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(also Hazaras), a nationality of Mongol origin that inhabits Hazarajat, the central, mountainous region of Afghanistan. According to a 1975 estimate, the Hazara number approximately 1.5 million. They speak Hazaragi, a special dialect of Tadzhik that contains many Mongolian and Turkic words, and profess Shiism. The Hazara engage chiefly in dry and irrigation farming and in livestock raising; the most developed handicraft is weaving. A lack of land, the dissolution of the rural commune, and the development of capitalist relations have forced the Hazara to seek work as farmhands in increasing numbers; the migration to urban areas is assuming mass proportions. The Hazara long retained their independence. In 1892 the Afghan emir, Ab-der-Rahman Khan, conquered Hazarajat with the help of Afghan nomads, for whom he set aside summer pasturelands in the region.
REFERENCESNarody Perednei Azii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.
Davydov, A. D. Afganskaia derevnia. Moscow, 1969.