Factional fighting: a Bakhtiari poem

This ballard describes brave men and a gorgeous woman who were also included in  Henry Layard’s account of his 1841 sojourn and fighting alongside the Bakhtiari – shortly before he discovered Nineveh/Nimrud (see www.soas.ac.uk/gallery/bakhtiari-kuch/eet/layard/ for more information and images). The poem is about the battle between the Duraki and Behdarwand tribes. Ja’far Quli Khan was chief of …

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Mourning Chant: a Bakhtiari poem

This traditional lament shows the depth and strength of grief. It is said to be ‘very old’. Lorimer apparently originally recorded 24 lines, but only reported the first eight. He writes “It is said that after a man’s death his clothes are tied up in a bundle (buqca). Then, every day in the year that …

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Lament for Abul Qasim: a Bakhtiari poem

The mother of Abul Qasim composed this poem after his death, and made him famous among all the Bakhtiari. The story was given by the reciter as follows: “Abul Qasim went to Shiraz. The daughter of his father’s brother was betrothed to him. He went to get a camel, so that he might celebrate his marriage …

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