Bakhtiari people’re mainly from 2 tribal divisions, “4 lang” & “7 lang”. Due to the harsh nature of their life style, Bakhtiaris have been able to keep their blood lines intact, largely marrying within their own tribe.
Bakhtiaris trace a common lineage, being divided into the 4 Lang (The Four Legs) and 7 Lang (The Seven Legs) groups, each controlled by a single powerful family. The overall Khan alternates every two years between the chiefs of the Chahar-Lang and the Haft-Lang.
The famous documentary: “Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life” (1925) tells the story of the migration of Bakhtiari tribe from winter quarters in Khuzestan to summer quarters Chahar Mahaal. This film also tells the story of how these people crossed the river Karun with 50,000 people and 500,000 animals. The documentary “People of the Wind” (1975) retraces this same journey, 50 years later. The British documentary series “The Ascent of Man” (1973) in the first part of its second episode, “The Harvest of the Seasons,” also shows the Bakhtiari making the annual migration to the summer pastures. This portrayal is not however, particularly positive, using the Bakhtiari as an example of a pre-agricultural tribe frozen in time. As of 2006, the migration still takes place, although the livestock are now transported in trucks, and the shepherds no longer walk barefoot in the snow between provinces.
The Haft Lang The Haft Lang tribe is larger and much more significant than its Chahar Lang counterpart. The Haft Lang are primarily divided into four main sub-divisions, these include; Babadi, Dinaruni, Duraki and Bakhtiarwand. Most prominent Bakhtiaris are from these sub-divisions.
Coalition Between the Two Tribes: The two clans shared ruling of their territories every two years. May 2011}} The region has other families of Bakhtiari descent but do not belong to the two clans who ruled the region.” Chahar Lang and Haft Lang have had many marriages between their sons and daughters”. The Chahar Lang and Haft Lang’s are descedent from Sassanian dynasty of Persia.” They were also ruled from Isfahan but some moved to south during the fight with the central government and lived in the mountains area of Izeh, Ghalatoul, and Ramhormuz and Masjed-soluman. The Sassani ( Ali-Rahm Khan), Zanganeh ( Sons of Sardar Del-anchin) , Rahim-zadeh, Jahangiri (sons of Aziz Khan) family who were mix of the two clans who lived in the area.
The Bakhtiari are a southwestern Persian tribe. They speak the Bakhtiari dialect, a southwestern Persian dialect, belonging to the Luri dialects.
A small percentage of Bakhtiari are still nomadic pastoralists, migrating between summer quarters (sardsīr or yaylāq) and winter quarters (garmsīr or qishlāq). Numerical estimates of their total population widely vary. Bakhtiaris primarily inhabit in Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari and parts of the provinces of Lorestan, Khuzestan, and Isfahan. In Khuzestan, Bakhtiari tribes are primarily concentrated in the eastern part of the province.
In Persian mythology, the Bakhtiari consider themselves to be descendants of Fereydun, a legendary hero from the Persian national epic, Shahnameh.
According to “Fars-Nama” of Ibn Balkhi, after former inhabitants of Bakhtiari regions were mostly perished in the wars, Buyid rulers immigrated new nomads from Isfahan area to Bakhtiari region.
The term “bakhtiari” can be best translated as “companion of chance” or “bearer of good luck” The term has deep Persian roots and is the result of two smaller words “bakht” and “yar” complied together . “Bakht” is the Persian word for “chance” and “yar”, “iar”, “iari” literally means “companion”.
The latter designation largely relates to the nature of the tribe’s annual “migration”. This has to do with the harsh nature of Bakhtiari life and over coming of countless difficulties that Bakhtiaris have faced in the Zagros ranges. In this sense, Bakhtiaris view themselves as a hardworking tribe, facing numerous obstacles everyday and yet fortunate enough to overcome each of these challenges as a solid unit.
Nevertheless, the origins of Bakhtiaris are ancient and it may have very well been the case that the tribe underwent a series of name changes throughout its life. However It is mostly acclaimed that the designation “Bakhtiari” came largely into use some where in the antiquity.