(P038)

Sedentarization and concentration among nomadic peoples (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)

Location 103
Date and Start Time 15 May, 2014 at 08:30

Convenor

Kazunobu Ikeya (National Museum of Ethnology) email
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Short Abstract

The purpose of this panel is to discuss their adaptation of new settlement life, the validity of sedentism for the future of their lives after sedentarization and concentration among nomadic peoples during the past centuries.

Long Abstract

As for the type of 'nomadic peoples', discussions have been made of who are nomadic peoples or pastoralists. The study of nomadic peoples is restricted not only to the examination of nomadic pastoralists. It is also open to the study of various nomadic peoples such as hunter-gatherers, and even for shifting cultivators and sea nomads. Most peoples have been forced to sedentarize or concentrize for various reasons during the past centuries. The end of nomadism might come soon throughout the world. This panel will specifically address nomadic populations in the world with regard to sedentism. We will discuss their adaptation of new settlement life, the validity of sedentism for the future of their lives, and government policies which promote sedentarization. Various nomadic peoples whom we have not considered in the mainstream of this commission of nomadic peoples will be welcomed.

Chair: Kazunobu Ikeya

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Human history of nomadism and sedentarism among nomadic peoples

Author: Kazunobu Ikeya (National Museum of Ethnology)  email

Short Abstract

Nomadism and sedentarism are key concepts reconstructing cultural history of the world. This study was undertaken to generalize the patterns and factors of sedentarization, and social changes after them. The differences and similarities of the impact of sedentarism among nomadic peoples are discussed.

Long Abstract

Nomadism and sedentarism are key concepts reconstructing and considering cultural history of the world. Nomadic peoples have repeatedly migrated and settled since ancient times according to natural disasters, economic changes, and socio-political circumstances. This study was undertaken to generalize the patterns and factors of sedentarization and concentration, and social changes including spatial perceptions and cultural identity after them. Previous studies are well known to have used three anthropological approaches for studies of sedentarization: human history, political ecology, and comparative studies. The author has studied three types of sedentarization occurring at different times among the Central Kalahari San in Southern Africa and the Mlabri in Thailand. 1) Semi-sedentarized people with a complex economy including hunting, gathering, farming, and livestock breeding, 2) Sedentarized people under the influence of government policy, and 3) Concentrated people after a resettlement scheme of government. Moreover, the author has observed patterns of sedentarization and concentration of Somali or Chukchi pastoralists, Matagi mountain farmers, homeless people, and people affected by tsunami damage and radioactive contamination from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Results of these studies clarify the comparative framework and model of the relations between sedentarization and social changes through the use of ethnographic materials. The differences and similarities of impact of sedentarism with hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, farmers, sea nomads, and town dwellers are discussed from the perspective of the environmental history of Earth.

Prehistoric sedentarization and the transition to agriculture in the temperate and tropical region

Author: Hiroo Nasu (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies)  email

Short Abstract

This talk presents a brief review of recent archaeological evidence for the process of prehistoric sedentarization and the transition to agriculture by hunter-gatherers in the temperate and tropical region in relation to climate and environmental change.

Long Abstract

Most prehistoric hunter-gatherers opted for sedentary village life and agriculture after the Last Glacial period. However, the timing and process of these changes in lifestyle differed among various regions worldwide. This talk presents a brief review of recent archaeological evidence for the process of prehistoric sedentarization and the transition to agriculture by hunter-gatherers in the temperate and tropical region, especially in the Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic periods in the Near East, the Jomon period in Japan, and the Preceramic and Early Ceramic periods in the New World Tropics. I will discuss the differences in the degree of increasing sedentism and the timing and process of the transitioning to agriculture among these regions in relation to climate and environmental change.

Ethnogenesis of the Bajau as a maritime creole and its socio-ecological contexts in the Wallacean Sea, Southeast Asia

Author: Kazufumi Nagatsu  email

Short Abstract

This paper deals with the ethnogenesis of the Bajau as a maritime creole in Insular Southeast Asia. It aims at examining highly hybrid natures of their ethnic background and socio-ecological contexts of the environment where the mobile aquatic population have maintained such hybrid natures.

Long Abstract

This paper deals with the process of formation of the Bajau as a maritime creole in Wallacean Sea of Insular Southeast Asia. Through the ethnographic and historical analyse, it aims at 1) depicting highly hybrid natures of their ethnic background, and 2) examining socio-ecological contexts of the maritime environment where the sea folks have maintained and repeatedly reconstructed such hybrid natures. In order to approach the latter question, the study introduces the concept of "maritime frontier" in the light of the discussions on "frontier society" in Southeast Asian Studies.

With an approximate population of 1,100,000, many of the Bajau live along coasts or on islands. Their settlements are dispersed widely in Wallacean Sea. Their livelihood is generally based on sea-oriented activities. Until the mid-twentieth century, some of the Bajau were known as "sea nomads" due to their lifestyle, i.e. boat-dwelling. Thus, they represent one of the most distinctive maritime folks in Southeast Asia.

We should not, however, consider their ethnicity as a fixed premise, since a variety of ethnic groups including the local majorities have frequently amalgamated into the Bajau. Here, let us remind that the Bajau have always belonged to the minorities in regions where they live. In the above-mentioned process, the majorities have assumed ethnic label and attributes of the minority. In what socio-ecological settings has such process taken place? This is a question underlining the present study. The study pays particular attention to the case in Kangean Archipelago, East Java, Indonesia.

Decline and restructuring of Gypsies' nomadism in France: beyond the nomadic/sedentary binary

Author: Ryoko Noro(Sachi)  email

Short Abstract

French policy towards Gypsies reflects the stereotypical understanding of their nomadism, as incompatible with sedentarism. This paper examines case studies on how Gypsies today reorganize a new nomadism, in which, nomadic and sedentary lives complement one another.

Long Abstract

Like most of Europe, France has generally tried to assimilate the Gypsies by outlawing nomadism. However, in 1990 and 2000, French government enacted the 'Besson Law', which requires that every municipality over 5000 residents create 'welcoming areas (halting sites)' for them.

This law, which is intended to protect Gypsies' traditional lifestyle, represents a significant change in the policy toward this population. But, as a result, many Gypsies today have been forced to stop travelling and to settle under difficult conditions. To understand this apparently paradoxical situation, this paper presents the two case studies about the 'welcoming areas' and the 'terrain familial (site privately owned by Gypsies for the purposes of parking caravans)' in the south-west of France, and shows how the failure of this policy reflects the stereotypical understanding of Gypsies' nomadism, as unable to fit into the sedentary life.

Reproducing the nomadic/sedentary binary which frames Gypsies as 'homeless wanderers', French policymakers ignore the importance of the 'fixed home' in their mobile practices. Gypsies, living in 'welcoming areas' with no legal right of exclusive possession, hesitate to travel for fear that if they leave, they will not be able to go back and have nowhere to go.

An important point is that Gypsies settling in the 'terrain familial' have adopted a new nomadism, in which, nomadic and sedentary lives complement one another. The 'terrain familial' enables them to travel and to work whenever they want to. It shows an adaptation that is different from the vision of policymakers.

Mobility and sedentarization among the Philippine Agta

Author: Tessa Minter (Leiden University)  email

Short Abstract

This paper documents mobility and sedentarization of the Philippine Agta. It explores 1) the drivers and patterns of Agta mobility 2) its relation with past and current development policies towards sedentarization 3) ongoing shifts in Agta settlement patterns as a consequence of recent events.

Long Abstract

This paper provides an ethnography of Agta mobility, based on field work conducted in the northern Philippines over the past decade. The Agta are a population of about 10,000 people, living in small settlements spread out along the coasts and mountain-interior of northeastern Luzon. They largely follow a hunting-fishing and gathering lifestyle, which includes a relatively mobile settlement pattern. Firstly, this paper aims to document Agta mobility by exploring its drivers and by showing how it is both facilitated and limited by kinship relations. It will also discuss how mobility varies regionally and seasonally. Secondly, the paper will focus on Agta mobility in relation to development policies in the Philippines. This will include a discussion of past and recent efforts at sedentarization, as well as government's misconceptions of Agta mobility in relation to ongoing ancestral land titling processes. Finally, the paper will explore ongoing and future developments that are likely to influence Agta mobility. These concern Agta parents' recent emphasis on enrolling their children in formal education and the approval of a road construction project that will traverse Agta living areas. An underlying question of the paper is how anthropological knowledge on mobility could contribute to improved policy formulation.

Sedentism and technological variables among hunter-gatherers of the Malay Peninsula

Author: Aya Kawai (Chiba University)  email

Short Abstract

A correlation between sedentism of hunter-gatherers and the technological variable related to food storage has been argued. This presentation reports other kinds of technological variables among Bateq people, who are hunter-gatherers and traders of forest products in the Malay Peninsula.

Long Abstract

Studies of hunter-gatherers have argued a correlation between sedentism and the technological variable related to food storage. Research on Kalahari hunter-gatherers has shown that groups of men traveled long distances to hunt large amounts of meat for prolonged consumption. Increasing dependence on food storage and change in labor structure occur with mobility reduction. However, some hunter-gathers reduce their mobility without enhancing reliance on food storage. This presentation examines sedentism and technological changes from a case study of nomadic, hunter-gather of the Malay Peninsula.

About 200 persons who speak Bateq language live in the Kuala Koh reserve settled by the Malaysian government. It is located near an oil palm plantation and the Taman Negara National Park. They obtain food by hunting, gathering, and purchasing from stores or peddlers. The largest animal hunted during the research period was a leaf monkey, and it was consumed in two days. They trade forest products, and men often travel far from the reservation with a trader's car, and camp to collect forest products. During this period, women stay in the reserve with their children.

However, they also make family camps in the forest. The settlement becomes uninhabited after the end of rainy season and during the fruit season. The ratio of hunted or gathered food to the purchased food of their diet changes with their place of residence. The adoption of mobile phones to call traders and peddlers, and the new transportation options, are associated with sedentism.

Sedentarization and population growth of Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia

Author: Shingo Odani (Chiba University)  email

Short Abstract

This study focuses on the demographic dynamics of an Orang Asli community in Peninsular Malaysia. Their TFR ranges from 6.85 to 9.05, suggesting rapid population growth. Analysis of their behavior and circumstances indicates that sedentrarization and subsistence transition relate to population growth.

Long Abstract

This study focuses demographic dynamics of an Orang Asli community in Peninsular Malaysia, in relation to sedentarization and subsistence transition. The subjects are the Bateq and the Mendriq in Pos Lebir "village" in the state of Kelantan. They had been reported nomadic hunter gatherer, however, under the relocation policies have been forced to sedentarize. In the past hunting and gathering were practiced for their daily consumption, while in recent hunting and gathering are conducted for cash earning.

Such sedentarization and subsistence transition will influence behavioral factors of reproduction, for example female activities are limited around the permanent "village". Changes in behavioral factors will effect on population growth. In addition, nutritional statuses have changed because of subsistence transition, and hygiene statuses have improved by health services provided with sedentarization such as preventive injection.

At first, their demographic features were analyzed, referring the censuses of Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli and Jabatan Purankaan. However, censuses of two departments often mismatched caused by various factors. Participant observation and direct interview complemented the mismatch data. As results, TFR ranges from 6.85 to 9.05, suggesting rapid population growth in this community.

Comparison of these features with quantitative and qualitative data of their behavior and circumstances indicates that sedentrarization and subsistence transition relate to population growth. Reviewing preceding studies, population dynamics of hunter gatherers in modern world are discussed. In addition, problems accompanied by population growth, such as unemployment or conflicts of land will be discussed.

Process and effects of sedentarization among nomadic shifting cultivators: case from the Majangir, lowland Ethiopia

Author: Ren'ya Sato (Kyushu University)  email

Short Abstract

In this study, the process of sedentarization among shifting cultivators in lowland Ethiopia (the Majangir) is described to discuss how/why they accepted the sedentarization policy, as well as to examine how their life history/fertility, subsistence economy and worldview changed through/after sedentarization.

Long Abstract

In this study, the process of sedentarization among shifting cultivators in lowland Ethiopia (the Majangir) is described to discuss how/why they accepted the sedentarization policy, as well as to examine how their life history/fertility, subsistence economy and worldview changed through/after sedentarization.

The majangir live in the densely forested area of the Southwestern Ethiopia and have been engaged in shifting cultivation, honey collecting and hunting. The condition, under which the imperial regime could not keep social order in periphery and slave trade remained, constrained the Majanigr to live dispersedly in the forest and move frequently until the middle of 20th century. When the socialist regime (1974-1991) initiated sedentarization policy in the end of 1970s, however, they tied into making sedentary villages.

The younger generation in their twenties and thirties, who had become a believers of Christianity under the influence of foreign evangelical missionaries in 1960s, played an important role in the promotion of sedentarization. As a background of their positive commitment to sedentarization, their desire for peace must be noted. People had suffered from various kinds of social conflicts that often caused their nomadic settlement pattern many decades of years and welcomed stable governmental power, though the socialist regime ended a dozen of years after.

After they settled in sedentary villages, the life of them changed variously, though they continued shifting cultivation as a main subsistence. I mainly discuss their change from three dimensions: subsistence economy (including engagement in cash economy), life history (especially reproductive schedule and fertility) and worldview.

Not foragers, not not-foragers: the case of the Omaheke Ju/'hoansi

Author: Velina Ninkova (University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway)  email

Short Abstract

Analysis of the role of the foraging ethos among sedentary former hunter gatherers in the Kalahari.

Long Abstract

The paper looks at a group of settled Ju/'hoansi (San) in the Omaheke region, Namibia, who had been forced to abandon their traditional foraging lifestyle, and had been incorporated at the bottom of an exploitive ethnically segregated labor system. After Independence in 1990 the discourse has shifted from 'segregation' to 'participation', and the Omaheke Ju/'hoansi have been provided with increased access to formal education, health services, food relief schemes, etc. These 'developments' have had little positive effects in practice, and the Ju/'hoansi's pre-sedentary kin organization has remained their most significant source of economic and social stability. The analysis invites for a broader understanding of the foraging ethos as not only rooted in practices related to food production but also as one pertaining to social and kin organization, and its implications for recent former hunter gatherers.

Living without the forest: strategy adaptation of Orang Rimba in sedentary life

Author: Adi Prasetijo (Diponegoro University)  email

Short Abstract

This paper will focus on the adaptation of Orang Rimba toward the changes that they met. They change their lifestyle from hunting gathering to a sedentary. This paper will then discuss how Orang Rimba deal with these changes and how their future, to live without the forest.

Long Abstract

Orang Rimba is one of the hunter-gatherer groups in Indonesia. They are considered by the government as isolated people who are underdeveloped, poor, and isolated. They live in the remaining forest in Jambi, Indonesia. Their population is currently about 3,650 people spread across Jambi.

They relies on their live on forests. Forests not only work as a place to live to make a living but also as a source of their cultural values. Forests serve as the basis of their cultural identity. But in the 90s, Jambi changes. The conversion of forestland to the settlements and plantations was gone rapidly.This circumstance has led them to adapt to live without forest.

They began to change the pattern of their life to settle. The government also saw the life does not comply with the normal values that have to be adjusted to a standard like other ethnic groups. Therefore, they were driven to adjust to the resettlement program. The program not only drives them in physical action but culturally as well. They were required to follow the values and standards of living of other ethnic group.

This paper will focus to the adaptation of Orang Rimba toward the changes that they met. They change their lifestyle from hunting gathering to a sedentary. This change requires a change in behavioral, socio-cultural, and religious and their values. This paper will then be discussed how Orang Rimba to deal with these changes and how their future, to live without the forest.

Hunter-gatherers' sociality and sedentarization: a case study of the Mlabri in Northern Thailand

Author: Shu Nimonjiya (Tokyo Metropolitan University)  email

Short Abstract

The aims of this paper are to examine nomadic hunter-gatherers' sociality toward sedentarization, and to argue there is a fundamentally different thought on the implication of sedentarization between the government and the people, through an empirical case study of the Mlabri in Northern Thailand.

Long Abstract

Regardless positive or negative, the change from nomadic life to sedentary life has brought various impacts to nomadic hunter-gatherers' lives, but it depends not only on whether voluntary or involuntary but also on their socio-cultural, political, and economic situations what kinds of impacts affects their lives. In Northern Thailand, there are many ethnic groups, who are ethnically, culturally, and linguistically different with the lowland Thai. Most of them are traditionally known as famers, practicing swidden cultivation, but there is the only (post-) hunter-gatherers, the Mlabri. While they have been lived in Northern Thailand since the last 19th century, the Thai government officially recognized them as an ethnic group in the country and tried to sedentarize them under the name of development since the mid 1980s. The government's original plans, however, were not as good as they expected because they did not prefer to stay in one place permanently. Today, it seems that they live sedentary life on the surface, but, according to my own fieldwork, I have founded that they still have an inclination to move in various ways because it is closely associated to their sociality. Thus this paper will examine their "tactics" which is important to live as the "Mlabri" in the new lifestyle with revealing the historical background of sedentarization as the government policy, and argue that there is a fundamentally different thought on the implication of sedentarization between the government and the Mlabri to discuss the validity of sedentism.

Sedentarization and namadism: the political ecology of the hunter-gatherers in Sarawak

Author: Kentaro Kanazawa  email

Short Abstract

The state government of Sarawak is implementing the measures turned to sedentarization to some groups of hunter-gatherer, Penen. How does Penan consider the changes of their lifestyle and correspond with them? This paper examines the questions from an analytical framework of political ecology.

Long Abstract

It was reported 25 years ago that the nomadic hunter-gatherer Penan people in the Malaysian state of Sarawak were around 400. But in these 25 years commercial logging of tropical rain forests reaches even the deepest part of Borneo Island, and primary forests were almost logged exhaustively. After the logging roads were constructed, and external actors such as state government, timber companies and NGOs frequently came back and forth. The contacts between the Penan and outside peoples are on the rise. There are some people who expecting sedentary life now. In 1987, a report which was drafted by an advisory team from the Sarawak State Cabinet Committee on Penan Affairs stated that "the Penan practice sustainable use of resources in balance with the ecosystem, and their livelihood must be supported by rainforest conservation policy". However, the proposal of the advisory team was not adopted, and it was replaced with the development programs by the state government, and "community development services" such as the construction of the longhouses and the setting of the service centers came to be carried out to some groups instead based on the concept of "modernization of the lifestyle". While the forest environment is dramatically changing, how are the nomadic people continuing on with their life? This paper examines from an analytical framework of political ecology.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.