ḴĀLU, a small Turkic tribe of Kermān province. According to the Iranian Army files (1957), this tribe once lived in the vicinity of Bardsir and Māšiz, southwest of Kermān. It supported Loṭf-ʿAli Khan Zand (r. 1789-94) in his struggle against Āqā-Moḥammad Khan Qājār (r. 1779-97). When Fatḥ-ʿAli Mirzā, the nephew of Āqā-Moḥammad and the future Shah (r. 1797-1834), was ordered to seize Bardsir, the Ḵālu resisted for six months. Impressed by their courage, Fatḥ-ʿAli decided to marry Fāṭema, the daughter of one of the khans of the tribe, who became his fortieth wife (Iranian Army files, 1957; Sepehr, I, p. 332). Because of this relationship with the ruling family, the tribe became known by the name of Ḵānlu, which was later shortened to Ḵālu. The Ḵālu are now partly sedentary. The tribe’s summer quarters are in the vicinity of Rābor and Bāft, in the šahrestān of Sirjān. Its winter quarters are in the vicinity of Šast-Fic¡, some 40 kilometers southeast of Bāft, as well as in the dehestāns of Golāškerd and Esfandaqa in the šahrestān of Jiroft (Iranian Army files, 1957). Henry Field estimated the population of the Ḵālu at 50 families (p. 235) while Irān-šahr at 150 families (I, p. 159). The Ḵālu are Shiʿites, and speak a mixture of Persian and Turkish.



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

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

Lesān-al-Molk Sepehr, Nāseḵ al-tawāriḵ, Tehran, 1958-59.

July 20, 2009

(Pierre Oberling)

Originally Published: December 15, 2010

Last Updated: April 20, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 4, p. 409