The Hazara people are a Persian speaking ethnic group from central Afghanistan. Their name “hazara” comes from the Persian word for 1,000 (hezar in Irani dialect) and they are thought to be descended from the Mongols who swept down into Central Asia from Mongolia in the Middle Ages. There is some speculation that they may even be descended from the Chengis Khan familial line. Unfortunately, there is no way of known for sure but there is currently a DNA project going on in their region to figure out their origin. Afghanistan itself is an extremely diverse, poly-ethnic nation and many Afghans are quite ethnically mixed. So, I’ll be looking forward to learning what those DNA tests show!
Unfortunately the Hazaragi people (In Afghanistan) are extremely oppressed, poverty is the norm and they have suffered attacks by majority groups for God only knows how long! During the Taliban ruling of Afghanistan they were a target of attacks and worse due to their facial features, unknown background and their following the Shia branch of Islam. Many Hazaragi have left Afghanistan and most are actually in neighboring Iran, living in refugee camps or seeking asylum. Thats another can of worms, from what I know…the Iranian government has been trying to send Afghans back to Afghanistan and its becoming increasingly difficult for asylum seekers to actually get asylum in Iran. Very few actually make it to Australia, the USA or other western countries. The times I have been to Iran I have often seen Afghanis and I assume they most either be illegally working or granted asylum! Within Iran most work at extremely low-wage jobs such as farm labor or construction. You can sometimes see their families out and about in the bazaars-yes they do stick out with their features and since we would be in central Iran (far from Turkmenistan) they are probably Afghans! I don’t really know too much about them, though.
Anyway, onto the traditional Hazaragi attire. obviously they only wear the fancy traditional attire for special occasions, in general for everyday wear most wear the normal attire of the area they are in. Such as many Hazaragi woman adopt the chador, maghneh and manteau for life in Iran.
\The traditional attire is a calf length dress (fitted through the waist and pleats further down) over loose fitting shalvar (pants) and a long, wide scarf which they call a chadar and a fancy headdress and chestdress made of coins, stones, etc. I think it looks absolutely gorgeous… mashallah…
Now onto the everyday attire pics…
I only know of one place that sells these traditional style dresses from Afghanistan (not just Hazara, they also have Pashtoon, Turkoman, etc etc) is Zarinas which I believe is based out of California.
Also, if your into foreign films. The Iranian film Baran (lit. Rain) is based on a Hazara family living in Iran.