TEHRAN –Over 7,000 square meters of hand-woven rugs and textiles have been produced during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-December 20, 2020) by the nomads residing in the north-central province of Semnan.
The handmade products, worth a total of 32.6 billion rials ($776,000 at the official rate of 42,000 rials), include kilim, carpet, woollen and felt clothes and socks, Morad Khadem, the Director-General of Nomadic Affairs of Semnan province said.
Besides producing handicrafts, the nomads, which make up 8.2 percent of the population of the province, produce a significant part of red meat, milk, and dairy products, the official added.
According to data compiled by the Nomads Affairs Organization of Iran, the nomadic inhabitants of the country have been decreased from 38.6 percent of the whole Iranian population in the Iranian year 1245 (1866) to 9.6 percent in the year 1345 (1966) and around one percent currently. And nomads and tribes are be found in all Iranian provinces except Kordestan.
The data suggests that Iran’s nomads are fading away in the course of time. The modern life lures the newest generations to big cities for a more relaxed lifestyle and even higher education. Many younger people have left behind struggles with backbreaking works of the nomadic life which is sometimes mingled with drought and dust storms.
However, some Iranian nomads had long resisted modernity through isolation, which was the result of their lifestyle, deep traditions, and patriarchy. However, nowadays traces of modern life is undeniable in the lives of the remaining ones across the ancient land.
The main population centers of Semnan province lie along the ancient Silk Road (and modern-day Imam Reza Expressway), linking Rey (Tehran) with Khorasan (Mashhad). While few visitors spend much time in the area, driving through you can easily seek out several well-preserved caravanserais (notably Dehnamak and Ahowan), cisterns (the Cafe Abenbar in Garmsar is a special treat), and ruined mud citadels (Padeh is lumpy but fascinating). The large, bustling cities of Semnan, Damghan, and Shahrud (Bastam) all have a small selection of historic buildings and Semnan has a fine old covered bazaar.
The history of Semnan dates back to ancient Iran when the city was part of the Median Empire. At the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, Semnan was a magnificent city. After the attack of Alexander, Semnan became famous as Koomesh. The great era of the prosperity of this city began after the advent of the Parthian Empire.