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Basseri Droe, Anj

Description

The Basseri are a society of nomadic pastoralists in the Fars Province of Iran who distinguish themselves from their diverse neighbors through primarily political allegiance (as opposed to distinct cultural features or language) (Adem, 2009:1). This entry focuses on ethnographic evidence collected during fieldwork with the Basseri in 1958, during which time the political leader of the Basseri was still recognized by the Iranian government and the Basseri were largely autonomous. However, immediately after this time period, the Basseri chief was dismissed from power, with the Iranian Army assuming power over the Basseri instead. The Basseri identify themselves as Shia Muslims. However, during the time focus of this entry, religion and religious practices were not a very significant part of everyday life. Prayer was irregular, and observance of annual Islamic festivals was minimal. Most ceremonies, even if invoking some religious elements, were oriented more toward major life events rather than religion. While explicit religious practice was not strictly adhered to, it appears that religious beliefs were still inseparable from most aspects of social and political life. Therefore, this entry considers the religious group to be coterminous with the society at large.

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Attribution 4.0 International