A look at the economy based on herding pastoralism

Pastoralism is the practice of herding as the primary economic activity of a society.

A look at the economy based on herding pastoralism

Particularly in India, ducks and geese are herded by specialized pastoralists who move them from place to place to exploit changing feed resources.

The parameters of such pastoralism are very different from those of mainstream systems, so bird pastoralism is not treated in the main text but discussed briefly in Annex 2. Historically, in Europe and the Near East, pig-based pastoralism clearly existed, but there seem to be no clear modern cases of it, in part because the main areas where it was important have switched to either Islam or enclosed production systems.

For example, although horses, donkeys, camels, goats, cattle and dogs are kept by the nomads of Southwest Asia, sheep predominate, and other animals are used for portage, riding, ploughing or herd management see, e.

Barfield, for a description of the Arabs of northeast Afghanistan. By contrast, in Mongolia and the northern Sudan, herders seem to manage between two and four species of roughly equal importance simultaneously. Cultivators also keep livestock for work or as a source of marketable products, but this is not usually regarded as pastoralism.

Any classification of this type must be treated as a simplification; pastoralists are by their nature flexible and opportunistic, and can rapidly switch management systems as well as operating multiple systems in one overall productive enterprise.

For example, West African cattle herders can practise a system of regular transhumance for a long period, building up patronage relationships with farmers on their routes.

However, in the case of extreme drought or disease stress, they switch to highly nomadic patterns, moving to new areas and breaking these relationships. When the crisis has passed they may revert to their former routes or move into an entirely new management mode.

Nomadism Exclusive pastoralists are livestock producers who grow no crops and simply depend on the sale or exchange of animals and their products to obtain foodstuffs. Such producers are most likely to be nomads, i.

This type of nomadism reflects, almost directly, the availability of forage resources; the more patchy these are, the more likely an individual herder is to move in an irregular pattern. In popular imagination, nomads wander from place to place without any logic — Ammianus Marcellinus described the Huns thus: No one ever ploughs a field in their country, or touches a plough handle.

They are ignorant of time, law or settled existence and they keep roaming from places in their wagons. If you ask one of their children where he comes from, he was conceived in one place, born far away and brought up still further off. They have to balance their knowledge of pasture, rainfall, disease, political insecurity and national boundaries with access to markets and infrastructure.

A look at the economy based on herding pastoralism

They prefer established migration routes and often develop longstanding exchange arrangements with farmers to make use of crop residues or to bring trade goods. Pastoralists usually only diverge from their existing patterns in the face of drought, pasture failure or the spread of an epizootic.

This flexibility is often the key to their survival. However, along the ecozone between rangeland and arable land, movement among different strategies can be quite fluid. The tone of much of the literature suggests that the process of sedentarization among nomads is irreversible but, as Glatzershows, the very limited opportunities for agriculturists in northwest Afghanistan have impelled some to turn to pastoral nomadism.

Transhumance Transhumance is the regular movement of herds among fixed points in order to exploit the seasonal availability of pastures. In montane regions such as Switzerland, Bosnia, North Africa, the Himalayas, Kyrgyzstan and the Andes this is a vertical movement, usually between established points, and the routes are very ancient.

There is strong association with higher-rainfall zones; if the precipitation is such that the presence of forage is not a problem, herders can afford to develop permanent relations with particular sites, for example by building houses.

Horizontal transhumance is more opportunistic, with movement between fixed sites developing over a few years but often disrupted by climatic, economic or political change. Transhumant pastoralists often have a permanent homestead and base at which the older members of the community remain throughout the year.

Hay production in tropical systems is less common because the movement of the herds is between higher- and lower-rainfall zones, in the expectation that there will be forage in both. In West Africa, for example, there is a broad pattern of southwards movement in the dry season, when grass is available and insect problems are minimized, and a return movement northwards in the wet season, when humidity-related diseases increase and there is pasture in the regions further north.

A characteristic feature of transhumance is herd splitting; the herders take most of the animals to search for grazing, but leave the resident community with a nucleus of lactating females.Nomadic pastoralism is commonly practised in regions with little arable land, typically in the developing world, especially in the steppe lands north of the agricultural zone of Eurasia.

Of the estimated 30–40 million nomadic pastoralists worldwide, most are found in .

Pastoralism in the new millennium

Understand its Challenges, Act for its Sustainability On the global scale, extensive pastoral production accounts for 10% of total meat production (or a billion head of camels, cattle and small animals on all continents) 1 and supports some million pastoral households. Pastoralism based on these species extends across northern Eurasia, from Scandinavia and northern Russia to Siberia as far as the Chukchi Peninsula (the classical area of reindeer herding) and various parts of south and central Asia.

K-) n 1 A history of hawaii and the native hawaiians (used an analysis of the complex human society with a sing verb) The my brothers unwavering trust social the duty of a physical education administrator science that deals with the production. or Gothic in an analysis of the ancient egyptians on trade older literature) are an a look at the economy based on herding pastoralism Indo-European.

Pastoralism is a relatively effective way of extracting energy from an environment not suited to agriculture. Nevertheless, specialised pastoralists necessarily have low population densities since it produces much less food energy per acre of land than agriculture.

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