| 517,000|| 50,000|
| 4–5 million
Approximately 7% of Iran's population|
Lurs (also Lors, Lurish: لورَل, Persian:لُرها) are an Iranian people living mainly in western and south-western Iran. Their population is estimated at around five million. They occupy Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan and Fars (especially Lamerd, Mamasani and Rostam), Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Hamadan, Ilam and Isfahan provinces. The Lur people mostly speak the Lurish language (sometimes called "Luri"), a Southwestern Iranian language related to Persian and Kurdish. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Lurish language is the closest living language to Archaic and Middle Persian. According to the linguist Don Still, Lori-Bakhtiari like Persian is derived directly from Old Persian. Michael M. Gunter states that Lurs people are closely related to the Kurds but that they "apparently began to be distinguished from the Kurds 1,000 years ago.". There are also a significant population of Iraqi Lurs in eastern and central parts of Iraq mainly known as Feylis.
Lurs are the demographic majority of the provinces of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Ilam, Lorestan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Half of Khuzestan's population is Lurs and 30% of Bushehr's population is Lurs.
Lurish is a Western Iranian language continuum spoken by the Lurs in Western Asia. Lurish language forms five language groups known as Feyli lurish, Central Lurish , Bakhtiari, Laki and the Southern Lurish.
This language is spoken mainly by the Feyli Lurs (including khorramAbadi, Maleki and Laks), Bakhtiaries and Southern Lurs (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Mamasani, Sepidan, Bandar Ganaveh, Deylam). Richard N. Frye wrote that "the Lurs and their dialects are closely related to the Persians of Fars province, and naturally belong to the southwestern branch of the Iranian peoples...". The Lurish language is divided into two main groups:The dialect spoken in Luri-i buzurg (Greater Lur) which is closely related to Persian. This dialect is spoken by the inhabitants of Bakhtiari, Kuh-Gilu-Boir Ahmed, in the north and east of Khuzistan, in the Mamasani district of Fars, and in some areas of Bushehr province.
The dialect spoken in Lur-i-Kuchek (Lesser Lor) which is closely related to southern Kurdish, with has some similarities to Persian. This dialect is spoken in Luristan, several districts of Hamadan (Malayer, Nahavand, Towisarkan) and by the inhabitants of south and southwest Ilam and northern part of Khuzestan province.
There is a third group of Luri people who speak northern Lurish; they are ethnically part of Lur-e- kuchak but dialectically part of Lur-e-bozorg.
Lurs are a mixture of aboriginal Iranian tribes, originating from Central Asia and the pre-Iranic tribes of western Iran, such as the Kassites (whose homeland appears to have been in what is now Lorestan) and Gutians. In accordance to geographical and archaeological matching, some historians argue that the Elamites to be the Proto-Lurs, whose language became Iranian only in the middle ages. Michael M. Gunter states that they are closely related to the Kurds but that they "apparently began to be distinguished from the Kurds 1,000 years ago." He adds that the Sharafnama of Sharaf Khan Bidlisi "mentioned two Lur dynasties among the five Kurdish dynasties that had in the past enjoyed royalty or the highest form of sovereignty or independence." In the Mu'jam Al-Buldan of Yaqut al-Hamawi mention is made of the Lurs as a Kurdish tribe living in the mountains between Khuzestan and Isfahan. The term Kurd according to Richard Frye was used for all Iranian nomads (including the population of Luristan as well as tribes in Kuhistan and Baluchis in Kirman) for all nomads, whether they were linguistically connected to the Kurds or not.
Considering their NRY variation, the Lurs are distinguished from other Iranian groups by their relatively elevated frequency of Y-DNA Haplogroup R1b (specifically, of subclade R1b1a2a-L23). Together with its other clades, the R1 group comprises the single most common haplogroup among the Lurs. Haplogroup J2a (subclades J2a3a-M47, J2a3b-M67, J2a3h-M530, more specifically) is the second most commonly occurring patrilineage in the Lurs and is associated with the diffusion of agriculturalists from the Neolithic Near East c. 8000-4000 BCE. Another haplogroup reaching a frequency above 10% is that of G2a, with subclade G2a3b accounting for most of this. Also significant is haplogroup E1b1b1a1b, for which the Lurs display the highest frequency in Iran. Lineages Q1b1 and Q1a3 present at 6%, and T at 4%.
The authority of tribal elders remains a strong influence among the nomadic population. It is not as dominant among the settled urban population. As is true in Bakhtiari and Kurdish societies, Lur women have much greater freedom than women in other groups within the region.
The Lur peoples are diverse and individualistic in their religious views and practices. Religious views can differ immensely, even within a family group. While the overwhelming majority of Lurs are Shia Muslims, some practice a medieval Iranian religion known as Yaresan, which has roots in pre-Islamic Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and Manichaeism. Traditionally the Lur people outwardly profess Shia Islam, and the religion of some is a mixture of Ahl-e Haqq involving a belief in successive incarnations combined with ancient rites.