|Aimaq dialect of Persian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Hazaras and Tajiks|
The Aimaq (Persian: ایماق), also transliterated as Aimak and Aymaq, are a collection of Persian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes. Aimaqs live mostly in the West Central highlands of Afghanistan, immediately to the north of Herat, in Pakistan in the Kyber and Balochistan region and also to a much lesser amount in the Khorasan Province of Iran. They speak a number of subdialects of the Aimaq dialect of Persian, however some southern groups of Taymani and Maleki Aymaqs have adopted the Pashto language.
Aimaks were originally known as chahar ("four") Aymaqs: the Taymani (the main element in the population of Ghor), the Firozkohi, the Jamshidi and the Temuri. 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 ("other Aimaqs") along with the Tahiri, Zuri, Maleki, and Mishmast.
Origin and culture
Aymāq is a Turkic-Mongolic word that means "tribe" or "grazing territory". Aimaq Hazara and Temuri are the most Mongoloid of the Aimaqs. The Temuri and Aimaq Hazara live in yurts, whereas other Aimaqs live in traditional Afghan black tents. The Aimaq are largely nomadic to semi-nomadic goat and sheep herders. They also trade with villages and farmers during migrations for pastures for their livestock. The material culture and foodstuffs of the Aimaq include skins, carpets, milk, dairy products and more. They tend to trade these products to settled peoples in return for vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, and other types of foods and goods.
Classification of tribes
|Aimaq Hazara||Aimaq-e digar||Hazaras|
|Chagatai||Aimaq-e digar||Turco-Mongols of Chagatai Khanate|
|Changezi||Aimaq-e digar||Named after Changez khan|
|Tahiri[circular reference]||Aimaq-e digar||Arabs?|
Estimates of the Aimaq population vary between 250,000 and 500,000. They are largely Sunni Muslims--except for the Jamshidi who are mainly Ismaili Shia in the main--and in contrast to the Hazara, who are mostly Shia Muslims.
- Tom Lansford -A bitter harvest: US foreign policy and Afghanistan 2003 Page 25 "The term Aimaq means "tribe" but the Aimaq people actually include several different ethnic groups. The classification has come to be used for a variety of nonaligned nomadic tribes"
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