top of page



is a vast country containing many different ethnicities and languages. As a result, the traditional dress tends to vary by region, territory and sometimes even individual village. By in large, the majority of the ethnicities pertaining to the regions of Iran dictate the traditional costumes. These include dress styles for Bakhtiaris, Baluchis, Loris, Gilanis, Kurds, Ghoochanis, Ghashghahis, and others. Some dresses come also from the different historical times, such as the Qajar dynasty.

People Groups in Iran

Yoli's dolls, Ethnic persian dolls tradition

The Persians are also known as Iranians. They speak the Farsi language. They began to settle in what is now Iran around the year 1000 BC. Their religion was Zoroastrianism. The Arabs conquered them in the seventh century AD. Shi'a Islam became the national religion of Iran in the 16th century. Tremendous changes came again to the Persians during the Islamic revolution of 1979. Today most Persians are Shi'a Muslims. Most Persians live in Iran or a nearby Middle East country. Persian communities can also be found in the US, Europe, and other parts of the world.The most important of these groups with specific history, culture, customs, and language are the Turks, the Kurds, the Baluchis, the Turkmans and the Lurs.


The exact origin of the Kurds has not been yet been researched, even though they have an ancient history. Kurds are the largest people group without a homeland. They live in parts of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. The Kurds reside mainly in Kurdestan. It is a large territory extending to a major part of the mountainous region of southeast Turkey, northeast Iraq, northeast Iraq, northwest Iran and parts of Russia, as well as Syria. Kurds are traditionally farmers and herders.


The Baluchis reside mainly in Baluchestan, which is a dry region in the southeastern part of the Iranian plateau. The majority live in Pakistan but a significant number is in Iran. The Baluch speak various languages. Baluchestan is divided between Iran and Pakistan. They farm and shepherd.


Lur is the title of a group of Iranians living in the mountainous areas of the southwest, mainly in Lurestan province. Luri are a nomadic shepherding tribe that travels most of the year living in tents. Some Luri farm and live in permanent villages. Their language "Luri" is similar to Farsi.On the basis of historical evidence, the Lur appear to be of the same ethnic origin as the Kurds.


Turkmen live on the northern border of Iran. They live in the Turkoman Sahra and in the Gorgan plains. The area is a fertile plain near the Iranian border with the Republic of Turkmenistan. Turkmen live on the northern border of Iran. They are known for their beautiful carpets.


Qashqai are nomads who live in the deserts of southwest Iran. Their language "Qashqai Turki" has not been written. Most known Farsi. The women are known for their weaving.

There will come a day when the only legacy left by the tribe is the colorful hand-woven crafts, each symbolizing a tribe’s color, their land and myth in the design.

-- Ziba Arshi

bottom of page