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
Pashai language
Pashto also spoken as second language[1]
Related ethnic groups
Pashtuns, Kalash, Nuristani and Kashmiris

Pashayi or Pashai (Persian: مردم پشه‌ای) are a Dardic ethno-linguistic group living primarily in eastern Afghanistan. Their total population is estimated to be 500,000.[1] They are mainly concentrated in the northern parts of Laghman, Nangarhar, Kunar, Kapisa, Kabul, Baghlan, Nuristan, and also in Ghazni. 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] 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.

Notable individuals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ Pashai. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. ^ M. Longworth Dames; G. Morgenstierne & 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