Tat people (Caucasus)

The Tat people (also: Tat, Parsi, Daghli, Lohijon) are an Iranian people presently living within Azerbaijan and Russia (mainly Southern Dagestan). The Tats are part of the indigenous peoples of Iranian origin in the Caucasus.[2][3][4]

Tat people
1880 photograph depicting a group of Tat men from the village of Adur in the Kuba Uyezd of the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire
Total population
tens of thousands (various estimates)
Regions with significant populations
 Azerbaijan25,218 (2009)[1]
 Russia1,585 (2010)[citation needed]
Tat language, Azerbaijani, and Russian
Related ethnic groups
Other Iranian peoples, Armeno-Tats

Tats use the Tat language, a southwestern Iranian language somewhat different from Standard Persian,[5][6] Azerbaijani and Russian are also spoken. Tats are mainly Shia Muslims with a significant Sunni Muslim minority.

The 1886–1892 Tsarist population figures counted 124,683 Tats in the Russian Caucasus of which 118,165 were located in the Baku Governorate and 3,609 in the Dagestan Oblast.[7] The 1897 Russian Empire census recorded 95,056 Tats, of which 89,519 were in the Baku Governorate and 2,998 in the Dagestan Oblast.[7] The 1926 Soviet census only counted 28,705 Tats of which 28,443 were in the Azerbaijan SSR and 1,237 in the Dagestan ASSR.[7] Arthur Tsutsiev notes that a major portion of Tats in the 1926 census were listed under the categories "Persians" and "Azerbaijani Turks".[8] This was particularly the case within the Azerbaijan SSR, where some 38,327 individuals were recorded as "Turks whose native language is Tat".[9] The 1979 Soviet census counted 22,441 Tats of which 8,848 were located in the Azerbaijan SSR and 7,437 in the Dagestan ASSR.[7]