Lori people

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Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan 58,000
 Iran unknown
Related ethnic groups
Romani people, Dom people, Domba, other Indo-Aryans

The Lori are a nomadic community found in the Balochistan region of Iran and Pakistan. They must not be confused with Lurs, who are an entirely distinct people also living in Iran.[1][2]


The Lori may be divided into two groupings, the settled Lori and the nomads. Historically, the settled Lori have two sub-divisions, the Sarmas-Lori, who claim descent from Sarmast, and the Zabgisgahi. Most of the Lori in Balochistan claim descent from Sarmast. While Zangishahi are said to have originated from India, and accompanied the Gichki Baloch in their migration from India. This community is found mainly in Panjgur. They may be related to the neighbouring Dom communities.[1]

Present circumstances[edit]

Traditionally, the Lori were the carpenters, blacksmiths and gold smiths of the Baloch country. A distinct group of Lori were musicians and entertainers. Each occupational group is distinguished by a special appellation, for example the carpenter is known as a dar trash Lori, the blacksmith is known as asinkar Lori, and a goldsmith is known as a zargar Lori. While those groups involved in entertainment are known as dohli, or drummers and are a strictly endogamous group. The dholi are also involved in jugglery, palmistry and fortune telling. Historically, they were also the sellers of donkeys, but this occupation has declined with the growth in modern transportation. Certain other duties were assigned to the Lori, such as preparing wedding feasts and playing musical instruments.[2]

The Lori live among the Baloch, but are not considered such. They are one of the many gypsy like groups found in the Middle East, and may be descended from groups who left India in the distant past. They have no special language or dialect, and speak Balochi.

In the Kachhi region of Balochistan, the Lori live among both the Jamot and the Baloch and Brahui. There traditional occupation was that of blacksmithi with many of the women employed as midwives. Most Lori of Kacchi also speak Seraiki, in addition to Balochi.[3]


  1. ^ a b Coastal Makran as Corridor to the Indian Ocean World by Sabir Badalkhan in Eurasian Studies (2002): 1/2 pp 257-262
  2. ^ a b Phillips, David J. (2001) Peoples on the Move: introducing the nomads of the world Piquant, Carlisle, p. 295, ISBN 1-903689-05-8
  3. ^ Coastal Makran as Corridor to the Indian Ocean World by Sabir Badalkhan in Eurasian Studies (2002): 1/2 pp 257–262