Based on three decades of ethnographic fieldwork and documentary research, this book traces the political and social history of the Shahsevan, one of the major nomadic peoples of Iran. It is a dramatic story, recounting the mythical origins of the tribes, their unification as a confederacy and their eventual decline. In its synthesis of anthropology and history, the book will make a major contribution to the study of the Middle East and Central Asia, and also to current debates on tribe-state relations and the relationship between identity and history.
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