Country Listing

Afghanistan Table of Contents



There are other small marginal communities of occupational specialists based in eastern Afghanistan in provinces such as Laghman. They are commonly referred to as Jat which is a generic term indiscriminately applied by others with derogatory connotations implying low descent and low occupations. The groups reject the term and refer to themselves by specific names. Of Mediterranean-Indian type physically, speaking Indo-Aryan dialects in addition to Pashto and Dari, they are primarily gypsy-like itinerant petty traders, bangle sellers, fortune-tellers, musicians, jugglers, snake-charmers and performers with animals such as bears and monkeys. Some are specialized craftsmen, working as weavers, potters, sievemakers, knife-makers, and leather-workers. Some hire out as seasonal itinerant farm laborers. They rank lowest on the social scale and are stigmatized by many in the society.

Data as of 1997