Lak people (Iran)

The Laks are an Iranian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

  group in southwestern Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. They speak Laki
Laki language
Laki is a Northwestern Iranian language. Although it is usually grouped with Southern Kurdish dialects, Ethnologue classifies it as a fourth subgroup of Kurdish....

(or Leki), a Northwestern Iranian language
Western Iranian languages
The Western Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages, attested from the time of Old Persian .The two sub-branches are:*Northwestern Iranian languages*Southwestern Iranian languages...

, that is usually grouped with Southern Kurdish dialects
Southern Kurdish
Southern Kurdish , also called Kermānšāhi, belongs to the Northwestern Iranian languages and is predominantly spoken in western Iran and eastern Iraq. In Iran, it is spoken in the provinces of Kermanshah and Ilam. In Iraq it is spoken in the region of Khanaqin , all the way to Mandali, Pehle...

. It is important to note that many Laki
Łąki may refer to the following places in Poland:*Łąki, Lower Silesian Voivodeship *Łąki, West Pomeranian Voivodeship *Łąki, Lublin Voivodeship...

-speaking communities identify as Kurds and many scholars continue to classify Laks as ethnic Kurds.


The Laks inhabit in the western part of Luristan province (Laks of Pishekuh), and much of Ilam province
Ilam Province
Ilam Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south-west of the country, bordering Iraq. Its provincial center is the city of Ilam. Covering an area of 19,086 square kilometers, the cities of the province are Ilam, Mehran, Dehloran, Dareh Shahr, Sarable, Eyvan, Abdanan and Arkwaz...

, an in smaller numbers in the neighbouring province of Kermanshahan (Poshte-Kuhi Laks). The area to the east of Mount Kabir
Kabir Kuh
Kabir Kuh is a very long mountainous ridge stretching about 150 miles in length on the borders of Lurestan and Ilam Province in Iran. The highest peak is called Kaane seifi which is almost 50 km far from Ilam....

 is known as Pishe-Kuh and west of the mountain is Poshte-Kuh.


Many scholars as well as Laks themselves consider Laks as ethnically Lur
Lurs are an Iranic people living mainly in south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at above two million. They occupy Lorestan, Bakhtiari, and Kuh-Gilu-Boir Ahmed. "....

. There has been much debate over ethnic identity of the Laks throughout the twentieth century. Zayn al-‘Ābidīn Shīrvānī, the writer of the Persian geographic work Bustān al-siyāha (“The Garden of the travel”) in 19th century introduces the Laks as a Lur tribe. In our own times, the persian writer Īzadpanāh about laks, the writer of the Lurii-Persian dictionary, emphasizes the Luri identity of the Laks and calls it a misunderstanding to consider the Laks as Kurds.

Vladimir Minorsky, who wrote the entry "Lak" in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam
Encyclopaedia of Islam
The Encyclopaedia of Islam is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. It embraces articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography, flora and...

, referred to the Lak as "the most southern group of Kurd tribes in Persia" and stated that their language has the characteristics of Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

. Some of the Lak tribes live in Lorestān Province
Lorestan Province
Lorestan Province is a historic territory and province of western Iran, amidst the Zagros Mountains. The population of Lorestan was estimated at 1,716,527 people in 2006.Lorestan covers an area of 28,392 km²...

, among Lur
Lurs are an Iranic people living mainly in south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at above two million. They occupy Lorestan, Bakhtiari, and Kuh-Gilu-Boir Ahmed. "....

 tribes, although Minorsky quotes some evidence that they were brought there from further north. He mentions that they are often confused with the Lur, but are different.

The Bajilan are one of the more prominent Lak tribes. There is a tribe of the same name east of Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

, but whereas Minorsky believes the Bajilan of Zohab had come from Mosul, the later scholar D.N. MacKenzie believed the Bajalan or Bajwan of Mosul to be an offshoot of the much larger Zohab Bajilan.
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