22 May 2003, 13:18


They call themselves tat.

An ethnic group in Iran. Their population is about 300 thousand people. Their separate villages are scattered in the north-western part of Iran plateau between the cities of Teheran and Kazvin, in the mountainous district of Talican and in the plain district Zokhra. Their main occupations are agriculture and horticulture. Their language and way of life is close to that of Persians.

Nation in the Caucasus. Tats mainly live in Azerbaijan and Dagestan; small groups live in the republics of the North Caucasus (within the Russian Federation). Their population is about 25 thousand people. They belong to the small Balkan-Caucasus race of the big European race. They speak the Tat language of the Iran group of the Indo-European family. The language has two mutually understood dialects: southern and northern. The northern dialect is one of the literary languages of Dagestan. Russian and Azerbaijan languages are also common among the Tats. Written language is bases on Russian alphabet. Religious people are Moslems-shiits, Judaists and Christians-monoficits. Their culture is similar to that of Azerbaijanians and the people of Dagestan.

Their traditional occupations are agriculture, horticulture, vine-growing as well as trades. Traditional female dress is a long shirt, trousers (shovol), a long body conscience silhouette dress, a single-back overcoat, a kerchief and morocco chuviaki; male costume - a cherkeska with a dagger on a belt, a papakha (tall fur hat). Many Tats live in the cities and are busy in the industry; they have intelligentsia.

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