Monday, October 7, 2019

Basseri of Iran Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Basseri of Iran - Research Paper Example The author analyzes the aforementioned aspects in a view of general concept of the Basseri tribal organization as an example of tribal chiefdom form. In the end, the conclusion is reached according to which the Basseri may be regarded as one of the vivid examples of this form of societal organization. Keywords: ethnography, nomadic societies, pastoralism, chiefdom, tribe, Basseri Basseri of Iran As the study of the social structure of the Basseri tribe by Barth (1961) is one of the classical examples of the research in the field of ethnography of nomadic peoples of Iran, it is instructive to closely analyze the modern state of the Basseri people. In this essay, I will deal with the various aspects of social life of the Basseri, focusing on their subsistence patterns, but paying appropriate attention to their kinship practices, social and political organization. Accordingly, the essay will be divided into four sections in which the relevant aspects will be analyzed. My basic argument with regard to the Basseri is that they represent a stage of development transitional between the primitive lineage form and more developed chiefdom organization, which is itself a necessary prerequisite to the fully stratified society, and the organization of the essay will reflect that argument. Subsistence Mode The traditional mode of subsistence of the Basseri strongly depends on the use of extensive pastures, as the pastoral produce is the most important component in the maintenance of their socio-economic structure. Their socioeconomic structure evolved on the basis of limitations and opportunities provided by the climate and ecological conditions of South Iran; therefore, their economy is strongly dependent on following the patterns of natural changes. As Cohen (1976) observed, the subsistence of the Basseri nomadic community is generally derived from their herds of sheep and goats, while the use of dairy products and the meat obtained through market exchange with the surroun ding populations complement it (p. 276). The Basseri also use the other domesticated animals, including horses, dogs, donkeys and camels, but they do not play direct role in the subsistence of the tribe. The migratory patterns of the tribe are especially interesting from the point of view of the researcher. According to Barth (1961), the forced sedentarization of the Basseri under the reign of Reza Shah led to the decline of their economic life, and it was only after 1941 that they returned to their traditional migratory practices (p. 3). The traditional territories of the Basseri lie in the hot and arid lands near the Persian Gulf, encompassing both salty deserts of Larestan at elevations of 2,000 to 3,000 ft. and the mountainous areas near Kuh-i-Bul, with the highest altitude of 13,000 ft. (Barth, 1961, p. 3). The diversity of this terrain forces the Basseri to undergo seasonal migration so as to provide subsistence to their flocks of sheep and goats. According to Cohen (1976), th e area of the tribe’s migration stretches from the southwestern part of the Iranian Plateau to the coast of Persian Gulf, going through the Zagros Mountains (p. 276). With the beginning of the summer, the Basseri begin their coordinated movement from the lands adjacent to the Gulf to the territories of their winter pastures, where the climate allows the flocks of their

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.