Class 9 Social Science Pastoralists in the Modern World Exam Notes

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Pastoral Nomadism

Pastoral nomadism is a form of subsistence agriculture based on the herding of domesticated animals. The word pastoral refers to sheep herding. It is adapted to dry climates where planting crops is impossible. Pastoral nomads live primarily in the large belt of arid and semi-arid land that includes North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia. The Bedouins of Saudi Arabia and North Africa and the Masai of East Africa are examples of nomadic groups. Only approximately 15 million people are pastoral nomads, but they sparsely occupy approximately 20 percent of Earth’s land area.

Origin :

Most of the researchers and historians believe that pastoralism is derived directly from hunting and food gathering. It is believed that hunters of wild goats and sheep already had knowledge of herd dynamics and the ecological needs of the herd animals. So they adopted nomadic herding as their occupation. But there are some researchers who believed that it was pressure of population on land which forced there people to adopt the occupation.

Different Forms of Pastoralism

Nomadic Pastoralism :

(i) Under this people keep on moving along with their animals in search of grazing areas.

(ii)This activity is of subsistence type and is more common in areas of dry climate not suitable for crop farming such as the Arabian desert and parts of Sahara.

(iii)  Because a majority of the members of the group are in some way directly involved with herd management, the household moves with these seasonal migrations.

Herders to Farmers :

Some African tribes such as the Masai, Fulani and Bushmen are, by tradition, herders. The people used to migrate each season with their herds of cattle across the savannas but many can no longer find enough grazing land. Some have had to settle down and turn to planting and farming crops, often poor, infertile land. Many of these tribes people know little about growing crops. As most of them are failing to a living off the land, they have no choice but to move to the towns where they will almost certainly have to live in slum conditions and try to survive on the streets. Their age-old way of live is changing quickly.

♦ Transhumance : Under this members of the group move the herd seasonally form one area to another, often between higher and lower pastures. The rest of the group are able to stay in the same location, resulting in longer-standing housing.
 
Mobility throughout altitudes and the resulting precipitation differences is important. In East Africa, different animals are taken to different regions throughout the year, to match the seasonal patterns of precipitation.
 
This type of pattern is also followed in Northern India where Gujjars move from hilly areas to plains during winter.
 
→ 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
 
→MOVEMENTS OF PASTORAL NOMADS

A. In the Mountains:

(i) The Gujar Bakarwals : Gujjar Bakarwals migrated to Jammu and Kashmir in the 19th century in search of pastures for their animals. Gradually, over the decades, they established themselves in the area, and moved annually between their summer and winter grazing grounds. In winter, when the high mountains were covered with snow and there was lack of pastures at the high altitude they moved to low hills of the Shiwalik. The dry scrub forests here provided pastures for their herds. By the end of April they began their northern march for their summer grazing grounds. They crossed the Pir Panjal passes and entered the valley of Kashmir. With the onset of summer, the snow melted and the mountainsides became lush green. By the end of September the Bakarwals started their backward journey.
 
(ii) The Gaddi shepherds : Gaddi shepherds of Himachal Pradesh spent their winter in the low hills of Shiwalik range, grazing their flocks in scrub forests. By April they moved north and spent the summer in Lahul and Spiti. When the snow melted and the high passes were clear, many of them moved on to higher mountain meadows. By September they began their return movement. On the way they stopped once again in the villages of Lahul and Spiti, reaping their summer harvest and sowing their winter crop. Then they descended with their flock to their winter grazing ground on the Shiwalik hills. Next April, once again, they began their march with their goats and sheep, to the summer meadows.
 
(iii) Movement in Garhwal and Kumaon : The Gujjar cattle herders come down to the dry forests of the babar in the winter, and went up to the high meadows - the bugyals - in summer. Many of them were originally from Jammu and came to the UP hills in the nineteenth century in search of good pastures.
 
(iv) Other Pastoral nomads : Cyclical movement between summer and winter pastures is typical of many pastoral communities of the Himalayas, including the Bhotiyas, Sherpas and Kinnauris. All of them had to adjust to seasonal changes and make effective use of available pastures in different places.
 
B. On the Plateaus, Plains and Deserts

(i) The Dhangars : The Dhangars were an important pastoral community of Maharashtra. They used to stay in the semi-arid central plateau of Maharashtra during the monsoon. Due to the low rainfall only dry crops could be grown there. In the monsoon these regions become a vast grazing ground for the Dhangar flocks. By October the Dhangars harvested their dry crops. During this season there was shortage of grazing ground so Dhangars had to move towards west. After about a month, they reached Konkan. In this region the locals used to welcome them as the flocks of Dhangars provided manure to the field and fed on the stubble. With the onset of the monsoon the Dhangars, after collecting supplies of rice and other food grains, used to leave the Konkan and returned to their settlements on the dry plateau.
 
(ii) The Gollas, Kurumas and Kurubas : In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh the dry central plateau was covered with grass, inhabited by cattle, goat and sheep herders. The Gollas herded cattle. The Kurmas and Kurubas reared sheep and goats and sold woven blankets. They lived near the woods, cultivated small patches of land, engaged in a variety of petty trades and took care of their herds. The seasonal rhythms of their movement was decided by the alternation of the monsoon and dry season. In the dry season they moved to the coastal tracts, and left when the rains came.
 
(iii) The Raikas : Raikas, were the nomads of Rajasthan. They were divided into two groups. One group of Raikas-known as the Maru Raikassherded camels and another group reared sheep and goats.
Cultivation and pastoralism were their primary activities. During the monsoon they stayed in their home villages where pasture was available. By October, when these grazing grounds were dry and exhausted, they moved out in search of other pastures and water
 
C. "The Pastoral groups had sustained by a careful consideration of a host of factor" :
 
(i) Climatic Factors: They had to judge the climatic conditions of the regions where they wanted to move. They had to judge how long the herds could stay in one area and where they could find water and pasture.
 
(ii) Timing: They needed to calculate the timing of their movements and ensure that they could move through different territories.
 
(iii) Relationship: They had to set up a relationship With farmers so that herds could graze in harvested fields and manure the soil.
 
(iv) Different activities: They combined a range of different activities - cultivation, trade and herding to make their living.
 
→ IMPACT OF COLONIALISM AND MODERN STATES ON PASTORALISM

The process of colonalisation started in the 16th century. During the earlier phase of colonialism Spain, Portugal, England, France and Holland established their colonies in the continents of America, Asia and Africa. The Second stage of imperialism began with the 8th decade of the 19th century. During this stage a race started among the European countries to capture more and more colonies outside Europe. Apart from England and France, some new countries like Germany, Belgium , Russia, Japan and America also became active contenders in this race of colonization. The spread of colonalism and imperialism had a deep impact on the pastoralism.
 
1. After colonalisation their mobility was restricted. Now the people had limited area to move.
 
2. The new rulers encouraged settlement which had adverse impact on the herds and the people.
 
3. The colonies were to be used as source of raw material so the new rulers encouraged commercial agricultural. The pasture were converted into big farms.
 
4. To exploit the natural resources of their colonies the European countries started building roads and railway tracks. This resulted in the loss of pastures.
 
5. With the invention of modern technology pastoral nomadism became non-existent in many parts of the world.
 
6. The introduction of state farming system had adverse impact on the pastoral people.
 
7. Exploitation of oil resources and the difficulties posed to nomads by the multiplicity of political boundaries, have also reduced the importance of this mode of livelihood.
 
8. Even in these days most of the governments of the countries like China, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia etc. are forcing the people to give up pastoral nomadism so that pasture can be used for other purposes.
 
9. Mining and petroleum industries has also limited their movement as these industries operate in dry lands.
 
10. Many nomads are being encouraged to try sedentary agriculture or to work for mining or petroleum industries.
The researcher still believed that the pastoralist way of life is a efficient system; one of the few ways of supporting a population in a difficult environment and representing a sustainable approach to land use. But due to modernisation, globalization and privatisation pastoral nomadism will be confined to areas that can not be irrigated or that lack valuable raw materials.
 
PASTORALISM IN AFRICA

Over 22 million Africans depend on some form of pastoral activity for their livelihood. They include communities like Bedouins, Berbers, Maasai, Somali, Boran and Turkana. Most of them now live in the semiarid grasslands or arid deserts where rain fed, agriculture is difficult. They raise cattle, camels, goats, sheep and donkeys; and they sell milk, meat, animal skin and wool. Some also earn through trade and transport, others combine pastoral activity with agriculture; still others do a variety of odd jobs to supplement their meagre and uncertain earnings from pastoralism.
 
A. Where have the Grazing Lands Gone?
 
Before arrival of the colonial rulers, the Maasailand spread over a vast area from North Kenya to the steppes of northern Tanzania. This gradually shrank due to the following reasons:
 
(i) The colonial powers were hungry for colonial possessions in Africa. Once they reached Africa, they began to cut it down in different colonies.
 
(ii) The best grazing lands were gradually taken over for white settlement. Massai were pushed into a small area in south Kenya and north Tanzania.
 
(iii) The colonial governments promoted cultivation. Local peasant communities began to take control over the pastoral lands. Pastoral lands further fell.
 
(iv) Large areas of land were also turned into game reserves. Pastoralists were not allowed to enter these reserves; they could neither hunt animals nor graze their herds in these areas. Very often these reserves were in area that had traditionally been regular grazing grounds for Maasai herds.
 
(v) The loss of the finest grazing lands and water resources created pressure on the small area of land thatthe Maasai were confined within. Continuous  grazing within a small area inevitably meant a deterioration. of the quality of pastures. Fodder was always in short supply. Feeding the cattle became a persistent problem.
 
B. The borders are closed

(i) From the late nineteenth century, the colonial government began imposing various restrictions on the mobility of the pastures. Special permits were issued to the people. They were not allowed to move out with their stock without special permits. And it was difficult to get permits without trouble and harassment.
 
(ii) Pastoralists were also not allowed to enter the markets in white areas. In many regions, they were prohibited from participating in any form of trade. So now they were fully dependent on their stock.
 
(iii) When restrictions were imposed on pastoral movements, grazing lands came to be continuously used and the quality of pastures declined. This in turn created a further shortage of forage for animals and the deterioration of animal stock.
 
(iv) Now most of the nomads were forced to live within a semi-arid tract prone to frequent droughts.
 
C. When Pastures Dry:
 
(i) Traditionally pastoralists are nomadic; they move from place to place. This nomadism allows them to survive bad times and avoid crises.
 
(ii) From the colonial period, the Maasai were bound down to a fixed area, prohibited from moving in search of pastures. They were cut off from the best grazing lands and forced to live within a semiarid tract prone to frequent droughts. Since they could not shift their cattle to places where pastures were available, large numbers of Maasai cattle died of starvation and disease in these years of drought.
 
(iii) As the area of grazing lands shrank, the adverse effect of the droughts increased in intensity. The frequent bad years led to a steady decline of the animal stock of the pastoralists.
 
D. Not All were Equally Affected:

(i) In pre-colonial times Maasai society was divided into two social categories-elders and warriors. The elders formed the ruling group and met in periodic councils to decide on the affairs of the community and settle disputes. The warriors consisted of younger people, mainly responsible for the protection of the tribe. They defended the community and organized cattle raids. Young men came to be recognized as members of the warrior class when they proved their manliness by raiding the cattle of other pastoral groups and participating in wars. They, however, were subject to the authority of the elders.
 
(ii) After the arrival of Britishers there was a change in the political set up of the tribes. The British started appointing chiefs of different sub-groups and imposed various restrictions on raiding and warfare.
With the passage of time these chiefs started accumulating wealth and became very rich and started lending money to poor class. Many of these chiefs started living in towns and got themselves involved into other economic activities. The life of the poor pastoralists was miserable. They did not have resources to tide over bad times. In times of war and famine, they lost nearly everything. Most of them started working as. labourers.
 
(iii) The social changes in Massai society occurred at two levels. First, the traditional difference based on age, between the elders and warriors, was disturbed, though it did not break down entirely. Second, a new distinction between the wealthy and poor pastoralists developed.

GLOSSARY
 
1. Nomads : Nomads are those people who do not live in one place but move from one area to another to earn their living.
 
2. Bhabar : A dry forested area below the foot hills of garhwal and kumaun.
 
3. Bugyai : Vast meadows in the high mountains.
 
4. Kharif : The autumn crop, usually harvested between September and October.
 
5. Rabi : The spring crop, usually havested after March.
 
6. Stubble : Lower ends of grain stalks left in the ground after harvesting.
 
7. Pasture : It is a grass or other plants grown for feeding or grazing animals, as well as land used for grazing.
 
8. Massai : A postoralist community of Africa.
 
9. Criminal Tribes Act : In 1871, the colonial government in India passed the Criminal Tribes Act. By this Act many communities of craftsmen, traders and postoralists were classified as criminal Tribes.
 
10. Customary Rights : Rights that people are used to by custom and tradition.
 
EXERCISE

A. VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
 
Q.1 Why did pastoral communities move from one place to another ?
 
Q.2 Name three pastoral communities of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. What were their occupations.
 
Q.3 Who were the Banjaras ? Where are they found ? What were their occupation ?
 
Q.4 Where are the Raikas to be found ? Why are they both cultivators and pastoralists ?
 
Q.5 How did the life of the pastoalists change under colonial rule ?
 
Q.6 What were the basic provisions of the various Forest Act passed during this time ?
 
Q.7 What does the word Massai mean ? Where are they found ?
 
Q.8 What changes occurred in Massai society during colonial rule ?
 
Q.9 How did the poor Massai pastoralists survive during war and famines ?
 
Q.10 How have pastoralists adopted to changing times ?
 
Q.11 What is pasture ?
 
Q.12 What is transhumance ?
 
Q.13 Who were nomads ? Name any four animals which are reared by them.
 
Q.14 What is Kafila ?
 
Q.15 Distinguish between ‘Reserved’ and ‘Protected’ Forests.
 
B. SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
 
Q.1 What are the similarities between the lifestyles of Gujar Bakarwals of Jammu & Kashmir and Gaddi shepherds of Himachal Pradesh ?
 
Q.2 Who were Dhangars ? What were their occupations ? Why were they continuously on the move ?
 
Q.3 What factors had to be kept in mind by the pastoralists in order to survive ?
 
Q.4 How did various laws passed by the British affect the Indian Pastoralists ?
 
Q.5 How did the Pastoralists cope with these changes ?
 
Q.6 Name four pastoral communities of Africa.
Where are they to be found ? What are their occupations ?
 
Q.7 What restrictions were imposed by the colonial government on the African Pastoralists ?
 
Q.8 Why did the cattle stock of the Massai’s decrease under colonial rule ?
 
Q.9 Describe the social organisation of the Massai’s in the pre-colonial times.
 
Q.10 How did the Massai’s chiefs appointed by the British benefit economically ?
 
Q.11 What was the impact of colonial rule over
the elders and warriors of Massai community ?
 
Q.12 Who were Raikas ? Write any three features of their life style.
 
Q.13 Explain the impact of Forest Acts on the Nomads or Pastoralists.
 
Q.14 Explain the movements of Gujjar, Bakarwals of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Q.15 Explain the annual cycle of seasonal movement of Gaddis.
 
C. LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
 
Q.1 Explain the major characteristics of pastoral Nomadism.
 
Q.2 Explain the impact of droughts on the life of pastoralists.
 
Q.3 How did the pastoralists cope with the changes brought by colonical rule ?
Explain.
 
Q.4 Give reason to explain why the Massai community lost their grazing lands.
 
Q.5 Explain the life of bushman of the Kalahari.
 
D. MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS

Q.1 Where are Gujjar Cattle herders originally from ?
(A) Jammu
(B) Himachal Pradesh
(C) Rajasthan
(D) Goa
 
Q.2 Where do Gujjars live in summer ?
(A) Buggals 
(B) Bhabar
(C) Pasture 
(D) Meadows
 
Q.3 Where do the Bedounis Communtiy Found ?
(A) Jammu 
(B) Indonesia
(C) Africa 
(D) Jawa
 
Q.4 Which crop is usually harvested after March -
(A) Kharif 
(B) Rabi
(C) Zaid 
(D) Stubble

Q.5 Where are the Raikas to be found ?
(A) Karnataka
(B) Tamil Nadu
(C) Delhi
(D) Desert of Rajasthan
 
Q.6 When was Massailand divided between British Kenya & German Tangayika ?
(A) 1883 
(B) 1885
(C) 1887 
(D) 1889
 
Q.7 It is a type of agriculture under which crops are grown and consumed by the farmer’s family -
 
(A) Primary agriculture
(B) Subsistence agriculture
(C) Secondary agriculture
(D) None of these
 
Q.8 It is a type of agriculture under which crops are grown to satisfy the needs of local community -
(A) Primary agriculture
(B) Subsistence agriculture
(C) Secondary agriculture
(D) None of these
 
Q.9 When did the colonical government in India pass the criminal Tribes Act ?
(A) 1871 
(B) 1872
(C) 1873 
(D) 1874
 
Q.10 Which of the following pastoralist community of western India ?
(A) Monpas 
(B) Gollas
(C) Raikas 
(D) Dhangars

 

Class 9 Social Science Pastoralists in the Modern World Exam Notes 


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