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Photos: The Erosion of Nomads' Culture in Iran

Photos by Faramarz Mir-Ahmadi, Mehr News Agency

Nomadic people are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but traditional nomadic behavior is increasingly rare in industrialized countries.

By 1920 nomadic pastoral tribes were over a quarter of Iran's population. Tribal pastures were nationalized during the 1960s. The National Commission of UNESCO registered the population of Iran at 21 million in 1963, of whom two million (9.5%) were nomads. Although the nomadic population of Iran has dramatically decreased in the 20th century, Iran still has one of the largest nomadic populations in the world, an estimated 1.5 million in a country of about 70 million.

But the modern age is also invading the culture of nomads and eroding it slowly. As these photos show, nomads life is increasingly being influenced by technology and consumerism. Some nomads now use modern appliances for heating and cooking, trucks for hauling cargo and bicycles for children. They've also turned to satellite TV for entertainment instead of engaging in the traditional storytelling.

metal replacing leather

modern heaters

traditional tents replaced with modern ones

bug spray?

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