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Ethno-cultural heritage of the peoples of west Pamir.


The paper presents a study on the West Pamir communities (Badakhshan, Tajikistan) based on language data of the Pamir languages of East-Iranian origin. At present, the ethnic groups of the West Pamir: Shughni, Rushani, Bartangi, Roshorvi, Khufi, Ishkashimi and Wakhi are communities of the Ismaili Shia Islam faith. The underlying concept of the paper is that ethnic and cultural key-concepts take place in the origin of the traditional beliefs and rituals and can be reliably reconstructed from the vocabulary of a particular community. Pamir languages vocabulary of the Pamir ethnic communities that uses East and West Iranian culturally significant terms may serve as a basis for understanding the genesis of Pamir Ismailism, its particular way of absorbing external cultures, and its present specific form. The purely linguistic criteria, like temporal dimension (linguistic chronology), and geographic dispersion and mobility, are believed to be critical for linking etymology to broader socio-cultural development context of the Pamir communities socio-historical and cultural life. Contemporary social and linguistic dynamics in the relations between nation, religion and language in Tajikistan needs systematic research, and reasonable interpretation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Iranian Languages, Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation.


Collegium antropologicum 28 Suppl 1: 2004 pg 147-59


Anthropology, Cultural
Asia, Central
Social Identification

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article



PubMed ID