Afghanistan, specifically in Ghor, Farah, Herat, and Badghis Provinces
Dari (Persian), some Nikudari
Hazaras, Oirats, Mongolsand Iranian peoples
Aimak (or Aimaq) is a term designating Persian-speaking
nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes of mixed Iranian and Mongolian stock inhabiting the north and north-west highlands of Afghanistan(immediately to the north of Herat) and in the Khorasan Provinceof Iran. [cite encyclopedia |last= Janata|first=A. |editor= Ehsan Yarshater|encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica|title= AYMĀQ|url=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/unicode/v3f2/v3f2a038.html |Edition= Online Edition|publisher= Columbia University|location= United States]
They are closely related to the Hazara, and—in varying degrees—to the
Tajiks. They live in western Hazarajatin the provinces of Ghor, Farah, Herat, Badghis, Faryab, Jowzjan and Sar-e Pol. The name is Mongolian for tribe(compare Aimag).
They were originally known as "chahar" or (the four) Eimaks, because there were four principal
tribes: the Taimani (the predominating element in the population of Ghor), the Ferozkhoi, the Temuri, and the Jamshidi.
Estimates of the Aimak population vary between 250,000 and 2 million. They are
Sunni Muslims, in contrast to the Hazara, who are Shiahs.
The Chahar Aimaqs are of Turco-Mongolian origin, judging by their physical appearance and their housing (Mongolian-style yurts) but speak a Persian dialect (
Dari). ["Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.]
The best estimates of the Aimak population in
Afghanistanhover around 1-2 million. The tally is made difficult since, as a consequence of centuries of oppression of the Hazara peoplein Afghanistan, some Aimagh Hazaras are classified by the state as Tajik, or Persian instead of Aimaks.
* Macgregor, "Central Asia", (Calcutta, 1871)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.