan " the Lur."; "notably of Baba Tahir whose poems in the Lur dialect are highly esteemed"; "le Luristan et le poete Baba Tahir Hamadani"
  2. ^ Muhammad Karim Khan, of the Zand clan of the Lur tribe, suc- ceeded in imposing his authority on parts of the defunct Safavid empire, David Yeroushalmi, The Jews of Iran in The Nineteenth Century: Aspects of History, Community, and Culture, BRILL, 2009, ISBN 978-90-04-15288-5, p. xxxix.
  3. ^ "Iran". The World Factbook. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Iran". New America Foundation. June 12, 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.peoplegroups.org/Explore/groupdetails.aspx?peid=11717
  6. ^ http://www.peoplegroups.org/explore/groupdetails.aspx?peid=11881
  7. ^ Cultural Survival Inc. (http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/iran/lurs-iran), "The Lurs of Iran".
  8. ^ C.S. Coon, "Iran:Demography and Ethnography" in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume IV, E.J. Brill, pp 10,8. Excerpt: "The Lurs speak an aberrant form of Archaic Persian"
  9. ^ Don Stillo, "Isfahan-Provincial Dialects" in Encyclopedia Iranica, Excerpt: "While the modern SWI languages, for instance, Persian, Lori-Bak_tia-ri and others, are derived directly from Old Persian through Middle Persian/Pahlavi"
  10. ^ a b Gunter, Michael M. (2011). Historical Dictionary of the Kurds (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0810867512. 
  11. ^ Lur - History and Cultural Relations
  12. ^ Frye, Richard N. (1983). Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft, Part 3, Volume 7. Beck. p. 29. ISBN 978-3406093975. 
  13. ^ Richard Frye,"The Golden age of Persia", Phoneix Press, 1975. Second Impression December 2003. pp 111: "Tribes always have been a feature of Persian history, but the sources are extremely scant in reference to them since they did not 'make' history. The general designation 'Kurd' is found in many Arabic sources, as well as in Pahlavi book on the deeds of Ardashir the first Sassanian ruler, for all nomads no matter whether they were linguistically connected to the Kurds of today or not. The population of Luristan, for example, was considered to be Kurdish, as were tribes in Kuhistan and Baluchis in Kirman"
  14. ^ a b Grugni, V; Battaglia, V; Hooshiar Kashani, B; Parolo, S; Al-Zahery, N et al. (2012). "Ancient Migratory Events in the Middle East: New Clues from the Y-Chromosome Variation of Modern Iranians". PLoS ONE 7 (7): e41252. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041252. PMC 3399854. PMID 22815981. 
  15. ^ a b Wells, R. Spencer et al. (2001). "The Eurasian Heartland: A continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 (18): 10244–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.171305098. 
  16. ^ Semino O, Passarino G, Oefner P J, Lin A A, Arbuzova S, Beckman L E, de Benedictis G, Francalacci P, Kouvatsi A, Limborska S, et al. (2000) Science 290:1155–1159
  17. ^ Underhill P A, Passarino G, Lin A A, Shen P, Foley R A, Mirazon-Lahr M, Oefner P J, Cavalli-Sforza L L (2001) Ann Hum Genet 65:43–62
  18. ^ Semino, Ornella; Magri, Chiara; Benuzzi, Giorgia; Lin, Alice A.; Al-Zahery, Nadia; Battaglia, Vincenza; MacCioni, Liliana; Triantaphyllidis, Costas et al. (2004). "Origin, Diffusion, and Differentiation of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups E and J: Inferences on the Neolithization of Europe and Later Migratory Events in the Mediterranean Area". The American Journal of Human Genetics 74 (5): 1023–34. doi:10.1086/386295. PMC 1181965. PMID 15069642. 
  19. ^ a b c Grugni, V; Battaglia, V; Hooshiar Kashani, B; Parolo, S; Al-Zahery, N et al. (2012). "Ancient Migratory Events in the Middle East: New Clues from the Y-Chromosome Variation of Modern Iranians". PLoS ONE 7 (7): e41252. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041252. PMC 3399854. PMID 22815981. 
  20. ^ Edmonds, Cecil (2010). East and West of Zagros: Travel, War and Politics in Persia and Iraq 1913-1921. p. 188. ISBN 9789004173446.