|3 to 4 million (2006)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|province of Mazandaran and parts of the provinces of Alborz, Golestan, Tehran and Semnan in Iran|
|Mazanderani and Persian|
|Mostly Shi'a Muslim|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other peoples of Iran, Peoples of the Caucasus|
The Mazanderani people or Tabari people are an Iranian people whose homeland is the North of Iran (Tabaristan). Like the closely related Gilakis the Mazanderani are a Caspian people that inhabits the south coast of the Caspian Sea, part of the historical region that used to be called Tabaristan. The Elburz mountains mark the southern boundary of Mazanderani settlement.
Most Mazanderani people live on the southeastern coast of the Caspian Sea. Many of them live as farmers and fishermen. The Mazanderani are closely related to the neighbouring Gilaki people as well as Caucasian peoples (e.g. the Georgians, Armenians, and Azerbaijanis).
The Mazanderani language is one of the Northwestern Iranian languages and is spoken by the Mazanderani people. However, most Mazanderani are also fluent in Persian. The Gilaki and Mazanderani languages (but no other Iranian languages) share certain typological features with Caucasian languages.
With the growth of education and the media, the distinction between Mazanderani and other Iranian dialects is likely to disappear. Mazanderani is closely related to Gilaki and the two dialects have similar vocabularies. These two languages preserve more of the noun declension system characteristic of older Iranian languages than Persian does.
The Mazanderani and their closely related Gilaki's occupy the South Caspian region of Iran and speak languages belonging to the North-Western branch of Iranian languages. It has been suggested that their ancestors came from the Caucasus region, perhaps displacing an earlier group in the South Caspian. Linguistic evidence supports this scenario, in that the Gilaki and Mazanderani languages (but not other Iranian languages) share certain typological features with Caucasian languages. There have been patterns analyzed of mtDNA and Y chromosome variation in the Gilaki and Mazanderani.
Based on mtDNA HV1 sequences, the Gilaki and Mazanderani most closely resemble their geographic and linguistic neighbors, namely other Iranian groups. However, their Y chromosome types most closely resemble those found in groups from the South Caucasus. A scenario that explains these differences is a south Caucasian origin for the ancestors of the Gilaki and Mazanderani, followed by introgression of women (but not men) from local Iranian groups, possibly because of patrilocality. Given that both mtDNA and language are maternally transmitted, the incorporation of local Iranian women would have resulted in the concomitant replacement of the ancestral Caucasian language and mtDNA types of the Gilaki and Mazanderani with their current Iranian language and mtDNA types. Concomitant replacement of language and mtDNA may be a more general phenomenon than previously recognized.
The Mazanderani and Gilaki groups fall inside a major cluster consisting of populations from the Caucasus and West Asia and are particularly close to the South Caucasus groups—Georgians, Armenians, and Azerbaijani's. Iranians from Tehran and Isfahan are situated more distantly from these groups.
Analysis of their NRY patrilines has revealed haplogroup J2, associated with the neolithic diffusion of agriculturalists from the Near East, to be the predominant Y-DNA lineage among the Mazanderani (subclades J2a3h-M530, J2a3b-M67 and J2a-M410, more specifically.). The next most frequently occurring lineage, R1a1a, believed to have been associated with early Iranian expansion into Central/Southern Eurasia and currently ubiquitous in that area, is found in almost 25%, and this haplogroup, together with the aforementioned J2, accounts for over 50% of the entire sample. Haplogroup G2a3b, attaining significant frequency together with G2a and G1, is the most commonly carried marker in the G group among Mazanderani men. The lineages E1b1b1a1a-M34 and C5-M356 comprise the remainder, of less than 10% sampled.
- Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazid ibn Kathir al-Tabari (838–923), was a Mazanderani historian and theologian (the most famous and widely-influential person called al-Tabari).
- Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustom al-Tabari, was a Shia thinker who is commonly confused with the first one. He is the author of the book Dala'il al-Imamah (Proofs of the Imamate)
- Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari, "Ali the scholar from Tabiristan" (838–870 A.D.) was the writer of a medical encyclopedia and the teacher of the scholar physician Zakariya al-Razi.
- Abul Hasan al-Tabari, a 10th-century Iranian physician.
- Al-Tabarani, (c. 821–918 CE) the author of numerous ahadeeth.
- Amir Pazevari, poet.
- Maziar, Iranian aristocrat of the House of Karen.
- Reza Shah, Emperor of Iran (Persia) from 1924 to 1941
- Nima Yooshij (Poet)
- Emamali Habibi, (Olympic and World Champion / free style wrestling / Babr e Mazandaran)
- Ali Larijani, (a former member of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran and Speaker of the Majlis of Iran)
- Mohammad Javad Larijani, (a mathematician and former member of the Majlis)
- Sadegh Larijani, (Head of the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran)
- Mohammad Zohari (Poet)
- Delkash (Singer)
- Ali Pahlavan (Singer)
- Gholam-Hossein Banan (Singer)
- Ehsan Tabari (marxist theoretician)
- Noureddin Kianouri (politician)
- Parviz Natel-Khanlari (writer/translator)
- Habibollah Badiei (musician)
- Reza Allamehzadeh (Director)
- Rashid Mostaghim (Singer)
- Behdad Salimikordasiabi (Olympic weightlifter)
- Mohammad Donyavi (Musician)
- Emad Ram (Musician)
Assimilated groups into the Mazanderani people
In the Safavid, Afsharid, and Qajar era Mazandaran was settled by large amounts of Georgians, Circassians, Armenians and other Peoples of the Caucasus, whose descendants still live across Mazandaran. Still many towns, villages and neighbourhoods in Mazandaran bear the name "Gorji" (i.e. Georgian) in them, although most of the Georgians are already assimilated into the mainstream Mazanderanis. They however remain having a Georgian conscience. The history of Georgian settlement is described by Iskandar Beg Munshi, the author of the 17th century History of Alam Aray Abbasi, in addition many foreigners e.g. Chardin, and Della Valle, have written about their encounters with the Georgian, Circassian and Armenian Mazanderanis.
- Caspian people
- Māzandarān Province
- Peoples of the Caucasus
- Iranian peoples
- List of famous people from Mazandaran
- Mazanderani language
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