The Khamseh Confederation

In 1861 – 62  Naser ed-Din  Shah created the Khamseh Tribal Confederation. He took 5 tribes, the Arab, Nafar, Baharlu, Inalu, and the Basseri and placed them under the control of the Qavam ol-Molk family. Khamseh in Arabic means five where the confederation derives its name from. This was done to combat the growing power and influence of the Qashqai tribe.

The Arab, Nafar, Baharlu, Inalu, and the Basseri were a mixed lot of Turks, Luri, and Arab. However they all came to be called Arabs in contrast to the Turkic Qashqai.

Over time the majority of the Khamseh settled down and now only a small group continues with the nomadic life. The confederation was dissolved in 1950, but the word continues to be used to identify their rugs. Since the Khamseh came from different origins, their rugs are also quite distinct. However, they are all made entirely of wool and have geometric patterns. The quality and shine of the wool can vary, as can the density of the knots.