Bakhtiyari tribe or the great Lor are one of the greatest and the most famous Iranian tribes who had political and economic effect on the South-West of Iran. The territory of Bakhtiyari tribes is the Zagros mountain ranges between the two mountainous areas of Lorestan and Bakhtiyari from one side and the warm plain of Khouzestan in the South-West of Iran from the other side.
Bakhtiyari tribe and their Khans (the superiors) were very strong and powerful because of the discipline of the tribes that they have seriously obeyed their Khans’ orders and the geographic strategic situation of their living area. So they have affected the most historical events especially during Nader-Shah of Afshars time and the Mashrouteh (parliament) revolution. The commander Asad-Bakhtiyari was the Bakhtiyari Khan who has had the main role in the Mashrouteh Revoloution and is known as the “National victorious”. His home in Jonqan in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiyari province is open for the public as a museum to visit.
To have the events managed, Bakhtiyari tribe is classified to smaller social groups such as family, Maal, Olaad, Tireh, Tayefeh, Baab (great Tayefeh) and tribe.
Bakhtiyari tribe, which is from the Persians who has stayed in this area, goes back to thousands years B.C. They speak a kind of Farsi which is rooted in Pahlavi. They are Muslims and Shiite.
The traditional clothes of Bakhtiyari men include a hat, a shirt, trousers, a pair of Giveh (traditional shoes) and Choqa (long coat). The hat is cylindrical, black and woolen. The trousers are long and loose-fitting. Giveh is their traditional shoes. Choqa is the formal woolen traditional coat which is long up to the knees. It is sleeveless, open front and with vertical black lines. Kapnak is the other big woolen overcoat, mostly worn by the shepherds to protect them against the rain and the cold. The Bakhtiyari women’s clothes include a loose-fitting trousers, a skirt, a vest, a very small scarf and a long one that is pined below the chin. Wearing colorful and velvet clothes designed by spangles and trinkets is very popular.
Bakhtiyari nomads’ tent is called Siah-Chador comes in black, woven by the goat’s wool. Siah-Chador is hard and is cold and water proof. They usually move to the summer quarters when it is getting hot and at the end of the summer, when it is getting cold, they move to the winter quarters.
Bakhtiyari immigration route is in Zagros mountain ranges, passing the rough routes and wild rivers that is the most difficult route among all Iranian nomads.
Bakhtiyari tribes prepare special local bread; using oak called Kalg and is very rich. The main handicraft products of Bakhtiyari tribes are: carpet, Chouqa, felt, hat, Giveh (traditional shoes), Saddle bag, Galim (durries rug), black tent, rug, salt shaker, gloves, Jol, etc.
Bakhtiyari tribes are known with their music. Their music has been affected by their events, failures, victories, sorrows, nostalgias and happiness. The nature of their lifestyle is living in high mountains, vast plains, near water springs and rivers. The difficulties of nomads’ lifestyle and their honesty are the main stories of their songs and music. The nomads’ music has been inherited from the fathers to the sons in “Toshmal” groups who are the local singers and musicians. Bakhtiyari nomads’ musical instruments are Dohol, Saz and Korna. The other music can be played by flute by the shepherds too. Their dance style has been affected by their social cohesion and affection. There is no individual dance among Bakhtiyari nomads. Choub-Bazi (stick play) is the symbol of confidence and strengths which is performed along with load music.
In this area Bard-Shir (stone lion) can be seen in each cemetery on the Khans and the men’s graves. The stone lions have been designed by guns and swards as the symbol of their dead men’s braveness and talents for their hunting, horse riding and shooting as the reminder of the wars.