Pashayi people

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Young Pashai man with flowers in his hair.jpg
Pashai boy with flower hat
Total population
Approx. 500,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Laghman, Kapisa and Nangarhar
Pashayi language
Pashto also spoken as second language[1]
Related ethnic groups
Pashtuns, Kalash, Nuristani and Kashmiris

Pashayi or Pashai are a Dardic ethno-linguistic group living primarily in eastern Afghanistan and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of present-day Pakistan. Their total population is estimated to be 500,000.[1] They are mainly concentrated in the northern parts of Laghman and Nangarhar provinces and eastern Kapisa province. Some believe the Pashai are descendants of ancient Gāndhārī.[2][3] Many Pashai consider themselves Pashtuns speaking a special language,[4] and many are bilingual in Pashto.[1] Small Pashai communities can also be found in the Chitral district of northwestern Pakistan. The majority of Pashai are Sunni Muslims and are often referred to as Kohistani,[4] while a minority are Nizari Ismaili Muslims.

Pashae, or Pashie or Pakhae are Pukhto attributive plural forms, meaning of the Pash, or Pakh. The Pashae are still found by that name in the Bamian and Lughman districts in the southern valleys [5]

Notable individuals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ Pashai. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. ^ M. Longworth Dames, G. Morgenstierne, and R. Ghirshman (1999). "AFGHĀNISTĀN". Encyclopaedia of Islam (CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0 ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. 
  4. ^ a b Pashai, Ethnic identity in Afghanistan, on
  5. ^ Henry Walter Bellew An Inquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan; p. 143

External links[edit]

Media related to Pashai people at Wikimedia Commons