Iran's Diverse Peoples

A Reference Sourcebook

by Massoume Price


A veritable melting pot of more than 30 ethnic groups, Iran is one of the oldest civilizations in world history and home to one of the least-understood ethnic situations today. Who are the diverse peoples of Iran? How have they lived? What does the future hold for them?

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Cover image for Iran's Diverse Peoples

July 2005


Pages 376
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Countries and Regions
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Spanning a 5,000-year period, this is the first work to document the origins, evolution, and current status of all major ethnic groups in Iran.

From ancient civilizations of 3000 B.C. to the election of President Mohammad Khatami five millennia later, Iran's history is a rich palette of conquests, invasions, occupations, and revolutions. Iran's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook documents for the first time the major ethnic groups that emerged during each era and traces their evolution to the present day.

Written by a social anthropologist educated in Iran and England, this analysis presents vital statistics on the Persians, Kurds, Turks, Lurs, Assyrians, Arabs, and other pastoral and urban groups of Iran, highlighting their differing languages, religions, cultural practices, political agendas, and current problems. The settling of nomadic tribes, the unveiling of women, the Islamic Revolution, OPEC, Soviet intervention, Kurdish oppression—these and other contentious topics are all examined with respect to their impact on Iran's ethnic entities.


  • Six maps detail Iranian territories during different periods from Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. to modern times
  • An A–Z listing and timeline following each chapter summarize key peoples such as the ancient Lullubi tribe, Babylon, and events including the White Revolution


  • Examines the effects of schooling in Persia among Turkish tribes and in Azerbaijan and Gilan
  • Explores the role of Kurdish, Azeri, and other organized groups outside Iran in the formation of group identities through their publications and use of the media
  • Enlightens readers about the backgrounds, education, and financial status of the one million Iranians living in the United States
Author Info

Massoume Price is a social anthropologist and an ecologist. She currently lives and works in Canada.



"A social anthropologist educated in Iran and England, Price offers an insightful examination of the origins and histories of diverse people of Iran across 5,000 years, from the earliest times to modern day. ... Academic but accessible to the general reader.' "Reference & Research Book News

"For understanding the ethnic and religious issues of Iran, which influence the nation and world politics today, Price's book is a valuable addition to any undergraduate collection. Summing up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates."Choice

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