Development and pastoralists (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)

Location 103
Date and Start Time 15 May, 2014 at 17:30


Kazuyuki Watanabe (Ritsmeikan University) email
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Short Abstract

This session includes discussion of the two sides of development. First, effects of development and responses of pastoralists are clarified. The second aim is to discuss the development of pastoralists. This session examines and compares aspects of the sustainability of pastoralism.

Long Abstract

Development has become an indispensable theme underpinning the study of pastoralists today. First, pastoralists encounter various aspects of development: prohibition from use of pastures, limitation of migration routes, changing environments, water shortages, livestock losses, the shrinking number of young people willing to continue pastoralism, etc. Second, societies of pastoralist have changed considerably. In most places, pastoralism became not a major option for pastoralists. Instead, labor migration and factory work are increasing among people of post-pastoral societies. Practices of pastoralism have also changed. Some nomads have become cattle keepers in fenced pastures. Other transhumant herders have become daily grazing herders. This session includes discussion of the two sides of development. First, effects of development and responses of pastoralists are clarified. What impacts do they suffer from development? How do they try to overcome those difficulties? Practices of pastoralists are compared. The second aim is to discuss the development of pastoralists. Even if types of pastoralism change, will pastoralism continue through the 21st century? Even if pastoralists stop pastoralism, will they retain their identity as pastoralists? This session examines and compares aspects of the sustainability of pastoralism.

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Surviving of pastoralism through development: some cases of Himalayan transhumant herders

Author: Kazuyuki Watanabe (Ritsmeikan University)  email

Short Abstract

This paper aims to consider why Himalayan transhumance is not stopped in site of the situations so many herders retired from pastoralism by effects from development.

Long Abstract

Development has not been favorable word for the scholars who hope survival of pastoralism. Actually, among few decades, so many pastoralists retired from pastoralism because of spread of motorization or migration labor, enclosure of pasture or state restriction for grazing, and sedentarization, etc. However, not all pastoralists stopped pastoralism even among shrinking of pastoralism. In case of Himalayan region, pastoralism is vanished in lower villages but surviving in higher villages adjacent to alpine pasture. Old aged transhumant herders continue pastoralism even he retired from agriculture. Mountain routes of trans-Himalayan trading route, which is used for salt-grain trading caravan, is used by pack animal for tourists now. Spread of migration labor absorbed so many herders, but some herders increased size of animal which is sold from retired herders. Restriction of grazing is not easy as before, but area of pasture is increasing because un-cultivating land, which is products of short of labor in mountain farmers, became forests among a decade. State unusually considers for the welfare of pastoralists. As a result of pastoralists claimed forest conservation program become difficult to access of pasture, state provided pastoral development program which includes medicine of livestock. Price of livestock products is increased as other foods. Mountain is good area for pastoralism. Unproduced land for agriculture can be used for pasture, and small land farmer can get supplemented income from livestock. Future of pastoralist is still uncertain, but it will continue as one of mountain economy until when mountain people still needs it.

Changes in the pastoralism of Merak, in the far-eastern highlands of Bhutan, and their historical and social background

Author: Tetsuya Inamura (The Open University of Japan)  email

Short Abstract

Herders in Merak used to raise only yaks and their hybrids, but recently they raise jatsams (hybrids between local cattle and muthun bull), “jatsam zoms” (hybrids between jatsam and yak bull) and other types of hybrids. We discuss the historical and social factors of this change.

Long Abstract

Herders in Merak, in the far-eastern highlands of Bhutan, traditionally used to raise only yaks and their hybrids, but about 60 years ago they introduced jatsams (hybrids between local cattle and mithun bulls) and mithun bulls from downstream villages. In recent years they are raising increasing numbers of jatsams, jatsam zoms (hybrids between jatsams and yak bulls), yangkum zoms and other types of hybrids (including multiple crosses of yaks, local cattle, and mithuns). One factor that has led to these changes is a lack of Goleng bulls (a Tibetan breed of cattle) due to the border conflict that erupted between China and India in 1962 and the resulting cessation of trade with Tibet. Another is the decrease and deterioration of high pastureland for yak grazing and the pressure of population increase, which has led to a demand for animals that can be pastured in lowland pastures. Yet another factor is economic. Jatsams and local cattle are easy to obtain, jatsam zoms produce large quantities of milk, and through backcrossing with mithun the reproduction of jatsam zoms has become possible. These changes coincide with the needs of herders who require more cash than in the past because of the introduction of a market economy. The diversification of raised animals, especially new type of hybrids, is an unique strategy of adaptation by the herders of Merak to their historical and social circumstances.

The changes of the notion of land of Khanty in oil development in north-western Siberia

Author: Yuka Oishi (Tokyo Metropolitan University)  email

Short Abstract

This paper examines how the notion of land of Khanty in north-western Siberia has changed through soviet collectivization and oil development, to consider relationships between land and man with long-term perspective.

Long Abstract

Oil and gas industry in north-western Siberia has been developing since 1960's and nowadays these extractive industries of this area became one of the important parts of worldwide oil and gas production. On the other hand, indigenous peoples known as Khanty and Forest Nenets live in this oilfield and practice reindeer herding, fishing and hunting. Oil development has negative and positive effects on Khanty's life, as reduction of pastures, changing environments and chance of employment by oil company.

In this paper, author focus on the historical changes of land notion of Khanty people with a long-term perspective in soviet collectivization and oil development. First, she looks at changes of the meaning of the Russian term, 'rodvye ugod'ia (translated to kin land or family territories)' to show the process which the word got to be used in contracts for oil exploring. Second, she examines the policy history of oil development and inhabitant's reactions to it, and compares the notion of land of Khanty and the legal term of land. Finally, she demonstrates that the 'rodvye ugod'ia' had the religious meaning and borders of actual land use, but after the change of the ways of land use in the soviet period, the borders of the notion of land became fixed in its contracts and polices of oil development.

Relationships between pastoral community and agriculturalists in Rajasthan, India

Author: Hidetoshi Miyazaki  email

Short Abstract

We conducted a survey to clarify the co-relationship between pastoral community and agriculturalists through resource use in Rajasthan, India. As a result, we suspect that there is a possibility for improvement to solve the difficulty of seasonal migration.

Long Abstract

Purpose of this presentation is to clarify co-relationship between pastoral community and agriculturalists through resource use and to solve difficulty of seasonal migration.

In Rajasthan, agricultural lands were increased in contrast fallow lands and forest areas were decreased because of population growth. Population growth also results in agricultural land segmentation.

Pastoral community has based on a seasonal migration to search forage and water during the dry season. Their animals were grazed in area owned by the government and agriculturalists. However it is difficult to migrate because of conflict against lands and water between pastoral community and agriculturalists.

Agriculturalists apply manure in agricultural lands to increase production. However, they could not get enough manure because of small number of animals. Thus, some agriculturalists co-relate with migrating pastoral community to supply animal dung and urine in their agricultural lands.

Research was conducted in 2013 in two villages located in Rajasthan, India. One is the pastoral community settled. Another is one of the villages which pastoral community camped in seasonal migration. The author interviewed about resource management and their relationships including rule of resource use and contract.

Results revealed several key findings 1) pastoral community camped in at some agricultural land owned different agriculturalists within the village, 2) staying period depends on forest resource around camp therefore there are some agricultural lands did not gain enough animal dung and urine.

Sedentarizing process and socio-economic changes of Mlabri hunter-gatherers in Thailand

Authors: Shinsuke Nakai (National Museum of Ethnology)  email
Kazunobu Ikeya (National Museum of Ethnology)  email

Short Abstract

This study describes the sedentarizing process and socio-economic changes of the Mlabri hunter–gatherer people under the political influence of the Thai government, although they continued their nomadic life in the forest until the end of the 1990s.

Long Abstract

This study examines the sedentarizing process and socio-economic changes of the Mlabri hunter-gatherer people under the political influence of the Thai government, although most continued their nomadic life in mountain forests from the 19th century until the end of 1990s. We started fieldwork in 2003 at four Mlabri settlements in Thailand, conducting fieldwork specifically examining the Huai Yuak settlement in Nan province. During ten years, we repeated short annual visits there. Results of this study underscore the following three points: 1) Mlabri people started settling down at the end of 1990s, but they still show somewhat nomadic characteristics such as the micro-transfer of their homes inside of the settlement and temporary stays in other settlements; 2) Mlabri people exhibited the greatest change in terms of socio-economic lifestyle, induced by several developmental policies and NGO activities after settling down, especially by policies of the Thai royal family project, which started in 2007; and 3) a changing interaction became identifiable among local residents of the four Mlabri settlements.

Sedentarization and the creation of alternative livelihoods among Saho pastoralists in Eritrea

Author: Robel Gebru (Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University)  email

Short Abstract

Sedentarization and the creation of alternative means of livelihood are two mutual and interconnected aspects in the study of the process of transformation of the traditional mode of pastoralism into modern life ways in the Horn of Africa that is caused by social and natural factors.

Long Abstract

Like many postcolonial states, the 'common tragedy' perception towards pastoralists characterizes the development policy in Eritrea. Despite the fact that more than 70% of the total land is geographically and climatically unfavorable for cultivation, Eritrea remains committed towards sedentarization of pastoral and nomadic societies. Moreover, environmental and political problems also contributed to the reduction of pastoral communities Eritrea. Sedentarization thus is the result of multiple intertwined factors including state policy, environment degradation, recurrent drought, political and social unrest.

Sedentarization in Eritrea started during the armed struggle in the liberated areas and was promoted to a large scale after independence in 1991 in the dryland and semi-desert part of the country. Some of the major sedentarization centers in Eritrea include Qohaito in 1993, Afambo 1998, Habero 2000 and so on. The reduction or complete abandonment of pastoral mobility stimulates the necessity of the provision of alternative mode of subsistence by the government to the 'displaced pastoralists' to support the new and modernized life. Qohaito is one of the earliest sedentarization centers in the southern highlands of the Eritrea. Since the establishment of permanent settlement in Qohaito in 1993 the villagers began to diversify their subsistence base including; regular cultivation, chicken and bee farms, trade, employment and participation in food for work projects. This research paper will discuss the social and administrative processes of sedentarization in Qohaito, and formulate an argument on how alternative means of livelihood is created for former pastoral societies in Eritrea and Horn of Africa in general.

Reconsidering spatiality of nomadic pastoralists: the case of East African pastoral society

Author: Shinya Konaka (University of Shizuoka)  email

Short Abstract

In recent years, besides the sedentarization, the use of assault rifles and mobile phones brought another turning point to the spatiality of nomadic pastoralists in East Africa. This paper explores transformations of spatiality of pastoralists with an ethnographic case study in East Africa.

Long Abstract

The spatiality of African nomadic pastoralists has been mainly considered from the viewpoint of sedentarization process. However, in recent years, assault rifles and mobile phones, both are products of globalization, brought another turning point to the spatiality of nomadic pastoralists in East Africa. This paper explores transformations of spatiality of semi-nomadic pastoralists after the impact of globalization with an ethnographic case study of East African pastoral society.

The primary weapons in East African pastoral societies were once spears and arrows. However, the influx of assault rifles to the area sharply increased after the 1990s. The threat of assault rifles mobilized nomadic pastoralists who once preferred to settle down. However, pastoralists returned to their land with the construction of clustered settlements. It is the "front line" of the conflict, and visibly demonstrates their territory. But, this led to the concentration of human and livestock population. Therefore, once pastoralists became more nomadic, when they evacuated. But, after that, they aggregated more densely than before.

Mobile phone also added new factors to the spatiality. Mobile phone enabled pastoralists to exchange more information beyond their living space. Mobile phones enabled the mobilization of many warriors from a wider area at short notice. The use of mobile phones rapidly expanded the conflict at a speed never experienced before in this area. Therefore, mobile phones caused "the time-space compression."

The case studies of this paper will show us a clue to reconsider the new spatiality of African nomadic pastoralists beyond the simple sedentarization model.

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