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(literally, “the pearly ones”), the largest group of Afghan tribes. Until 1747 they were known as the Abdali. The main tribes are the Barakzai, Popalzai, Alikozai, and Achakzai (constituting the Zirak branch), as well as the Nurzai, Ishaqzai, and Alizai (the Panj-pao branch). They inhabit the southwestern part of Afghanistan and, in addition, are found in all the large cities of Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, in Pakistan. They number approximately 2 million (1967, estimate) and speak a Durrani dialect of western Pushtu. In religion, they are Muslim Sunnites. Agriculture and cattle breeding (including nomadic herding) are their major occupations; they also work in road construction, motor transport, and industry and hold offices in the country’s administrative apparatus and army. In the middle of the 18th century the Durrani played an important role in the formation of an independent Afghan state. The ruling dynasty of Afghanistan is also Durrani.
REFERENCESNarody Perednei Azii. Moscow, 1957.
Gankovskii, Iu. V. Imperiia Durrani. Moscow, 1958.