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Badakhshan (Persian: بدخشان, Tajik: Бадахшон) is an historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor. Much of historic Badakhshan lies within Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province located in the in south-eastern part of the country. The music of Badakhshan is an important part of the region's cultural heritage.



Badakhshan has a diverse ethno-linguistic and religious community. Tajiks are the majority while a minority of Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs also live there. There are also groups of speakers of several Pamir languages of the Eastern Iranian language group.[1] During the 20th century within Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan the speakers of Pamir languages formed their own separate ethnic identity as Pamiris. The Pamiri people were not officially recognized as a separate ethnic group in Tajikistan, but in Tajikistan Pamiri movements and associations have been formed.[2] The main religions of Badakhshan are Ismaili Islam and Sunni Islam. The people of this province have a rich cultural heritage and they have preserved unique ancient forms of music, poetry and dance.


Early history

Badakhshan was an important trading center during antiquity. Lapis lazuli was traded exclusively from there as early as the second half of the 4th millennium BC. Badakhshan was an important region when the Silk Road passed through. Its significance is its geo-economic role in trades of silk and ancient commodities transactions between the East and West.

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