Guilan people mainly are categorized in two groups: Guil (Gilak) and Galesh (گیل و گالش) people. The name of Guilan Province is originated in two words “Guil” + “An”(گیل + ان) . “An” is a plural suffix, so Guilan means a region where Guil people are living. Guil People live along coastlines located in flat area and plain. They work on rice plants, tea, kiwi and orange farms and go fishing. Galesh people live at foothills and mountain.
Galesh, Unknown Special Nomad
Galesh means the God that protects the cows. They are special kinds of Nomad people who grow and treat cows instead of sheeps despite of the other Persian Nomad in Iran. Galesh people are professional shepherds. In the middle of April, They go to the Hyrcanian mixed forest with their cows to find new grass and to stay in the better climate of high lands. They usually have between tree to seven stations for their cottage and animals by the name of “Sere”. Finally after six months they will be in the high grass land like Jordasht which is divided among shepherds. After that, upon the arrival of autumn and winter, they come down again to lowlands, beside Guil people.
Galesh people not only produce meat, but also produce any dairy products, like yogurt, cheese, doogh, cream and oil. They respect the jungle and all of the animals and plants because during thousand years, they have been in a direct intercourse with the nature during thousand years.
When comparing Guil and Galesh people, galesh people are so stronger than Guil people and it is claimed that their history dates back to Amard people, one of the oldest nomads who lived throughout the Caspian Sea’s territory from 2000 B.C. “Marlik” ancient hill was one of their capitals where archaeologists found more than 250 kinds of sculptures in the shape of “Warza”, which is the indigenous species of cows in Guilan.
Leopards and bear are two famous animals living in Hyrcanian mixed forest beside the Caspian Sea. November to February is the best months to have animal watching, as the woods are bare of leaf and especially during winter, jungles are covered by snow. Galesh people respect these wild animals. They call leopards in the name “Pahlevan” which is a title for the strongest wrestler in Iran.
Among Guil and Galesh people, galesh people always do special kind of Persian wrestling called “Koshti Gile-Mardi” or Gile-Mardi wrestling. Their language is different from Persian people. They used to wear felt jackets, clothes and take sleep bags, made by felt makers who are nowadays very few. Gileboom as an ecolodge has tried more to protect this method of weaving by protecting two main felt workshops. It is possible to watch the process for our guests.
There are lots of routes for Galesh people to migrate from lowland beside the Caspian Sea to highlands like Jordasht. Nowadays there are two main ways to go to Jordasht; one is like a dirt road, nearly 30 Km from Gileboom. It is possible to go by 4w drive cars in a one-day program. The second is “Ghadim Jadde” which means the old road; it is possible to start on foot from Gileboom in a two-day program, by having one night tent in jungle. There are a lot of branches of these two ways to visit Galesh people life style and enjoy visiting the pristine landscape of Hyrcanian mixed forest and Caspian Sea.