|Aimaq dialect of Persian|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Tajiks and Hazaras|
The Aimaq (Persian: ایماق), also transliterated as Aimak or Aymaq, are a collection of Persian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes. Aimaqs are found mostly throughout Pakistan mostly in the Kyber and Balochistan region and in the West Central highlands of Afghanistan, immediately to the north of Herat, 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 Pashto.
Aimaks were originally known as chahar ("four") Aymaqs: the Taimani (the main element in the population of Ghor), the Firozkohi, the Temuri, and the Jamshidi. 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 classification
Aimaks are closely related to Tajiks and Hazaras in varying degrees. In the Afghan census, Aimaks are classified as Tajiks. Aimaks live in parts of western and central Afghanistan, making up the majority in Ghor, and also live in large numbers in the western areas of Herat and Badghis, and to a lesser extent in Farah, Faryab, Jowzjan, and Sar-e Pol. The word "Aymāq" is Mongolian meaning "tribe" or "grazing territory". Aimaq Hazara and Taimuri are most Mongoloid of the Aimaqs. The Temuri and Aimaq Hazaras live in yurts, whereas other Aimaqs live in traditional Afghan black tents.
Estimates of the Aimaq population vary between 250,000 and 0.5 million. They are largely Sunni Muslims, in contrast to the Hazara, who are mostly Shias. The Temuri Aimaqs are of Mongolian origin, apparent in their physical appearance and their housing (Mongolian-style yurts). However, the Taimanis, Ferozkohis, and Jamshidis are of Iranian origin, and refer to themselves as Tajik; the majority of the Aimaqs in Afghanistan are of these latter three sub-groups.
- 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"
- Janata, A. "AYMĀQ". In Ehsan Yarshater. Encyclopædia Iranica (Online Edition ed.). United States: Columbia University.
- Vogelsang, Willem (2002). The Afghans. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 18. ISBN 0631198415. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Willem Vogelsang (2002). The Afghans. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 37–. ISBN 9780631198413. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Aimak, Ghor province on NPS
- http://www.tribalanalysiscenter.com/PDF-External/Hazara%20Baluchistan.pdf A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE HAZARA TRIBE IN BALUCHISTAN (AN ANALYSIS OF SOCIO-CULTURAL CHANGE)
- "Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
- Macgregor, Central Asia, (Calcutta, 1871)
- Aimaq Man with Children, Pal-Kotal-I-Guk, Ghor Province
- Aimaq Nomad Camp Pal-Kotal-I-Guk Between Chakhcharan and Jam Afghanistan