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The Qajars (Persian: ایل قاجار); also spelled Kadjars, Kajars, Kadzhars, Cadzhars, Cadjars, Ghajars and so on) are a Turkic Oghuz tribe who lived variously, with other tribes, in the area that is now Armenia, Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. With the advent of the Safavid era, they had split into several factions.[1] These included the Ziyādoghlu (Ziādlu), associated with the area of Ganja and Yerevan, as well as the Qoyunlu (Qāvānlu), and Davālu (Devehlu) the latter two associated with the northern areas of contemporary Iran.[1] The Qajars were one of the original Turkoman Qizilbash tribes that had supplied power to the Safavids since its earliest days. Numerous members of the Qajar tribe held prominent ranks in the Safavid state. In 1794, a Qajar chieftain, Agha Mohammed, member of the Qoyunlu branch of the Qajars, founded the Qajar dynasty which replaced the Zand dynasty in Iran. In the 1980s the Qajar population exceeded 15,000 people, most of whom lived in Iran. According to Olson et al., the Qajars are nowadays considered as a branch of the Azerbaijanis.[2]

A branch, attested only as ‘Kadzhar’ (i.e. ‘Qajar’ via Cyrillic transcription), lived in Russian Armenia in the 19th century and likely earlier. In 1873 they numbered 5,000.

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  1. ^ a b Atkin 1980, p. 9.
  2. ^ Olson, James Stuart; Pappas, Lee Brigance and Pappas, Nicholas Charles. (1994) An Ethnohistorical dictionary of the Russian and Soviet empires page 333


  • Akiner, Shiran (1983) Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union Kegan Paul International, London, ISBN 0-7103-0025-5
  • Atkin, Muriel (1980). Russia and Iran, 1780–1828. U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-5697-4.
  • Wixman, Ronald (1984) The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook

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