IRANIAN RACES, called also Indo-Atlantics, also Caucasians, have always been known for their refinement and high civilisation, from which Europe borrowed through the Byzantine and Greek culture, and the Persians have long and faithfully retained the features of its national characteristics. Though overrun by the Semitic and Turanian races, the Iranian has borrowed little or nothing from them, but has exerted over them a powerful influence. According to Khanikoff, Sur l'Ethnographie de la Perse, the Iranian race of Persia came from the E. of modern Persia, about Segestan and Khorasan, and moved to the W., in pre-historic ages, and though altered by the attacks of the Turko-Tartar tribes from the north, or, where in contact, on the W. and S., with Turanian and Semitic elements, the Metle is everywhere recognisable as the same as described by Herodotus and later Greek writers. The arrow-headed writing at Persepolis enumerates the Iranian people of that day.
The form of the Iranian is spare but elegant, even noble, but there have always been difference between the E. and W. Iranians.
The E. Iranians are—(a) the Segestani or Khali, (b) Char Aimak, (c) Tajak and Sart ; each of which counts many subdivisions.
The principal number of the Segestan people occupy Khaf and its neighbourhood, Ruy, Tebbes, and Birjan.
The people of Khorasan are greatly intermixed with Turko-Tartar elements.
The Char Aimak consists of four peoples, the Taimuri, Taimuni, Firoz Kohi and Jamshidi, all of them of Iranian origin, and a11 speaking Persian. The Aimak, who graze their flocks in the Paro pamisus, are brave and relentless, and Afghans, when travelling, whether proceeding from Balkh, Kabul, Kandahar, or Herat, never enter into the mountain districts of these intrepid nomade tribes. Each member of the Char Aimak knows no greater enemy than the Afghan, and all attempts to form Afghan colonies amongst them have failed.
The Taimuri dwell at Gorian and Kuh'sun, on the western boundary of Herat, and in the villages and towns situated E. of Iran, from Tarbat Shaikh Jam as far as Khaf. About a thousand of their families dwell near Herat.
The Taimuni dwell in the Jolgha-i-Herat, from Kerrukh to Sabzwar, the few who have extended to Farrah being styled by the Afghans Parsivan. The Taimuni are of a wild, warlike nature, though agricultural.
The Firoz Kohi, a small number of people, about 8000, dwell on the steep hill N.E. of Kala-i-No, and from their inaccessible position afflict their whole neighbourhood with their robbing and plundering. Kala-i-No, on the summit of the mountain, and the fortified places of Darz-i-Gutch and Chaksaran, are considered similar to the nests of the Bakhtiari and Luri in the environs of Isfahan. They have a resemblance to the Hazara, but their forehead, chin, complexion, and figure are less Turanian. They are decidedly Iranian. They take their name, the Firoz Kohi, after the city of that name, about 63 miles from Teheran. Timur settled them by force in Masan daran, but they soon returned to their own country. They have a few cattle, and they sow a little, and plunder the caravans travelling on the Maimani road, or make inroads on the scattered tents of the Jamshidi.
Jamshidi are the only tribe of E. Iranians who are exclusivsly Pomades. They derive their descent from Jamshid, and moved out of Segestan to the shores of the Murghab, which they have occupied from pre-historic times. They live in the neighbourhood of the Salor and Sarik Turkoman, and they use the round conical tent of the Tartars, surrounding it with felt and a reed matting ; and their clothing and food are Turkoman, as also is their occupation, for they are great man-stealers. They excel the other Alinak as horsemen, and for a chapao, band themselves with men of Herat or with the tribes of Turkomans. It was this cause that led Allah Kuli Khan to transport them from Khiva to the banks of the Oxus, after ho had conquered them with the allied Sarik Turkoman. After a residence of 12 years, they fled, and re turned to the town of Murghab. The Jamshidi are polite in word and manner. They still retain parts of the Zoroastrian faith, reverence fire, and pitch their tent door to the east.