Frontier Nomads of Iran: A Political and Social History of the Shahsevan

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Based on three decades of ethnographic fieldwork and documentary research, this book traces the political and social history of the Shahsevan, one of the major nomadic peoples of Iran. It is a dramatic story, recounting the mythical origins of the tribes, their unification as a confederacy and their eventual decline. In its synthesis of anthropology and history, the book will make a major contribution to the study of the Middle East and Central Asia, and also to current debates on tribe-state relations and the relationship between identity and history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Tapper's Frontier Nomads of Iran is the most significant ethnological study of tribes in Persia to have been published during the past decade." Pierre Oberling, Journal of Anthropological Research

"...the rigor with which he examines and uses his sources in the deconstruction and reconstruction of Shahsevan origins and identity is commendable." Philip S. Khoury, American Historical Review

"...a rich, ambitious and complicated book....Clearly, this book is a must for those who want to discuss tribalism in the Middle East in general and of its role in Iran's history in particular." Willem Floor, Journal of the American Oriental Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521583367
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Series: Cambridge Middle East Studies Series, #7
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 1,244,435
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgments; Note on transliteration; Glossary; 1. Writing tribal history; Part I. The Safavid State and the Origins of the Shahsevan: 2. 'Shahsevani': Safavid tribal policy and practice; 3. Shahsevan traditions; 4. Moghan and Ardabil in Safavid times; Part II. The Rise of the Shahsevan Confederacy: 5. Badr Khan Sari-Khan-Beyli; 6. Nazar 'Ali Khan Shahsevan of Ardabil; 7. The Shahsevan tribal confederacy; Part III. The Shahsevan Tribes in the Great Game: 8. The Russian wars and the loss of Moghan; 9. The Shahsevan nomads in the mid-nineteenth century; 10. Nomads and commissars in Moghan; Part IV. The End of the Tribal Confederacy: 11. Pastures new: the effects of the frontier closure; 12. The Shahsevan, the Constitution, the Great War and after; 13. Settlement and detribalization; 14. Conclusion: Shahsevan identity and history; Appendices; Bibliography; Indexes.

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