Peoples and Ethnic Groups – Ethnic Groups: Kuchis

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(from the Pashto word Koch meaning "migration"), are Pashtun nomadic herders and traders primarily from the Ghilzai tribes. The population of nomads in Afghanistan was estimated at about 1-2 million people in 1979, but war, drought and disease have greatly reduced their numbers to a little more than 600,000. Traditionally, they lived by selling young animals, dairy products, wool, sheepskins, meat, or bartering those goods, for wheat grain, vegetables, fruits, and other foodstuffs. Nomads contribute importantly to the national economy in terms of meat, skins and wool. Kuchis men are generally tall, with piercing eyes and a full mustache. They wear large turbans and are invariably armed with a dagger and a rifle. The women wear colorful long-sleeved dresses over trousers and cover their heads with long shawls. They also wear silver bracelets and anklets, making them look like the Gypsies of Europe and Asia. [1]

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