Kohistani people

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Total population
Approx. 500,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Kohistan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Maiyã (also called Kohistani)
Pashto also spoken as second language[1]
Predominantly Islam.
Related ethnic groups
others Dardic peoples

Kohistanis are speakers of the Maiyã language, a member of the Dardic subgroup of the Indo-Aryan language family. They are located in Northern Pakistan (Indus Kohistan).


Inhabiting the region of Kohistan, the Kohistani formerly practiced Hinduism and Buddhism, until the 15th century, when the Kohistani started converting to Islam.[2] A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province thus notes that their neighbours, "The Pathans call them, and all other Muhammadans of Indian descent in the Hindu Kush valleys, Kohistanis."[3]

During the winter, the Kohistani people reside near their fields, while in the summer they migrate to camping grounds that are located 14,000 feet in altitude.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2015-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Ahmad, Asghar (1986). Pakistan Tourism Directory. Holiday Weekly. p. 163.
  3. ^ Rose, Horace Arthur; Ibbetson, Sir Denzil; Maclagan, Sir Edward (1914). A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province. Government Printing Press Lahore. p. 472.
  4. ^ Thomas, David Hurst (1 January 1979). Archaeology. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. p. 128. ISBN 9780030199264.