Ethnic group

poptime=250,000-2 million
popplace=Afghanistan, specifically in Ghor, Farah, Herat, and Badghis Provinces
langs=Dari (Persian), some Nikudari
rels=Sunni Islam
related=Hazaras, Oirats, Mongols and Iranian peoples

Aimak (or Aimaq) is a term designating Persian-speaking nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes of mixed Iranian and Mongolian stock inhabiting the north and north-west highlands of Afghanistan (immediately to the north of Herat) and in the Khorasan Province of Iran. [cite encyclopedia |last= Janata|first=A. |editor= Ehsan Yarshater|encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica|title= AYMĀQ|url= |Edition= Online Edition|publisher= Columbia University|location= United States]

They are closely related to the Hazara, and—in varying degrees—to the Tajiks. They live in western Hazarajat in the provinces of Ghor, Farah, Herat, Badghis, Faryab, Jowzjan and Sar-e Pol. The name is Mongolian for tribe (compare Aimag).

They were originally known as "chahar" or (the four) Eimaks, because there were four principal tribes: the Taimani (the predominating element in the population of Ghor), the Ferozkhoi, the Temuri, and the Jamshidi.

Estimates of the Aimak population vary between 250,000 and 2 million. They are Sunni Muslims, in contrast to the Hazara, who are Shiahs.

The Chahar Aimaqs are of Turco-Mongolian origin, judging by their physical appearance and their housing (Mongolian-style yurts) but speak a Persian dialect (Dari). ["Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.]

The best estimates of the Aimak population in Afghanistan hover around 1-2 million. The tally is made difficult since, as a consequence of centuries of oppression of the Hazara people in Afghanistan, some Aimagh Hazaras are classified by the state as Tajik, or Persian instead of Aimaks.


Further reading

* Macgregor, "Central Asia", (Calcutta, 1871)

ee also

* Nikudari
* Qara'unas

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  • Aimak — Die Aimaken (auch Aimaq geschrieben) sind eine Konföderation von Nomadenstämmen unterschiedlicher Abstammung, die jedoch heute fast alle Persisch als Muttersprache sprechen und in der zentralen Region Afghanistans leben. Sie machen ca. 2% der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • aimak — /uy mak, ay mak/, n. 1. one of the 18 largest regions into which the Mongolian People s Republic is divided for administrative purposes. 2. a clanlike group among Mongolian peoples. [ < Mongolian aimag] * * * …   Universalium

  • aimak — ai·mak …   English syllables

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