cais1.gif (153930 bytes)

CAIS Persian Text.gif (34162 bytes)


The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies

 Persian Section.PNG (9914 bytes)


About CAIS


Daily News

News Archive


CAIS Seminars

Image Library





Contact Us


Facebook-Button.jpg (107165 bytes)


Kurdish Tribe of Hamavand


By: Pierre Oberling



BazyanTribe.jpg (35736 bytes)

  (Click to enlarge)

An Iranian stock of Kurdish tribe of northeastern Mesopotamia which has been described as "the most celebrated fighting Kudish tribe" (Edmonds, pp. 39-40). The amâvand reportedly moved from the Kermânšâh in mainland Iran, to the Bâz-yân district, between Kerkuk and Solaymâniya, early in the 18th century (Edmonds, p. 40). According to George Curzon (q.v.), some amâvand remained in the vicinity of Kermânšâh (Curzon, I, p. 557), but Hyacinth Rabino does not mention them at all in her detailed list of the tribes of that province.


The amâvand supported the Bâbân chiefs, who established a semi-independent principality in Solaymâniya from 1663 to 1847 in their campaign against the Ottoman invaders. Following the downfall of the Bâbân, the amâvand embarked upon a new series of raids on both sides of the Turkish border, ranging all the way from Mosul. Even the energetic Medhat Pasha, who was governor of Baghdad from 1869 to 1872, was unable to curb their predatory activities (Dhaki, p. 405). But, as Ottoman pressure on them mounted in the 1870s, they moved back into mainland Iran, occupying the district of Qar-e Širin in the Dhohâb region (Edmonds, p. 40). In 1886, Sultan Mas'ud Mirzâ Zell-al-Soltân (q.v.), the viceroy of southern Iran from 1881 to 1888, appointed Jwâmer (Javânmard) Âqâ, the chief of the amâvand, as governor of Dhohâb and "guardian of the frontier," with a salary of 3,000 tomans, "to coerce him into good behavior" (Curzon, II, p. 276; also Edmonds, p. 40). But after the fall of Zell-al-Soltân, the amâvand once more resumed their raids. This finally convinced the Iranian government to take drastic action, with the result that a few months later Jwâmer Âqâ was invited to attend a meeting with an emissary from Tehran, at which he was reprimanded (Curzon, II, p. 276; also Rosen, p. 251).


Shortly thereafter, most of the amâvands returned to the Bâzyân district, where they were subdued by Ottoman forces. In 1889, the Turkish government exiled half of the tribe to Cyrenaica in North Africa and the other half to the vilayet of Adana. Those who had been transplanted to Cyrenaica fought their way back home in 1896, and a few months later, those who had been sent to Adana also returned to the Bâzyân district (Edmonds, p. 40).


In May 1918, when British forces occupied Kerkuk and Solaymâniya, plotted an independent Kurdish state under British protection, with the amâvand supported. British were failed in their plan and withdrew from the area later that year, the amâvand felt betrayed and decided to collaborate with the returning Ottoman officials. After the war, the amâvand (along with Shaikh Mahmud) continued to oppose the British, for they resented their repeated interference in Kurdish affairs. Later they opposed Iraq, the new created country by British.


There are few population estimates of the amâvand. Reports indicate that in 1908 they numbered 1,200 families (Sykes, p. 456), and in 1931 some 1,000 families (Dhaki, p. 405). Ely Soane and Fredrik Barth both offer anthropological data on the amâvand.



Hassan Arfa, The Kurds: An Historical and Political Guide, London, 1966. 

Fredrik Barth, Principles of Social Organization in Southern Kurdistan, Oslo, 1953. 

George N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, 2 Vols., London, 1892. 

M. Dhaki, Kholâat Târikò al-Kord wa'l-Kordestân, Baghdad, 1936. 

Cecil J. Edmonds, Kurds, Turks and Arabs, London, 1957. 

Hyacinth Louis Rabino, "Kermanchah," RMM 38, 1920, pp. 1-40. 

Friedrich Rosen, Oriental Memoirs of a German Diplomatist, New York, 1930. 

Ely Bannister Soane, To Mesopotamia and Kurdistan in Disguise, London, 1912. 

Mark Sykes, "The Kurdish Tribes of the Ottoman Empire," Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 38, 1908, pp. 451-86.




Source/Extracted From: Encyclopaedia Iranica


Please note: CAIS has the privilege to publish the above article originating from the above-mentioned source, for educational purposes only (Read Only). This article has been published in accordance with the author(s) / source' copyright-policy -- therefore, the ownership and copyright of this page-file remain with the author(s) / sourceFor any other purposes, you must obtain a  written permission from the copyright owner concerned. (Please refer to CAIS Copyright Policy).




my_Iran.jpg (13682 bytes)

"History is the Light on the Path to Future"


Persian_NOT_Farsi_by_Shapour_Suren-Pahlav_3D2.gif (177309 bytes)


Encyclopaedia Iranica

BIPS.jpg (15695 bytes)

The British Institute of Persian Studies

"Persepolis Reconstructed"

Persepolis_reconstructed2.jpg (36944 bytes)


The British Museum

The Royal

Asiatic Society

Persian_Gulf_Facebook.jpg (1935028 bytes)

The Persian Gulf

Facebook Page

Please use your "Back" button (top left) to return to the previous page

Copyright © 1998-2015 The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS)