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Look Inside Frontier Nomads of Iran

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


Part of Cambridge Middle East Studies

  • Author: Richard Tapper, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521029063

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About the Authors
  • Richard Tapper's 1997 book, which is based on three decades of ethnographic fieldwork and extensive documentary research, traces the political and social history of the Shahsevan, one of the major nomadic peoples of Iran. The story is a dramatic one, recounting the mythical origins of the tribes, their unification as a confederacy, and their decline under the Pahlavi Shahs. The book is intended as a contribution to three different debates. The first concerns the riddle of Shahsevan origins, while another considers how far changes in tribal social and political formations are a function of relations with states. The third discusses how different constructions of the identity of a particular people determine their view of the past. In this way, the book promises not only to make a major contribution to the history and anthropology of the Middle East and Central Asia, but also to theoretical debates in both disciplines.

    • Interesting study of major nomadic tribe in Iran focusing on history and anthropology
    • Accessible and well written by mature scholar
    • 'Shahsevan' is now a well known and fashionable category in the Oriental Carpet business with several books and articles devoted to 'Shahsevan' weavings
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a study of considerable erudition and practical good sense, the result of extensive documentary research and intensive fieldwork … much enriched by historical detail and pertinent comment … it is remarkable how much this demanding but informative study conveys to the reader with great integrity, clarity and judgement.' Asian Affairs

    'Frontier Nomads is an impressive work of scholarship, demonstrating the breadth of Tapper's knowledge and his historical as well as ethnographic skills, and his ability to combine them to good effect … definitely required reading for anyone interested in the history and society of Iran and the relationship between tribe and state in general.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521029063
    • length: 456 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 154 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 9 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Note on transliteration
    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

  • Author

    Richard Tapper, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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