SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Stock and Agriculture

The tribal Bakhtiari traditionally live by a mixture of pastoral nomadism – moving flocks between marginal lands to make the best use of limited water and grass stocks – and subsistence agriculture – leaving seasonal harvests to grow whilst migrating families are absent from one of their homes for half of the year.

This economic base was reflected in the traditional tax system: there were two main types of taxes collected in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – the gallhadari or maliyat shakhi (flock or horn tax) and the khish (plough tax).

The Faridgi grew a small amount of barley on narrow terraces, as well as having some small plots of lucerne and some other herbs. On the steep and very stony soil, no mechanisation was possible: