Laks (Iran)

Not to be confused with the Caucasus Laks of Dagestan, Russia.
Total population
(c. 1 million (est. 2000))
Regions with significant populations
Western Iran:
mostly Shi'a Islam, minority: Ahl-e-Haqq
Related ethnic groups
Lurs, other Iranian peoples

The Laks are an Iranian group in southwestern Iran. They speak Laki (or Leki), an independent [1][2] Iranian language that sometimes has been considered as a dialect of Lurish[3][4][5] or Kurdish.[6][7][8][9]


The Laks inhabit a huge part of northern Luristan province (Laks of Pishekuh), and most of south eastern region of neighboring province of Kermanshahan (Poshte-Kuhi Laks). and some of western Ilam province. The area to the east of Mount Kabir is known as Pishe-Kuh and west of the mountain is Poshte-Kuh.


There has been much debate over the ethnic identity of the Laks throughout the twentieth century.

Vladimir Minorsky, who wrote the entry "Lak" in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, referred to the Lak as "the most southern group of Kurd tribes in Persia" and stated that their language has the characteristics of Kurdish.[9] Some of the Lak tribes live in Lorestān Province, among Lur tribes, although Minorsky quotes some evidence that they were brought there from further north.The Safavid era historian, Mirza Muhammad Husein Mostowfi (1749 A.D), classified Laki alongside Feyli, Bakhtiari and Mamasani as four subgroup of Lurish people.[10] Rahimi Osmanvandi in his book (Indigenous people of Mehregan Valley), emphasises on Lurish identity of Lak tribes. Amanullahi Baharvand also considered Laki as a main component of Lurish community and emphasised their Lurish ethnicity.[11][12]


The Zand dynasty who ruled parts of southwestern Iran was of Laki origin.[13]

Laki Tribes


  1. Shahsavari, Faramarz(2010): Laki and Kurdish. Iran and the Caucasus: volume14, Number 1, Pages 79-82
  2. Lakī and Kurdish, Author: Shahsavari, Faramarz, Source: Iran and the Caucasus, Volume 14, Number 1, 2010 , pp. 79-82
  3. B. Grimes, (ed.), Luri, in Ethnologues (۱۳th edition), Dallas 1996, p.677
  4. ایزدپناه، ح. : فرهنگ لکی، موسسه فرهنگی جهانگیری، تهران ۱۳۶۷خ، ص ده (مقدمه).
  5. نقل منابع از ایزدپناه، ح. : فرهنگ لکی، موسسه فرهنگی جهانگیری، تهران ۱۳۶۷خ، ص ۱۱
  6. Windfuhr, G. (2009). The Iranian Languages, Routledge, p. 587
  7. Rüdiger Schmitt: Die iranischen Sprachen in Gegenwart und Geschichte. Wiesbaden (Reichert) 2000.
  8. Rüdiger Schmitt (Hg.): Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden (Reichert) 1989.
  9. 1 2 V. Minorsky, "Lak", Encyclopaedia of Islam.
  10. (فرهنگ ایران زمین، جلد 20، ص 406-409)
  11. (بومیان دره مهرگان) تألیف رحیمی عثمانوندی
  12. قوم لر، سکندر امان‌اللهی ، انتشارات آگاه تهران
  13. Zand dynasty
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