The Qajars (also spelled Kadjars, Kajars, Kadzhars, Cadzhars, Cadjars and so on) are a Turkic Oghuz tribe who lived variously, with other tribes, in the area that is now Armenia, Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. They are considered as a branch of the Azerbaijanis. In the 17th and 18th centuries the Kajars resisted the Safavids and settled the Karabakh Khanate. In 1794, a Kajar chieftain, Agha Mohammed, founded the Qajar dynasty which replaced the Zand dynasty in Iran. In the 1980s the Kajar population exceeded 15,000 people, most of whom lived in Iran.
A branch, attested only as ‘Kadzhar’ (i.e. ‘Qajar’ via Cyrillic transcription), lived in Russian Armenia in the 19th century and likely earlier. In 1873 they numbered 5,000.
- Olson, James Stuart; Pappas, Lee Brigance and Pappas, Nicholas Charles. (1994) An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires page 333
KAJAR. The Kajars are considered a subgroup of the Azerbaijanis*. Historically, they have been a Turkic* Tribe who lived in Armenia. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the Safavids tried to conquer the region, the Kajars settled in the Karabakh Khanate of western Azerbaijan. Agha Mohammed, a Kajar leader, overturned the Zend dynasty in Iran and established Kajar control in the area. This arrangement lasted until Reza Shah came to power in Iran in 1925. The Kajar population today exceeds 35,000 people, the vast majority of whom live in Iran.
- Akiner, Shiran (1983) Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union Kegan Paul International, London, ISBN 0-7103-0025-5
- Wixman, Ronald (1984) The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook
- International Qajar Studies Association. Origins of the Qajars (Kadjars)
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