Tajik (Tajak,Tausik), a term of doubtful origin, dating from the Sassanian epoch of Persia, and in the Pahlavi writings used at first to indicate the Arabs in general, and then their descendents born in Persia or elsewhere out of Arabia. Later, when the distinction was weakened between Arab and Persian Mohammedans, Tajik became the collective name of the latter as well, and according to present usage it applies especially to all communities of Persian stock and speech wereever found in Central Asia. These are co-extensive with the former limits of the Persian Empire, and are found even in Chinese Turkestan beyond those limits. But since the ascendancy of the Turti peoples the Tajiks have become the subject element almost everywhere, except in Darwaz, Wakhan,and Badakhshan. In all these regions the Tajiks are essentially the settled or peasant class in the rural districts, the traders and artisans in the towns, and Persian (or some variety of it) is everywhere their mother-tongue. Hence the terms Parsivan, Dehgan, Sart, etc., i.e. "Peoples of Persian speech," "villagers," "traders," etc., currently applied to them by their Turki, Afghan, or Baluchi neighbours. All are Mohammedams of the Sunni sect, although their kinfolk of Persia are mostly of the Shiah sect. the original Iranian type has been modified in diverse ways by long contact with the surrounding Turki, Mongol, and other races, and much miscegenation has undoubtedly taken place, and is still going on, the tendency being towards a general fusion of all the heterogeneous elements in a new homogenous race throughout Central Asia. The Tajiks are the Ta-Shiih (old sound, Da-Zhik) of the Chinese records. They are numerous, almost everywhere greatly outnumbering the nomad Mongolo-Tartar populations.