Chapter : 2. Pastoralists in the Modern World
Major Characteristics Of Pastoral Nomadism
1. In contrast to other subsistence farmers, pastoral nomads depend primarily on animals rather than crops for survival.
2. The animals provide milk, and their skins and hair are used for clothing and tents.
3. Pastoral nomads consume mostly grain rather and than meat.
4. The animals are commonly not slaughtered, although dead ones may be consumed. The size of herd is both an important measure of power and prestige and their main security during adverse environmental conditions.
5. Most of the nomadic people follow barter system though some use money also. They exchange animals for food or grains.
6. More often, part of nomadic group-perhaps the women and children - may plant crops at a fixed location while the rest of the group wanders with the herd.
7. Nomads might hire workers to practice sedentary agriculture in return for grain and protection. Other nomads might sow grain in recently flooded areas and return later in the year to harvest the crop.
8. Nomads select the type and number of animals for the herd according to local cultural and physical characteristics. The choice depends on the relative prestige of animals and the ability of species to adapt to a particular climate and vegetation. The camel is most frequently desired in North Africa and the Middle East, followed by sheep and goats. In Central Asia, the horse is particularly important.
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