The Sarakatsani (Greek: Sarakatsanoi, Bulgarian: karakachani, karakachani) are a group of Greek transhumant shepherds inhabiting chiefly Greece, with a smaller presence in neighbouring Bulgaria, southern Albania and the Republic of Macedonia. Historically centered around the Pindus mountains, they have been currently urbanised to a significant degree. Most of them now reside throughout Thrace and Northern Greece and are of Greek Orthodox faith. Despite the silence of the classical and medieval writers, most scholars argue that the Sarakatsani have ancient origins, descended from pre-classical indigenous pastoralists, citing linguistic evidence and certain aspects of their traditional culture and socioeconomic organization. The anthropological characteristics of the Sarakatsani also classify them as one of the earliest populations on the Balkans and Europe. Their origins have been the subject of broad and permanent interest.
Contributions by Sthenel, Deucalionite, and Apostolos Margaritis.