188.8.131.52 Migratory Herding
In this form of livestock industry, the animals are periodically
driven to the pasture grounds. There are several types. In
the case of mountain grazing or alpine cattle keeping,
the livestock is kept in stables located in the valley during
the winter; in the summer they are driven to the mountains
by hired hands or family members who tend them and keep them
there to graze. Transhumance is characterized by periodic
migrations with herds that belong to owners who live in a
permanent settlement. The herds migrate between two climatic
zones that have very different conditions (e.g., mountains
and lowlands). Therefore it is not necessary to feed in stables
during the winter. This form is found in all parts of the
world and makes use of marginal areas. Pastoral nomadism
is the wandering of social groups (clans, extended families)
with their herds through tribal territory that serves them
as pasture lands and that is often theirs more on the basis
of tradition and domination than legally defined.
The insecurity involved in an existence in marginal regions
forces the groups to be strongly tied together in order to
protect grazing and water rights. The leadership of the group,
therefore, demands strictly observed loyalty on the part of
the group members, while the leader gives patronage and protection.
The indivual families are principally equal.
Social differentiation is the result of a process of superior
position of permanently settled cultivators with whom the
nomads avoid integration by means of a special code of honour
and closed marriage circles.
The right of use for the grazing areas is in the hands of
the tribes, while the animals belong to the individual families.
This differentiation results easily in the land being overgrazed
if grazing land grows scarce. The tendency exists, namely,
to own a herd with as many animals as possible and not to
try to achieve high performance. The livestock is not only
the basis on which the group's own needs are met and a security
against times of crises, but it is at the same time the only
form of maintaining a food buffer stock in a nomadic way of
life. It creates, furthermore, prestige; serves as a source
of gifts needed to meet social obligations, and to pay the
bride price for the purpose of tying social relationships
that, once again, serve as a means of securing the existence
of the group.
In many cases, there are economic ties to the settled population.
This is necessary to meet the demand for non-animal products.
In recent times, cereal cultivation by tenants and farm hands
Migratory herding is of great importance for reclamation
of desert and marginal regions as well as transport and trade
routes. The production is, however, low and the land is frequently
devastated by being over grazed. It is difficult to motivate
the tribal groups to change their mode of production. This
is namely at the same time their way of life, and a change
would include settling. Efforts taken in this direction have,
however, little success as this transition would mean the
necessity of taking up field cultivation, which is not respected,
and giving up their elite position in other words turning
away from the traditional culture.