The Bajalan tribe, also called Bajilan, Bajwan, Bazhalan, Bajarwan and Bajlan, are a Kurdish tribe in Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan) and Iran (Iranian Kurdistan), however they also have sub-groups in Turkey and Armenia. Many of the Bajalan people in Armenia moved to Turkey.
The seat of the Bajalan Pashas was Zohab which they founded according to James Silk Buckingham. SARPUL-I ZOHAB ("bridgehead of Zohab"), a place on the way to Zagros on the great Baghdad-Kirmanshah road, taking its name from the stone bridge of two arches over the river Alwand. Austen Henry Layard observes the river Holwan issues at Ser-puli-Zohab from a deep gorge through lofty precipices. The Bajalan Pass was noted by foreign travelers for its monasteries, bridges, castles and aqueducts. The Bajalan Pashas were also guardians of the Anobanini rock relief.
The Bajalans under the command of their leader Abdal Bey participated on the side of the Ottomans in the Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39), his forces numbered some 4000, they fought successfully against the Persians and helped Sultan Murad IV conquer Baghdad in 1638.
Murad IV In recognition of services rendered to the Ottoman Empire in the capture of Baghdad rewarded Abdal Bey and his descendants with title of Pasha (of one tail) and hereditary rights to the newly established Zohab Pashalik under the Treaty of Zuhab of 1639. Under the terms that the Sultan ceded Zohab to Abdal Bey on the condition that he raise 2,000 horsemen when required, and pay a yearly tribute of 300,000 piastres to the State. However, in reality as an Ottoman vassal, they were lightly taxed and furnished a body of 1,200 horsemen to the crown. David McDowall described the Bajalans as formidable fighters and George Bournoutian stated that their sheer looks brought on terror to the enemy in their chain mail. Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baronet notes the Kalhur tribe were ousted from Zohab by Sultan Murad IV who gave their lands to the Bajalan tribe. The accompanying imperial decree expelled the Kalhur tribe who had previously dominated the Zohab province as punishment for fighting on the side of the Persians. The Government of the Pashlik continued to be hereditary in his family till its conquest and abolishment by the Persians. Abdal Bey settled in Zohab and created a new town with his followers in 1639. The installment of the Bajalan by Murad IV in the area was also intended as a bulwark against the Persians because Baghdad itself could be threatened from Zohab.
The pashalik of Zohab is a district of considerable extent, lying at the foot of the ancient Zagros, the capital was surrounded by a mud wall. The Pashalik is dependent upon that of Bagdad, and consists of two divisions Derna and Zehav. The Bajalan tribe was made up of a confederacy of lesser sub-tribes who were loyal to the Bajalan family and it's Pasha, the first main sub tribe was Jumur (Jomur) which itself had eight branches including Hajilar, Gharibawand, Shirawand (Siravand), Charkalao, Mamawand, Daudawand (Dandavand) and Jalil Agha, the second main tribe was Qazanlu which had three branches Haji Khalil, Wali Agha, Abdurrahman Agha. George Nathaniel Curzon mentions the Sagwands in his book Persia and the Persian question. Owing to weakness of the Baghdad Pashaliq during and after the wars with Muhammad Ali Mirza, son of Fath Ali Shah, the Bajalan family and its dependents had to fight Muhammad Ali Mirza unaided.
A Bajilan Pasha moved against and fought Nadir Shah of Persia in Pataq and Zohab in January 1733. Nadir Shah subsequently expelled a part of Bajalan's tribe to Khurramabad. The Bajalans became embroiled in the civil wars which were unleashed by the death of Karim Khan Zand in 1779.
Members of the ruling begzadas Bajilan family spoke Kurmanji as well as a dialect of Gurani. Mehrdad Izady states that the Bajalan speak a Gorani dialect. However, the Bajalani dialect has been replaced among many Bajalans by the use of Sorani Kurdish.
- Abdul Bey Bajalan
- Ahmed Pasha Bajalan
- Abdullah Pasha Bajalan
- Baji Qadir Pasha Bajalan
- Fettah Pasha Bajalan
- Aziz Pasha Bajalan
- Osman Pasha Bajalan
- Mustafa Pasha Bajalan
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- http://www.bajalan.com (NOTE: mostly in Arabic)