ʿAMMĀRLŪ, a Kurdish tribe of Gīlān and Khorasan. Needing a barrier against the Uzbeks, Shah ʿAbbās (r. 996-1038/1588-1629) moved some 40,000 families of Zaʿfarānlū, Šādellū, Keyvānlū, Qarāčūrlū, and ʿAmmārlū Kurds from Kurdistan to the Āḵāl Takka, beyond the Kopet-Dag. During the reign of Shah Solṭān-Ḥosayn (1105-35/1694-1722), these Kurds, worn out by the raids of frontier tribes, were driven into the mountains to the south, where they ousted the Gerāylīs, then in possession of Qūčān, Šīrvān, Boǰnūrd, and Samalqān, and took over their pasture grounds (cf. C. E. Yate, Khurasan and Sistan, London, 1900, pp. 180-81). Today, the ʿAmmārlūs of Khorasan inhabit the Mārūsk plain, northwest of Nīšāpūr. In 1929, they comprised some 500 families (cf. H. Field, Contributions to the Anthropology of Iran, Chicago, 1939, p. 250).

Many ʿAmmārlūs were also moved from Kurdistan to the Ṭārom region in Gīlān. According to Rawlinson (“Notes on a Journey,” p. 63) and Fortescue (Military Report, p. 319) the forced migration took place during the reign of Nāder Shah (r. 1148-60/1736-47); according to Rabino (“Le Guîlân,” p. 261), it took place during the reign of Shah ʿAbbās I. In the 1760s there were two ʿAmmārlū governors of Tonokābon: Ebrāhīm Khan and Rostam Khan (cf. Rabino, Māzandarān and Astarābād, Cambridge, 1928, p. 154). When Rawlinson visited the ʿAmmārlūs of Ṭārom in 1838, many of them were still nomadic, spending the winters along the Sefīd-rūd and the summers on the nearby mountains (“Notes,” p. 63). By the time Fortescue visited them shortly after World War I they had all become sedentary; numbering 1,600 households, they were scattered in fifty villages between Manǰīl and Pīr-e Kūh, in the dehestān of ʿAmmārlū. Their clans were: Šāh Qūlānlū, Beyšānlū, Šāmkānlū, Bahādūllū, and Ūstāǰānlū (Report, p. 319).

Rawlinson claimed that the ʿAmmārlūs were “a division of the great Lúlú tribe” (“Notes,” p. 63), but there is no Kurdish tribe by that name. V. Minorsky suggests that Rawlinson might have referred to the Lōlō tribe, traces of which are still to be found in Upper Syria and in the vicinity of Tehran (“Ṭārom,” EI1 IV, p. 678).


L. S. Fortescue, Military Report on Tehran and Adjacent Provinces of North-Western Persia, Calcutta, 1922.

H. L. Rabino, “Les provinces caspiennes de la Perse: le Guîlân,” RMM 32, 1916-17, pp. 1-283.

H. C. Rawlinson, “Notes on a Journey from Tabríz . . . to Gílán, in October and November, 1838,” JRGS 10, 1840, pp. 1-158.

(P. Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 9, p. 977

Cite this entry:

P. Oberling, “ʿAMMĀRLŪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/9, p. 977, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ammarlu-a-kurdish-tribe-of-gilan-and-khorasan (accessed on 30 December 2012).