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biography::KASHKA─░ (Qashqai)

Historically, the Qashqai (Kash'kai) are believed to have come from Central Asia, and may have been among the Turkic groups that arrived in Iran in the 11th or 12th centuries. Some of these groups began to identify themselves as Qashqai (Kash'kai) in the 18th century or possibly earlier.

According to the Encyclopedia Iranica, they are "a conglomeration of clans of different ethnic origins, including Lurs, Kurds, and Arabs. But most of the Qashqai (Kash'kai) are of Turkic origin."

    "To survive, nomads have always been obliged to fight. They lead a wandering life and do not accumulate documents and archives.
    But in the evenings, around fires that are burning low, the elders will relate striking events, deeds of valour in which the tribes pride themselves. Thus the epic tale is told from father to son, down through the ages.
    The tribes of Central Asia were forced by wars, strife, upheavals, to abandon their steppes and seek new pasture grounds . . . so the Huns, the Visigoths, and before them the Aryans, had invaded India, Iran, Europe.
    The Turks, forsaking the regions where they had dwelt for centuries, started moving down through the Turan and Caspian depressions, establishing themselves eventually on the frontiers of the Iranian Empire and in Asia Minor.
    We are of Turkish language and race; some say that we are descendants of the Turkish Ghuzz Tribe, known for its cruelty and fierceness, and that our name is derived from the Turkish "Kashka" meaning "a horse with a white star on its forehead". Others think this name indicates that we came from Kashgar in the wake of Hulagu. Others still that it means "fugitive".
    Though these versions differ, we believe that the arrival of our Tribes in Iran coincided with the conquests of Jengis Khan, in the thirteenth century. Soon after, our ancestors established themselves on the slopes of the Caucasus. We are descendants of the "Tribe of the Ak Koyunlu" the "Tribe of the White Sheep" famed for being the only tribe in history capable of inflicting a defeat on Tamerlane. For centuries we dwelt on the lands surrounding Ardebil, but, in the first half of the sixteenth century we settled in southern Persia, Shah Ismail having asked our warriors to defend this part of the country against the intrusions of the Portuguese. Thus, our Tribes came to the Province of Fars, near the Persian Gulf, and are still only separated from it by a ridge of mountains, the Makran.
    The yearly migrations of the Kashkai, seeking fresh pastures, drive them from the south to the north, where they move to their summer quarters "Yaylaq" in the high mountains; and from the north to the south, to their winter quarters, "Qishlaq".
    In summer, the Kashkai flocks graze on the slopes of the Kuh-è-Dinar; a group of mountains from 12,000 to 15,000 feet, that are part of the Zagros chain.
    In autumn the Kashkai break camp, and by stages leave the highlands. They winter in the warmer regions near Firuzabad, Kazerun, Jerrè, Farashband, on the banks of the river Mound, till, in April, they start once more on their yearly trek.
    The migration is organised and controlled by the Kashkai Chief. The Tribes carefully avoid villages and towns such as Shiraz and Isfahan, lest their flocks, estimated at seven million head, might cause serious damage. The annual migration is the largest of any Persian tribe.
    It is difficult to give exact statistics, but we believe that the Tribes now number 400,000 men, women and children." Told to Marie-Tèrése Ullens de Schooten by the 'Il Begh' Malek Mansur, brother of the 'Il Khan', Nasser Khan, Chief of the Kashkai Tribes, in 1953.

The Qashqai (Kash'kai) were a significant political force in Iran during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During World War I they were influenced by a German consular official Wilhelm Wassmuss and sided with the Germans. During World War II the Qashqais organized resistance against the British occupation forces and received some help from the Germans, once again becoming the major political force in southern Persia. In 1945–1946 there was a major rebellion of a number of tribal confederacies, including the Qashqais, who fought valiantly until the invading Russians were repelled. The Qashqais revolted during 1962–1964 due to the land reforms of the White Revolution. The revolt was put down and within a few years many Qashqai's had settled. Most of the tribal leaders were sent to exile. After the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 the living leader Khosrow Khan Qashqai (Kash'kai) moved back to Iran from Germany. He was soon arrested and executed in public for promoting an uprising against the government.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qashqai

http://www.qashqai.net/

http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/bashiri/Qashqais/Qashqais.html