The Story of the Last Nomads on Earth

The Story of the Last Nomads on EarthIn modern times there are still nomadic people. They wander traditionally and depend their lives on nature.

Launching BBC Travel, Monday (08/06/2018), these nomadic people are in Iran. Numbering only 400,000, the Qashqai is the name for Iranian nomads who strongly oppose the assimilation into Iranian society in general.

It is known that the Qashqai were still part of Turkish tribes from Central Asia and settled in Iran during the 11th and 12th centuries. They lived in harsh deserts in southwestern Iran for hundreds of years.

Every year they travel with their goats and sheep from the grasslands a plateau north of Shiraz to the lower grasslands near the Persian Gulf. Their journey is approximately 480 km to the south.

Their way of life is a good balance between humans, animals and their environment. Hundreds of thousands of Qashqai have been strived to enter the Iranian society in general, but they always refuse.
Living with tradition

One example of a citizen named Ghazal and his wife Tarkkenaz. This family lived for about half a year near Koohmare Sorkhi, a village about 50 km from Shiraz. They will move 200 km north near Kazerun City when the weather gets colder.

Like most Qashqai, they refuse to abandon their traditional lifestyle. They continue to live like their ancestors for centuries.

Now retired, Ghazal became a Farsi / Persian teacher for nomadic children for 30 years. This is very important because it allows the Qashqai to maintain their independence and culture.

But it is now increasingly difficult to find teachers who want to travel with children. Even in nomadic people few qualify, because those from the city are not accustomed to sedentary lifestyles.

Experience calls when the teacher is no longer there and the children do not go to school in life, so parents will send them to school in the city. But the children usually choose to live in the city only after school.

The politics of assimilation over the past few decades has encouraged Qashqai people to settle in the city or village near their odyssey. Meanwhile, urban centers that are growing expand their land of wandering.

But the nomadic lifestyle has created strong solidarity within the Qashqai people. Aunt Ghazal, Madina, lost her husband a few years ago but she still traveled with her family because she could not leave the nomadic way of life.
Humans and animals

Qashqai people cannot imagine their lives without their livestock. Goats produce milk, cheese, and meat for their daily needs, these livestock can also be sold in the Shiraz Market to buy the necessary items.

For centuries, Qashqai people were known throughout Iran as carpet makers and other wool products. Wool produced in the mountains and valleys near Shiraz is very soft and beautiful because the color is more striking than wool from other parts of Iran. Tarkkenaz and other women in his family still produce this traditional wool product, and traders will come regularly to their camp to buy it.
Different world

The Qashqai always claims their identity and traditions are very specific to Iranian society in general. Despite following the tradition of Muslim marriage, there are also dance offerings, parades, war shows and traditional clothing.

This moment was an opportunity for the Qashqai travelers to gather. This is because they often stay far apart from each other in very remote areas.

Although officially the Qashqai are Muslim, like all of Iran, they do not communicate with local Islamic institutions. They follow the Muslim tradition during wedding ceremonies and deaths, but very few pray and they do not fast during Ramadan. This is possible because nomadic life has been a traveler for centuries.