Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
the main population of Nuristan in Afghanistan; some also live in the Chitral region in Pakistan. The Nuristanis consist of a number of tribes (the Kati, Prasun, Vaigali, Ashkuni, and Vama). They speak languages of the Indo-Iranian group. They number about 100,000 (1970, estimate). The men engage in distant-pasture livestock raising, and the women in farming. Horticulture, viticulture, and crafts are also developed. In the past, neighboring Muslim peoples called the Nuristanis Kafirs (from Arabic kafir, “infidel”) and their country Kafiristan. In the late 19th century the Nuristanis were forcibly converted to Islam by the emir Abder-Rahman Khan; however, pre-Muslim dualistic religious concepts have been partially preserved among them.