Persian Qasgai Rug

Qashqai are one of tribes of migratory herders in Iran. Not really a tribe exactly but rather a tribal confederation of people sharing closely related dialects and ethnic identity. The Qashqai are primarily descended from Turkman or Azeri/Ersari tribes. They speak a language that is in the Southern Azeri/Ersari language family. Some suggest Qashqai is a separate language but I do not think that can be supported. I am pleased to see that the Ethnologue in the most recent edition changed its classification to agree with me.

The base of the group are small voluntary pasture groups of as few as five families. This group is called an Oba, the same word oba is also used for a single family. Obas group into larger groups called tireh which we might translate as sub-tribe.

The IL-Khan of the Qashqai Confederation is traditionally a man of the Shahilu family of the Amaleh. The Amaleh is the dominant or elite confederation of the Qashqai Confederation. Historically the Amaleh were a small group of the IL-Khans personal household and retainers.

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