Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Afghanistan 1,404,000[1]
 Iran 209,000[1]
 Tajikistan 7,000[1]

Aimaq dialect of Persian


Sunni Islam

Related ethnic groups

Persians, Tajiks, Hazara, other Iranian peoples

Aymāq (Persian: ایماق), also transliterated as Aimak or Aimaq, are a collection of Persian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes. They are found throughout the north and northwest highlands of Afghanistan, immediately to the north of Herat, and in the Khorasan Province of Iran.[2] They speak a number of subdialects of the Aimaq dialect of Persian.

Aimaks were originally known as chahar ("four") Aymaqs: the Taimani (the main element in the population of Ghor), the Ferozkohi, 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[3] ("other Aimaqs") along with the Tahiri, Zuri, Maleki, and Mishmast.[4]


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".


Estimates of the Aimaq population vary between 250,000 and 2 million. They are Sunni Muslims, in contrast to the Hazara, who are Shias. The Temuri Aimaqs are of Mongolian origin, apparent in their physical appearance and their housing (Mongolian-style yurts).[6] However, the Taimanis, Ferozkohis, and Jamshidis are of non-Mongolian but of Iranian origins and refer to themselves as Tajik; the majority of the Aimaqs in Afghanistan are from these latter three sub-groups.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Aimaq". JoshuaProject. 11 August 2009. http://www.joshuaproject.net/people-clusters.php?rop2=C0007. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  2. ^ Janata, A.. "AYMĀQ". In Ehsan Yarshater. Encyclopædia Iranica (Online Edition ed.). United States: Columbia University. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/aymaq-turk. 
  3. ^ Willem Vogelsang (2002). The Afghans. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 37–. ISBN 9780631198413. http://books.google.com/books?id=9kfJ6MlMsJQC&pg=PA37. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  4. ^ R. Khanam (2005). Encyclopaedic ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia: A-I. Global Vision Publishing Ho. pp. 24–. ISBN 9788182200623. http://books.google.com/books?id=q_189OeDwSMC&pg=PA24. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Aimak, Ghor province on NPS
  6. ^ "Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.

Further reading

  • Macgregor, Central Asia, (Calcutta, 1871)

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