In spring 2017, I drove by car through the mountains of southern Iran. In the rugged landscape of Fars province, the first flowers and plants were slowly beginning to bloom. Suddenly, I passed a colourful backdrop that immediately caught my eye. At this spot, Qashqai nomads had celebrated a festival, the driver told me. As I learned later, the colourful garland of tassels I photographed at the time is used in wedding ceremonies and is typically handmade by Qashqai women.
The traces of these nomads are everywhere in Fars, as they have lived there for over 700 years. Their home is the Zagros Mountains, which stretch across the entire western flank of Iran. Only in the winter do the nomads shift to warmer climes, heading south of the big city of Shiraz. From there they return to the mountains in spring. The women of the Qashqai tribe are known worldwide for their carpet weaving. Most of the time, the motifs they weave are spontaneous. Their wedding dances, in which they swing coloured cloths, are also known to everyone in Iran. They pass on their traditions and customs to their children through storytelling and songs. Young people, however, often dream of living in the city. For many of them, the city is a place where they can follow their aspirations.
Translated by Jess Smee