The Dard people (Perso-Arabic: دارد, Devanagari: दारद) are a group of Indo-European Indo-Iranian-speaking people predominantly found in northern Pakistan's Gilgit–Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northern India's Jammu and Kashmir, and eastern Afghanistan.
Parpola (1999) identifies "Proto-Dardic" with "Proto-Rigvedic", suggesting that the Dards are the linguistic descendants of the bearers of proto Rigvedic culture ca. 1700 BC, pointing to features in certain Dardic dialects that continue peculiarities of Rigvedic Sanskrit, such as the gerund in -tvī (p. 189).
The majority of Dardic peoples are Muslims, with a significant population of Kalash The Kashmiri Pandits who follow the shaivist sect of Hinduism, are a non-dardic people and should not be confused with the authentic Kashmiri Dards, who are predominantly Muslim and Kalash. Dardic religion in Indian Ladakh, particularly in the villages of Da and Hann, retains marked traces of the pre-Buddhist animistic religion, Bon-chos. The Kalash tribes found in Chitral, are exceptional in having retained their ancestral polytheistic religion and are protected by the Government of Pakistan.
- Dardic languages
- Demographics of Pakistan
- Indo-Iranian peoples
- Iranian people
- Nuristani people
- "Dardic languages". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "List of Scheduled Tribes". Census of India: Government of India. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Swat: an Afghan society in Pakistan : urbanisation and change in tribal environment. City Press. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "During Swati rule. The pre-Islamic faith of the dards was the Kalash faith which survives today in Northern Pakistan."
- The India magazine of her people and culture, Volume 14. A. H. Advani. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "Dardic religion in Ladakh, particularly in the villages of Da and Hann, retains marked traces of the pre-Buddhist animistic religion, Bon-chos"
- Longman guide to living religions. Stockton. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "The central philosophy of monistic Shaivism is that there is only one ... the daily lives of the remaining Shaiva brahmins of Kashmir or Kashmiri pandits."
- Asko Parpola, 'The formation of the Aryan branch of Indo-European', in Blench and Spriggs (eds), Archaeology and Language III, London and New York (1999).