Always on the move
The Bakhtiari nomads
Photos by Nasrollah Kasraian
March 2, 1998
A few months ago, I saw a film on video called "Grass." One of the first documentary films ever made about Iran, it's about a group of Americans (two men and a woman) who follow the Bakhtiari nomads through the mountains and valleys of southwest Iran in the first half of this century.
The film was of particular interest to me because my maternal grandfather was a Bakhtiari. As I sat with my eyes glued to the TV, I could not understand the hardship the nomads went through -- and still do, year after year. Why do they have to put their lives at risk so often, crossing rapid rivers and dangerous snow-covered mountains. Can't they just settle in one of the beautiful green valleys?
Then I thought of my own family; my mother, her children, her brothers and siters. So many of us have been on so many journeys, lived in so many different cities and countries, and not always because of the revolution. Are we still nomads at heart?
Nasrollah Kasraian has captured the Bakhtiari spirit in a series of photographs published in Iran (see below). jj
The Bakhtiairis: Click on images to see larger photo.