There are varying estimates, but at least 76 separate Afghanistan peoples, based on linguistic differences live in Afghanistan.
Ethnically, Afghanistan peoples are primarily of two different physical types: Indo-Europeans of a Mediterranean sort (includes Pashtun, Tajik, Nuristan, and Baluchi peoples) and Turco-Mongolians (including the Hazara, Turkoman, Uzbek, Aimaq, and Khirgiz groups). A third group, the Dravidian Brahuis is a small fraction of the population.
Each individual Afghan group, defined in either religious, geographical, tribal, or kinsman terms considers itself autonomous and greatly dislikes outside interference.
Afghan society has a culture of resistance to outside authority and has a large traditional element of conflict. They have experienced inter-tribal and inter-group feuding.
Much of the reason lies in the Pashtunwali, the traditional code of the Pashtuns. Among its requirements is badal (revenge). This revenge, even if it takes generations, has led to blood feuds being passed on from father to son.
Afghanistan peoples are unified by religion: a uniquely Afghan form of Islam. Afghans are suspicious of foreign religious leaders and have never had a strong, central religious leader. Most Afghan decision making is by local meetings (Jirga) and the local khan, malik, or mullah remain strong outside the cities.
The two principal languages are Pashto and Dari. Pashto is typically used for business and government, and Dari for cultural expression. Dari has an educated form and the common form, which differ substantially.
Largest Afghanistan Peoples
The largest ethnic group is the Pashtuns, who speak Pashto, a language related to Persian. They are a tribal people, Sunni Muslims and live largely in the south of the country.
The Tajiks are related to the country Tajikistian. They are also largely Sunni and speak Dari, a dialect of Persian or Iranian Farsi.
The Hazaras are a Mongolian people group following Shiite Islam, and many live in the Hazarajat, the central highlands of Afghanistan. There are also large populations in Kabul and Mazar, and they speak Hazarigi, a dialect of Dari.
The Uzbeks are Sunni Muslims, speak Uzbeki, a language similar to Turkish, and traditionally have lived in the northern central region.
The Aimaqs are shepherd nomads who speak Dari and are Sunni Muslims.
The Nuristani, whose native province is a natural fortress in the east, are an ancient people group of Mediterranean origin who practiced their own religion of 32 gods, until forcibly converted to Sunni Islam towards the end of the 19th century.
The Turkmen live in the northwestern steppes and are Sunni. Many of them came to Afghanistan during the 1920's as refugees from the USSR, where the government was suppressing Muslim freedom fighters.
The Baluch live in the southwestern desert and speak a language related to Persian. There are Sunni nomads, akin to the Baluch of Pakistan and Iran.
Almost 80% of Afghanistan peoples are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi sect, while only 20% are Shiite.
Please note that all of the alarming data on mother-child mortality apply to the majority of these people groups.
Many Afghanistan peoples do not live in the big cities, and have access to NO health care or modern conveniences.
On this page you will find:
Notes: 1. There are several commercial airliners in country, there are also a few others available for charter or space available. Most of the airstrips shown are accessible through charter with PACTEC only. However, some restrictions apply. 2. The people groups located in the war areas are being scattered by the current war. Many coming to the big cities like Kabul. There are many refugee camps for the internally displaced peoples all over Kabul city and other major cities.
1. There are several commercial airliners in country, there are also a few others available for charter or space available. Most of the airstrips shown are accessible through charter with PACTEC only. However, some restrictions apply.
2. The people groups located in the war areas are being scattered by the current war. Many coming to the big cities like Kabul. There are many refugee camps for the internally displaced peoples all over Kabul city and other major cities.
Afshari - (Language:Azerbaijani,South)
Aimaq, Char - (Language:Aimaq)
Aimaq, Firozkohi - (Language:Aimaq)
Aimaq, Hazar - (Language:Aimaq)
Aimaq Jamshidi - (Language:Aimaq)
Aimaq, Taimani - (Language:Aimaq)
Aimaq, Timuri - (Language:Aimaq)
Ansari - (Language:Arab Tajiki)
Baloch, Western- (Language:Balochi, Western)
Bania, Muslim - (Language:Urdu)
Brahui, Kur Galli- (Language:Brahui)
Changar - (Language:Urdu)
Darwazi, Badakhshani - (Language:Darwazi)
Deaf - (Language:Unknown)
Garwi, Bashkarik- (Language: Kalami)
Guhjali, Wakhi - (Language:Wakhi)
Gujur Rajasthani- (Language:Gujari)
Gypsy, Domari- (Language:Domari)
Hazara - (Language:Hazaragi)
Indus Kohistani - (Language:Kohistani, Indus)
Jakata, Jati- (Language:Jakati)
Karakalpak - (Language:Karakalpak)
Kazakh - (Language:Kazakh)
Khatri, Sikh - (Language:Panjabi, Eastern)
Kurd, Central - (Language:Kurdish, Central)
Kyrgyz - (Language:Kyrgyz)
Moghal - (Language:Mogholi)
Mongolian - (Language:Mongolian, Peripheral)
Munji - (Language:Munji)
Mussali - (Language:Panjabi, Eastern)
Narisati, Arandui- (Language:Gawar-Bati)
Nuristani, Ashkuni - (Language: Ashkun)
Nuristani, Bashgali, Kati - (Language: Kati)
Nuristani, Grangali - Language:Grangali)
Nuristani, Kamviri - (Language:Kamviri)
Nuristani, Malakhel - (Language: Malakhel)
Nuristani, Prasuni - (Language: Prasuni)
Nuristani, Tregami - (Language: Tregami)
Nuristani, Urmuri - (Language: Pashto,Southern)
Nuristani, Waigeli - (Language: Waigali)
Pahlavani - (Language:Pahlavani)
Parachi - (Language:Parachi)
Parsee - (Language:Parsi-Dari)
Parya, Laghmani - (Language:Parya
Pashayi, Northeast -(Language:Pashayi,Northeast)
Pashayi, Northwest-(Language:Peshayi, Northwest)
Pashayi, Southeast- (Language:Pashayi,Southeast)
Pashayi, Southwest-(Language:Pashayi, Southwest)
Persian - (Language:Farsi, Western)
Punjabi - (Language:Panjabi, Eastern)
Punjabi, Western - (Language:Panjabi, Western)
Qizilbash- (Language:Farsi, Eastern (Dari))Romani, Balkan, Zargari-Language:Romani, Balkan) Russian - (Language:Russian)
Sanglechi, Eshkashimi - (Language:Sanglechi-Ishkashimi)
Sau - (Language:Savi)
Shughni - (Language: Shughni)
Tajik, Afghani-(Language:Farsi, Eastern (Dari))
Tangshuri - (Language:Tangshewi)
Tatar - (Language:Tatar)
Tirahi - (Language:Pashto, Southern)
Turkmen, Turkomani - (Language:Turkmen)
Uyghur, Kashgar - (Language:Uyghur)
Uzbek, Southern - (Language:Uzbek, Southern)
Warduji - (Language:Warduji)
Wotapuri-Katarqalai - (Language:Unknown)
Return from Afghanistan Peoples to Home