1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lāristān

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LĀRISTĀN, a sub-province of the province of Fars in Persia, bounded E. and N.E. by Kerman and S. by the Persian Gulf. It lies between 26° 30′ and 28° 25′ N. and between 52° 30′ and 55° 30′ E. and has an extreme breadth and length of 120 and 210 m. respectively, with an area of about 20,000 sq. m. Pop. about 90,000. Laristan consists mainly of mountain ranges in the north and east, and of arid plains varied with rocky hills and sandy valleys stretching thence to the coast. In the highlands, where some fertile upland tracts produce corn, dates and other fruits, the climate is genial, but elsewhere it is extremely sultry, and on the low-lying coast lands malarious. Good water is everywhere so scarce that but for the rain preserved in cisterns the country would be mostly uninhabitable. Many cisterns are infested with Guinea worm (filaria medinensis, Gm.). The coast is chiefly occupied by Arab tribes who were virtually independent, paying merely a nominal tribute to the shah’s government until 1898. They reside in small towns and mud forts scattered along the coast. The people of the interior are mostly of the old Iranian stock, and there are also a few nomads of the Turkish Bahārlū tribe which came to Persia in the 11th century when the province was subdued by a Turkish chief. Laristan remained an independent state under a Turkish ruler until 1602, when Shah Ibrahim Khan was deposed and put to death by Shah ‘Abbas the Great. The province is subdivided into eight districts: (1) Lar, the capital and environs, with 34 villages; (2) Bikhah Ihsham with 11; (3) Bikhah Fal with 10; (4) Jehangiriyeh with 30; (5) Shibkuh with 36; (6) Fumistan with 13; (7) Kauristan with 4; (8) Mazayijan with 6 villages. Lingah, with its principal place Bander Lingah and 11 villages, formerly a part of Laristan, is now included in the “Persian Gulf Ports,” a separate administrative division. Laristan is famous for the condiment called māhiābeh (fish-jelly), a compound of pounded small sprat-like fish, salt, mustard, nutmeg, cloves and other spices, used as a relish with nearly all foods.