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For the ancient Scandinavian musical instrument, see Lur. For the commune in France, see Lurs, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. For the original group, see Persian people and Iranian peoples.
لر Lur
Baba tahir Lur Poet.jpg
Karim Khan by Charles Heath.jpg
Image of sadiq khan zand.png
Ja`far Khan.png
Lotf Ali Khan.jpg
Sardar Assad.jpg
Portrait of Bakhtiar.jpg
Fereydoon Moshiri.jpg
Karubi in zanjan.jpg
Zahra Rahnavard.jpg
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Iraq 517,000[10]
 Kuwait 50,000
 Oman 5,100[11]
Lurish languages` dialects including: Bakhtiari, Laki & Feyli
Shi'a Islam, Yarsanism
Related ethnic groups
Iranian peoples (Persians and Kurds in particular)

Lurs (also Lors, Lurish: لور, Persian:لُر) are an Iranian people living mainly in western and south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at around five million. They occupy Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan and Fars (especially Lamerd, Mamasani and Rostam), Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Hamadan, Ilam and Isfahan provinces.[12] The Lur people mostly speak the Lurish language (sometimes called "Luri"), a Southwestern Iranian language related to Persian and Kurdish. A large crowd of Lurs is located in Eastern parts of Iraq. In Iraq, as Feyli Lurs and sometimes Feyli Kurds they are mainly located in Diyala province (Khanaqin, Mendeli and Muqdadiyah cities) and Baghdad. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Lurish language is the closest living language to Archaic and Middle Persian.[13] According to the linguist Don Still, Lori-Bakhtiari like Persian is derived directly from Old Persian.[14] 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."[15]

Lurs are the demographic majority of the provinces of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Ilam, Lorestan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Half of Khuzestan's population is Lurs and 30% of Bushehr's population is Lurs.[16]


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...".[17]

The Lurish language is divided into two main groups:

  • 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 (Malayer, Nahavand, Towisarkan) and by the inhabitants of south and southwest Ilam and northern part of Khuzestan province.
  • There is a third group of Luri people who speak Luri-e-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 Persians." He adds that the Sharafnama of Sharaf Khan Bidlisi ""[15] In the Mu'jam Al-Buldan of Yaqut al-Hamawi mention is made of the Lurs as a persian 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 Kohistan and Baluchis in Kirman) for all nomads, whether they were linguistically connected to the Kurds or not.[18]


Percentage of Luri population in provinces of Iran (2010 poll)

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).[19] Together with its other clades, the R1 group comprises the single most common haplogroup among the Lurs.[19][20] 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.[20][21][22][23] Another haplogroup reaching a frequency above 10% is that of G2a, with subclade G2a3b accounting for most of this.[24] Also significant is haplogroup E1b1b1a1b, for which the Lurs display the highest frequency in Iran.[24] Lineages Q1b1 and Q1a3 present at 6%, and T at 4%.[24]


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.[25]


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, 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]


  1. ^ "A Year Amongst the Persians: Impressions as to the Life, Character ... - Edward Granville Browne". p. 204. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  2. ^ "A Year Amongst the Persians: Impressions as to the Life, Character ... - Edward Granville Browne". p. 557. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland". p. 337. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  4. ^ "The encyclopaedia of Islām: a dictionary of the geography, ethnography and ... - International Association of Academies". 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  5. ^ "Kurdish Culture and Society: An Annotated Bibliography - Lokman I. Meho, Kelly L. Maglaughlin". Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "The Jews of Iran in the Nineteenth Century: Aspects of History, Community". Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  8. ^ "Iran". The World Factbook. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Iran" (PDF). New America Foundation. June 12, 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Luri". Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  11. ^ "Kumzari". Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  12. ^ "The Lurs of Iran". Cultural Survival. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  13. ^ C.S. Coon, "Iran:Demography and Ethnography" in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume IV, E.J. Brill, pp 10,8.
  14. ^ 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"
  15. ^ a b Gunter, Michael M. (2011). Historical Dictionary of the Kurds (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0810867512. 
  16. ^ "History and cultural relations - Lur". Retrieved 2015-09-21. 
  17. ^ Frye, Richard N. (1983). Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft, Part 3, Volume 7. Beck. p. 29. ISBN 978-3406093975. 
  18. ^ Richard Frye,"The Golden age of Persia", Phoenix 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 persians of today or not. The population of Luristan, for example, was considered to be persian, as were tribes in [Kohistan] and Baluchis in Kirman"
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. PMC 56946. PMID 11526236. 
  21. ^ 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
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Edmonds, Cecil (2010). East and West of Zagros: Travel, War and Politics in Persia and Iraq 1913-1921. p. 188. ISBN 9789004173446. 
  26. ^ "luri". JOZAN. Retrieved 2015-09-21.