KĀKĀVAND, a Lor tribe of the Delfān group. In the second half of the 20th century they had settled in the Piškuh region of Luristan (Lorestān), as well as west of Qazvin and in the Ṭārom region. When the Kākāvand were still nomadic, their winter quarters were around Holeylān and Sar-e Ṭarḵān, southeast of Šāhābād, and their summer quarters were in the districts of Harsin, Kākāvand, and Ḵāva, east and southeast of Kermānšāh (present-day Bāḵtarān). The Kākāvand are Shiʿites and speak a Lak dialect.

In a confidential British army report Arnold Talbot Wilson considered the Kākāvand in 1912 “one of the most formidable tribes of Luristan, being conveniently placed to raid Kirmanshah and the main trade routes, and far from the headquarters of the governor General of Luristan, who is responsible for their good behavior” (p. 29). The Kākāvand of the Qazvin region were also mentioned by L. S. Fortescue (p. 325) in 1922 and by the American anthropologist Henry Field (p. 171) in 1939.

In 1916 Hyacinth Louis Rabino (p. 31) lists 16 clans (sing. tira) of this tribe. Albert Houtum-Schindler (p. 88) in 1879 and H. L. Rabino (p. 16) in 1916, Masʿud Kayhān (II, p. 64) in 1932-33 and the authors of Irān-šahr (I, p. 139) in 1963—all estimated the number of the Kākāvand in Luristan at 2,000 households. For the Kākāvand in the Qazvin region Masʿud Kayhān (II, p. 111) counted 300 households. In the 1970s, their number had grown and comprised some 450 households; they were divided into two clans—Masiḥ-Ḵāni and Nāmdār-Ḵāni—and occupied 10 villages west of Qazvin, as well as a few villages in the Ṭārom region (Varjāvand, p. 457).

A branch of the Kākāvand tribe moved to the Qazvin region, probably in the 19th century. According to Iraj Afšār-Sistāni (p. 208), this migration took place in 1860-61. However, Mirzā Ebrāhim (p. 177) had already visited the tribe there some 20 years earlier. During the Constitutional Revolution (q.v.) of 1905-11, the leader of the Kākāvand of the Qazvin region, Masiḥ Khan, remained faithful to Moḥammad-ʿAli Shah (r. 1907-09). In June 1909, he was ordered by the Qajar ruler to protect the city of Qazvin against the Nationalists under Eʿprem Khan (1868-1912, q.v.), who were approaching from the north. He and his riflemen established defensive positions in two caravanserais outside Qazvin’s Rašt Gate. Yet when the Nationalists reached the city, the Kākāvand were quickly defeated and forced to surrender their ammunition (Varjāvand, p. 457; Kasravi, II, p. 25).



Iraj Afšār-Sistāni, Ilhā, čādornešinān wa ṭawāyef-e ʿašāyeri-e Irān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1987.

C. J. Edmonds, “Luristan: Pish-i-Kuh and Bala Gariveh,” Geographical Journal 59, January to June 1922, pp. 335-56.

H. Field, Contributions to the Anthropology of Iran, Chicago, 1939.

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

A. Houtum-Schindler, “Reisen im südwestlichen Persien,” Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin, part 3, vol. 14, 1879, pp. 81-124.

Aḥmad Kasravi, Tāriḵ-e mašruṭiyat-e Irān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1961.

Masʿud Kayhān, Joḡrāfiā-ye mofaṣṣal-e Irān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1932-33.

Komisyun-e melli-e Yunesko (UNESCO) dar Irān, Irān-šahr, Tehran, 1963.

Mirzā Ebrāhim, Safar-nāma-ye Astarābād wa Māzandarān wa Gilān, ed. Masʿud Golzāri, Tehran, 1976.

H. L. Rabino, Les Tribus du Louristan, Paris, 1916.

Parviz Varjāvand, Sarzamin-e Qazvin, Tehran, 1971-72.

A. T. Wilson, Military Report on (S. W.) Persia, vol. 5: Luristan, Simla, 1912.

(Pierre Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 2010

Last Updated: April 19, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 4, pp. 355-356