Meskhetians (Meskhs) are a subgroup of Georgians, the indigenous population of Meskheti, historical province of Georgia of the Caucasus. Meskhetians speak the Georgian language in Meskhetian dialect. The self-designation is Meskhi.
The ancient tribes of Meskhi (or Moschi) and Mosiniks are the first known inhabitants of the area of modern Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Some scholars credit the Mosiniks (or Mossynoeci) with the invention of iron metallurgy. From the 2nd millennium to the 4th century BC, Meskheti was believed to be part of the Kingdom of Diaokhi, in the 4th century BC to the 6th century AD part of the Kingdom of Iberia. From the 10th to the 15th century it was part of the united Georgian Kingdom. In the 16th century Meskheti was integrated into the Ottoman Empire. From 1829 to 1917 it was a part of Russian Tbilisi Governorate (Tiflisskaia Gubernia), from 1918 to 1921 part of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, and from 1921 to 1990 part of the Georgian SSR. After independence from the USSR Meskheti was reinstalled as a province of Georgia, and later cast into the new Samtskhe-Javakheti region.
The Meskhetians are mainly Georgian Orthodox Christians in religion, part of them are Catholics and Sunni Muslims.