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Aimaq people

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Title: Aimaq people  
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Subject: Aymaq, Ethnic groups in Afghanistan, Dalak people, Afghan, Iranian peoples
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Aimaq people

Aimaq dialect of Persian
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Tajiks and Hazaras

The Aimaq (Persian: ایماق‎‎), also transliterated as Aimak or Aymaq, are a collection of Persian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes.[1] Aimaqs are found mostly throughout Pakistan mostly in the Kyber and Balochistan region and in the West Central highlands of Afghanistan, immediately to the north of Herat, and also to a much lesser amount in the Khorasan Province of Iran.[2] They speak a number of subdialects of the Aimaq dialect of Persian, however some southern groups of Taymani and Maleki Aymaqs have adopted Pashto.[3]

Aimaks were originally known as chahar ("four") Aymaqs: the Taimani (the main element in the population of Ghor), the Firozkohi, the Temuri, and the Jamshidi. Other sources state that the Aimaq Hazara are one of the Chahar, with the Temuri instead being of the "lesser Aimaqs" or Aimaq-e digar[4] ("other Aimaqs") along with the Tahiri, Zuri, Maleki, and Mishmast.

Origin and classification

Aimaks are closely related to Tajiks and Hazaras in varying degrees. In the Afghan census, Aimaks are classified as Tajiks.[5] Aimaks live in parts of western and central Afghanistan, making up the majority in Ghor, and also live in large numbers in the western areas of Herat and Badghis, and to a lesser extent in Farah, Faryab, Jowzjan, and Sar-e Pol. The word "Aymāq" is Mongolian meaning "tribe" or "grazing territory". Aimaq Hazara and Taimuri are most Mongoloid of the Aimaqs. The Temuri and Aimaq Hazaras live in yurts, whereas other Aimaqs live in traditional Afghan black tents.[6]

Name Origin
Chagatai Chagatai Khanate
Chenghizi named after Genghis
Durzai Pashtuns
Kakar Pashtuns
Kipchak Kipchak


CIA map showing the territory of the settlement of ethnic groups and subgroups in Afghanistan (2005)

Estimates of the Aimaq population vary between 250,000 and 0.5 million. They are largely Sunni Muslims, in contrast to the Hazara, who are mostly Shias. The Temuri Aimaqs are of Mongolian origin, apparent in their physical appearance and their housing (Mongolian-style yurts).[7] However, the Taimanis, Ferozkohis, and Jamshidis are of Iranian origin, and refer to themselves as Tajik; the majority of the Aimaqs in Afghanistan are of these latter three sub-groups.

See also


  1. ^ Tom Lansford -A bitter harvest: US foreign policy and Afghanistan 2003 Page 25 "The term Aimaq means "tribe" but the Aimaq people actually include several different ethnic groups. The classification has come to be used for a variety of nonaligned nomadic tribes"
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Aimak, Ghor province on NPS
  7. ^ "Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.

Further reading

  • Macgregor, Central Asia, (Calcutta, 1871)

External links

  • Aimaq Man with Children, Pal-Kotal-I-Guk, Ghor Province
  • Aimaq Nomad Camp Pal-Kotal-I-Guk Between Chakhcharan and Jam Afghanistan
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