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Qashqai people of southern Iran

Head down to southern Iran to the town of Shiraz, in search of something special. This area is apparently the origin of Shiraz wine (where the Shirazi wine was produced). However, wine has long been outlawed since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, so no more Shiraz wine here! We're heading down south of Shiraz to the area of Firuz where we find the nomadic people referred to as the Qashqai (also spelled Ghashghai, Qashqay and Qashqa'i). These people are nomadic pastoralists who live with their sheep and goats and each year travel from the summer highland pastures north of Shiraz to the southern winter pastures near the Persian Gulf, and to Firuz to the southwest of Shiraz. The majority, however, have realized life is easier being settled in villages rather than being "on the road" all the time. The trend towards settlement has been increasing markedly since the 1960s and it won't be long and there will be hardly any nomadic families left.

I spent half a day with these amazing people around their tents and goats. These people speak a Turkic language, so through my interpreter I had some interesting discussions with them. The old lady claimed to be 120 years old. They live almost exclusively off their goats which provide them with hair (for tents and rugs), meat, and milk. Sheep also provide wool, meat and milk. The yogurt and flat bread they make is quite good and over a glass of doogh (drinking yogurt) we chatted a dog out of the bush!

More photos of IRAN