This article possibly contains original research. (January 2021)
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Indo-Aryan peoples refers to both the pastoralist Indo-Aryan people migrating from Central Asia into South Asia in the second millennium BCE, introducing the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, as well as to contemporary ethnolinguistic groups speaking modern Indo-Aryan languages, a subgroup of the Indo-European language family.
The introduction of the Indo-Aryan languages in the Indian subcontinent was the result of a migration of Indo-Aryan people from Central Asia into the northern Indian subcontinent (modern-day India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). These migrations started approximately 1,800 BCE, after the invention of the war chariot, and also brought Indo-Aryan languages into the Levant and possibly Inner Asia.
The Proto-Indo-Iranians, from which the Indo-Aryans developed, are identified with the Sintashta culture (2100–1800 BCE), and the Andronovo culture, which flourished ca. 1800–1400 BCE in the steppes around the Aral sea, present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The proto-Indo-Aryan split off around 1800–1600 BCE from the Iranians, moved south through the Bactria-Margiana Culture, south of the Andronovo culture, borrowing some of their distinctive religious beliefs and practices from the BMAC, and then migrated further south into the Levant and north-western India. The migration of the Indo-Aryans was part of the larger diffusion of Indo-European languages from the Proto-Indo-European homeland at the Pontic steppe which started in the 4th millennia BCE. The GGC, Cemetery H, Copper Hoard, OCP and PGW cultures are candidates for cultures associated with Indo-Aryans.
The Indo-Aryans were united by shared cultural norms and language, referred to as aryā, "noble." Diffusion of this culture and language took place by patron-client systems, which allowed for the absorption and acculturalisation of other groups into this culture, and explains the strong influence on other cultures with which it interacted.
While the Indo-Aryan linguistic group occupies mainly northern parts of India, genetically, all South Asians across the Indian subcontinent are descendants from a mix of South Asian hunter-gatherers, Iranian hunter-gatherers, and Central-Asian steppe pastoralists in varying proportion. Additionally, Austroasiatic and Tibeto-Burmese speaking people contributed to the genetic make-up of South Asia.
Indigenous Aryanism propagates the idea that the Indo-Aryans were indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, and that the Indo-European languages spread from there to central Asia and Europe. Contemporary support for this idea is ideologically driven, and has no basis in objective data and mainstream scholarship.
List of historical Indo-Aryan peoples
Contemporary Indo-Aryan peoples
|~1.5 billion|
|Regions with significant populations|
|India||over 911 million|
|Pakistan||over 233 million|
|Bangladesh||over 160 million|
|Nepal||over 26 million|
|Sri Lanka||over 14 million|
|Myanmar||over 1 million|
|Indian religions (Mostly Hindu; with Buddhist, Sikh and Jain minorities) and Islam, Christians and some non-religious atheist/agnostic|
- Assamese people
- Awadhi people
- Banjara people
- Bengali people
- Bhil people
- Bhojpuri people
- Bishnupriya Manipuri people
- Brokpa people
- Chakma people
- Deccani people
- Dhakaiya people
- Dhivehi people
- Dogra people
- Garhwali people
- Gujarati people
- Halba people
- Haryanvi people
- Jaunsari people
- Kalash people
- Kamrupi people
- Kashmiri people
- Khas people
- Kho people
- Kohistani people
- Konkani people
- Kumauni people
- Kutchi people
- Magahi people
- Maithil people
- Marathi people
- Marwari people
- Nagpuri people
- Odia people
- Pashayi people
- Punjabi people
- Rajasthani people
- Romani people
- Rohingya people
- Saraiki people
- Saurashtra people
- Sindhi people
- Sinhalese people
- Sylheti People
- Tharu people
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