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Iranians /
Tats


Iranian people, counting about 150,000, living in Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia and Israel.
There are two main groups of Tats, Muslims and Jews. Muslims are generally considered the original ethnic group, the Jews have adopted their language in ancient times. There is also a group of Christian Tats, sometimes called Christian Armeno-Tats.
The reported number of Jewish Tats is 100,000, of which 70,000 live in Israel, the remainder in Azerbaijan and Russia.
Tats are strict on only accepting marriage within their group.
The 12,000 Iranian Tats live in a few villages in Iranian Azerbaijan, more specifically the Harzanabad area, and in villages around Khalkhal and Ardabil. There is also a Tat community in Bojnurd, in the northeast of Iran.
Other Tats live in northern Azerbaijan (mountainous area around Qonaqkend), and in Russian Dagestan, a territory bordering Azerbaijan.
Tats are believed to be of Persian origin, moving into the Caucasus in the 5th and 6th centuries CE. Tat identity and culture seem threatened, in late 19th century there were almost 100,000 of them, which considering the total inhabitants in their area involves a dramatic decrease until our times.
Tat villages are of one or two story flat-roofed stones house with front porches supported by wooden pillars.




By Tore Kjeilen