JAHĀNBEGLU (or Jānbeglu), one of several Kurdish tribes transplanted from northwestern Persia to Māzandarān by Āḡā Moḥammad Khan Qajar (r. 1789-97, q.v.) at the end of the 18th century to protect the province from Turkmen raids (Fortescue, p. 316). Together with the Kurdish Modānlu tribe and the Turkic Usānlu and Gerāyli tribes, they formed a loose tribal confederation called “Kord o Tork,” which the British officer L. S. Fortescue estimated at 2,000 households after World War I (p. 316). According to Fortescue, both the Jahānbeglu and the Modānlu were offshoots of the Mokri tribe of Sāvoj-bolāḡ (Mahābād). The Jahānbeglu settled in a handful of villages between Ašraf and Lārim, north of Sāri, where they became engaged chiefly in cotton and rice cultivation (Fortescue, p. 316). But G. Melgunof, who traveled in Māzandarān between 1858 and 1860, also mentions a group of Jahānbeglu dwelling in a village southwest of the provincial capital (p. 195). Although in 1922 the Jahān-beglu and Modānlu still retained their original Kurdish dialect, they had become “more or less assimilated to the Māzandarānis” (Fortescue, p. 313). Today they have lost their tribal identity to such an extent that they are not even mentioned by Iraj Afšār-Sistāni on his list of the tribes of Māzandarān (pp. 1078-80).



Iraj Afšār-Sistāni, Ilhā: Čādornešinān o tawāyef-e ʿašāyeri-e Irān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1987.

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

G. Melgunof [Grigoriĭ Mel’gunov], Das südliche Ufer des Kaspischen Meeres, oder: Die Nordprovinzen Persiens, tr. from Russian by J. Th. Zenker, Leipzig, 1868; repr., Islamic Geography 244, Frankfurt am Main, 1995; orig., St. Petersburg, 1863; tr. Masʿud Golzāri from the German as Safar-nāma be sawāḥel-e janub-e Daryā-ye Ḵazar (1858 o 1860), Tehran, 1984.




January 22, 2008

(P. Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 2008

Last Updated: April 10, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIV, Fasc. 4, p. 375