There are estimated to be around 1.5 million nomads living in Iran today. One of the most well-known nomadic groups is the Qashqai. Nomads for generations, part of the Turkic peoples from Central Asia who settled in Iran during the 11th and 12th Centuries, they have roamed the harsh deserts of southwest Iran for hundreds of years.
Despite the different assimilation policies implemented by the government since the 1960's, a large proportion of the 400.000 Qashqai's of southwestern Iran still are pastoral nomads but their traditional way of life is disappearing little by little. The development of infrastructures in the country limiting their movements, the grazing lands and the water resources that were left for them in the past, the will of the younger generations to live in town, giving up life on the move…the reasons are many and some say that, in a few decades, the nomadic ways of life in Iran will forever be a part of history. The disappearance of their traditional way of life would be a tremendous loss of an entire cultural heritage and identity for Iran and even the world. However, many Qashqai refuse to abandon their traditional lifestyle and continue to live the way their ancestors have lived for centuries.