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Is there an Ethno-religious Aspect in Balochi Identity?

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

The paper deals with certain aspects of the complex phenomenon of Balochi identity in their traditional habitat, including the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan, the Pakistani province of Balochistan, as well as the areas of Afghanistan where the Baloches live compactly. Considering quite different socio-political and cultural situations in the mentioned environments, it is argued that the identity perceptions among the Baloches themselves and among the others towards the Baloches (Persian-speaking Shi‘a population in Iranian province, as well as mostly Sunni diverse ethnic groups in the Pakistani province and in Afghanistan) are not fixed ideas bound by ethnicity and/or religion, but, rather, flexible constructs dependent particularly upon the peripeteia of the state policies. The multiple aspects of the Balochi identity could constantly be negotiated, as well as manipulated by engaged parties. The main argument of this paper rests upon the speculation that the already existing and bona fide aspects of Balochi identity, such as ethnicity and religion, could be paralleled into the aggregate of ethno-religiousness depending on the socio-political and cultural landscape.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Armenian Academy of Sciences

10.1163/1573384X-20160309
/content/journals/10.1163/1573384x-20160309
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/content/journals/10.1163/1573384x-20160309
2016-12-19
2018-04-24

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