Pamiri people

Pamiri people

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Pamiri is the name of an Iranian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province is an autonomous, mountainous province in the east of Tajikistan. Located in the Pamir Mountains, it makes up 45% of the land area of the country but only 3% of the population....

 in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

.

Ethnic Identity


The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language
Indigenous language
An indigenous language or autochthonous language is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples but has been reduced to the status of a minority language. This language would be from a linguistically distinct community that has been settled in the area for many generations...

 in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 sect of Shia Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The Pamiris share close linguistic, cultural and religious ties with the people in Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan Province
Badakhshan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, consisting of 28 districts. It is located in the north-east of the country, between the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya. It is part of the Badakhshan region.-Geography:...

 in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, the Sarikoli
Sarikoli
The Sarikoli language is a member of the Pamir subgroup of the Southeastern Iranian languages spoken by Tajiks in China...

 speakers in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County
Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County
Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County is one of the counties of Kashgar Prefecture in western Xinjiang.- Geography :Tashkurgan County is located in the eastern part of the Pamir Plateau, where the Kunlun, Kara Kunlun, Hindukush and Tian Shan mountains come together, at the borders with Afghanistan ,...

 in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 Province in China, the Wakhi
Wakhi language
Wakhi is an Indo-European language in the branch of Eastern Iranian language family and is intimately related to other Southeastern Iranian languages in the Pamir languages group.-Classification and Distribution:...

 speakers in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and the Wakhi
Wakhi language
Wakhi is an Indo-European language in the branch of Eastern Iranian language family and is intimately related to other Southeastern Iranian languages in the Pamir languages group.-Classification and Distribution:...

 speakers in Upper Hunza Gojal
Gojal
Gojal, also known as Upper Hunza, is an area north of Gilgit in the far north of Pakistan near the Chinese and Afghan borders. It is the largest tehsil of the Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous area of northern Pakistan....

 region of Northern mountainous areas of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. In the Pamiri languages the Pamiris refer to themselves as Pamiri or Badakhshani, a reference to the historic Badakhshan
Badakhshan
Badakhshan is an historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor...

 region where they live. In China, they are referred to as ethnic Tajiks. In the Afghan National Anthem
Afghan National Anthem
The Afghan National Anthem was adopted and officially announced in May 2006. According to article 20 of the Constitution of Afghanistan, "The national anthem of Afghanistan shall be in Pashto with the mention of "God is Greatest" as well as the names of the ethnicities of Afghanistan." The lyrics...

, Pamiris ( Pāmiryān) are mentioned in the list of ethnic groups of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

.

History


In 1929 Gorno-Badakhshan was attached to the newly formed republic of Tajikistan, and since that point there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the ethnic identity of the Pamiris. Some Tajik scholars claim Pamiri languages to be a dialects of Tajik language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 and there has been a long running debate as to whether the Pamiris constituted a nationality separate from Tajiks. But there is a consensus amongst linguists
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 that the Pamiri languages are East Iranian, a sub-group of Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 while Tajik language which is Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 is included in Southwestern Iranian, another sub-group of Iranian languages. In the 1926 and 1937 Soviet censuses Shugnis and Wakhis were counted as separate nationalities. After 1937 these groups were required to register as Tajiks.

During the Soviet period many Pamiris migrated to the Vakhsh River Valley and settled in Qurghonteppa Oblast
Qurghonteppa Oblast
Qurghonteppa Oblast was an administrative subdivision in Tajikistan until 1992, when it was merged with Kulob Oblast to create Khatlon Province.-History:...

, in what is today Khatlon Province. In the 1980s debate raged in Tajikistan about the official status of the Pamiri languages in the republic. After the independence of Tajikistan in 1991 Pamiri nationalism stirred and the Pamiri nationalist political party Lali Badakhshan
Lali Badakhshan
Lal'i Badakhshan is an opposition political party in Tajikistan. The party was formed by Pamiri people for the purpose of protecting the rights of Pamiris and promoting the autonomy of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province.-History:The party formed on 4 March, 1991 during the last months...

 took power in Gorno-Badakhshan. Anti-government protests took place in the province's capital, Khorog
Khorog
The town of Khorugh , also transliterated as Khoroq, Khorogh, Khorog, or Xoroq) is the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan. It is also the capital of the Shughnon District of Gorno-Badakhshan. It has a population of 28,000...

, and in 1992 the republic declared itself an independent country. This declaration was later repealed. During the Tajikistan Civil War
Tajikistan Civil War
The Civil War in Tajikistan began in May 1992 when ethnic groups from the Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan regions, which were underrepresented in the ruling elite, rose up against the national government of President Rahmon Nabiyev, in which people from the Leninabad and Kulyab regions dominated...

 from 1992–1997 Pamiris in large backed the United Tajik Opposition
United Tajik Opposition
The United Tajik Opposition was an alliance of democratic, liberal and Islamist forces that fought in the Tajik Civil War from 1992 to 1997 against administration of President Emomali Rahmonov....

, the Pamiris were targeted for massacres, especially those living in the capital Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

 and Qurghonteppa Oblast. In the early 1990s there was a movement amongst Pamiris to separate Gorno-Badakhshan from Tajikistan.

Religion


Pamiris are predominately Nizārī Ismā'īlī and follow the Aga Khan
Aga Khan
Aga Khan is the hereditary title of the Imam of the largest branch of the Ismā'īlī followers of the Shī‘a faith. They affirm the Imamat of the descendants of Ismail ibn Jafar, eldest son of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, while the larger Twelver branch of Shi`ism follows Ismail's younger brother Musa...

. The Aga Khan Foundation
Aga Khan Foundation
The Aga Khan Foundation is a private, not-for-profit international development agency, which was founded in 1967 by . AKF seeks to provide long-term solutions to problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill health in the poorest parts of South and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Africa, and...

 became the primary non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

 in Gorno-Badakhshan. There are also Sunni Pamiris currently numbering at approximately a few thousand..

Notable Individuals

  • Oleg Fesov
    Oleg Fesov
    Oleg Fezov, or Oleg Fesov is a musician, and composer from Tajikistan, who composes and arranges his songs in addition to performing. In 1990 he graduated from Dushanbe College of Arts, and was considered as one of the best illustrating artists of children's periodic . His natural talent and...

    , musician and actor
  • Davlat Khudonazarov
    Davlat Khudonazarov
    Davlat Khudonazarov, is a Pamiri Tajik filmmaker, politician and human rights activist. Davlat was born 13 March 1944 in Khorugh, Tajikistan.- Political career :...

    , filmmaker and presidential candidate in 1991 presidential elections in Tajikistan
  • Muboraksho Mirzoshoyev
    Muboraksho Mirzoshoyev
    Muboraksho Abdulvahhobovich Mirzoshoyev better known as Muboraksho also as Misha was a Pamiri Tajik singer, songwriter and actor recognized alongside Daler Nazarov as a pioneer of the Tajik rock music...

    , musician
  • Daler Nazarov
    Daler Nazarov
    Daler Nazarov is a Tajik/Pamiri songwriter, singer and actor.Nazarov was born in the Former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan. He has lived in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan for most of his life, but had to leave the country in the early 90's due to a civil war that ended around 1997...

    , musician and actor
  • Abusaid Shokhumorov
    Abusaid Shokhumorov
    Abusaid Shokhumorov was a famous Pamiri Tajik scholar in the history and philosophy of Pamiri Ismailism.-Life & work:...

    , historian and philosopher

External links