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Plateau Tajiks
Tashkorgan Tajik.jpg
Total population
41,028 (China);[1] 1,000~2,000 (Tajikistan, Sarikoli)[2]
Regions with significant populations
Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County

Sarikoli, Wakhi


mainly Ismailism

Related ethnic groups

Pamiri, Wakhi

Pamiri people in China, also referred to as Plateau Tajiks,[3] or Tajiks of China (Chinese: 塔吉克族pinyin: Tǎjíkè Zú), are one of the 56 nationalities officially recognized by the People's Republic of China.

The term collectively refers to several East Iranian Pamiri ethnic groups, predominantly Sarikoli, Shugni and Wakhi speakers. They use Uyghur, Kyrgyz or Chinese to communicate with others.



The group have a population of 41,028 (2000). They are located in China's western Xinjiang region with 60% living in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County. Despite the name "Tajik" that is used to refer to them, the Pamiris of China or Tajikistan do not speak the West Iranian Tajik language which is the official language of Tajikistan,[4] differing from Persian-speaking Tajiks in terms of language, religion and culture.[5][6] Early 20th century travellers to the region referred to them as Sarikoli,[7][8] "Mountain Tajiks,"[9] or Ghalchah.


In China, the languages of the ethnic group have no official written form. The great majority speak the Sarikoli language and use Uyghur, Kyrgyz or Chinese to communicate with people of other nationalities in the area. A small proportion speak Wakhi.


During the Tang dynasty, the members of the ethnic group were referred to as "Cina-deva-gotra" (from Sanskrit; Chinese transcription: 至那提婆瞿呾羅, 支那提婆瞿怛羅, or 脂那提婆瞿怛羅). The name literally means "descendant of Han and the sun-god" (漢日天种 or 日漢天种).[10]

The name originates from a story about the Persian (波利剌斯) emperor marrying a Chinese wife.[11][12][13]

See also

External links


  1. ^ "The Tajik Ethnic Group". June 21, 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-10.  
  2. ^ Pam Arlund (2000). "Research on Bilingual Phenomenon of Tajiks in Kashgar Prefecture". Language and Translation 61 (1): 12. ISSN 1001-0823. Retrieved 2009-03-27.  
  3. ^ "Plateau Tajiks celebrates the Xiaogong Bahar Festival (Tajik Nowruz) - Tashkurgan Government (Chinese)". Retrieved 2009-04-18.  
  4. ^ Ethnologue report for language code:tgk
  5. ^ UNHCR Refworld, CHINA: Xinjiang's Ismailis cut off from international Ismaili community [accessed 13 May 2009]
  6. ^ Minority Rights Group International, UNHCR Refworld, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Tajikistan : Pamiris [accessed 13 May 2009]
  7. ^ A Journey of Geographical and Archarological Exploration in Chinese Turkestan A Stein - 1904 - [sn] ... 15,800 feet above the sea), into Chinese territory on the Taghdumbash Pamir, using the yaks of the Sarikoli herdsmen...
  8. ^ The Heart of a Continent - Younghusband - encampment belonging to a Sarikoli, who very kindly asked me to have some refreshment... (pg 242)
  9. ^ Through the Unknown Pamirs; the Second Danish Pamir Expedition 1898-99 By Ole Olufsen
  10. ^ 房, 若愚; 葛丰交. "塔吉克族的爱国主义传统" (PDF). Tribune of Social Sciences in Xinjiang. Retrieved 2009-03-27.  
  11. ^ Xuan, Zang; Bianji. Great Tang Records on the Western Regions. 12.  
  12. ^ "Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books" (JPG, HTML & PDF). Retrieved 2009-03-27.  
  13. ^ Gu, Bingshu. "The Tajik People: Crown on the Roof of the World". Glamour of Traditions. Retrieved 2009-03-27.  


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