The second volume in the American Historical Association's global history series introduces readers to the cross-cultural study of ancient and classical civilizations. The opening essay by Jerry Bentley surveys methodologies and critical interpretations that have been essential to the development of comparative historical analysis. These include contributions from the fields of sociology, archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology, and recent investigative practices that honor previously neglected groups and validate testimony passed down through oral traditions. The first set of essays highlight predominant themes in global history by examining the ongoing interactions between ancient agrarian and nomadic societies as well as the impact of these exchanges on economic development and cross-cultural adaptation. The essays in the second section focus on regional patterns in the dissemination of ideas, institutions, and material culture.
By highlighting key historical transitions and recurring cultural patterns, this book provides an engaging introduction to the complexities of human development. Written by leading scholars in the field, the historiographic essays in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History offer students and teachers a comprehensive overview of the arguments, applications, and resources that inform comparative global history.
A Bedouin asking a fellow tribesman about grazing conditions in other parts of the country says first simply, “Fih hayah?” or “Is there life?” A desert Arab’s knowledge of the sparse vegetation is tied directly to his life and livelihood.
Bedouin Ethnobotany offers the first detailed study of plant uses among the Najdi Arabic–speaking tribal peoples of eastern Saudi Arabia. It also makes a major contribution to the larger project of ethnobotany by describing aspects of a nomadic peoples’ conceptual relationships with the plants of their homeland.
The modern theoretical basis for studies of the folk classification and nomenclature of plants was developed from accounts of peoples who were small-scale agriculturists and, to a lesser extent, hunter-gatherers. This book fills a major gap by extending such study into the world of the nomadic pastoralist and exploring the extent to which these patterns are valid for another major subsistence type. James P. Mandaville, an Arabic speaker who lived in Saudi Arabia for many years, focuses first on the role of plants in Bedouin life, explaining their uses for livestock forage, firewood, medicinals, food, and dyestuffs, and examining other practical purposes. He then explicates the conceptual and linguistic aspects of his subject, applying the theory developed by Brent Berlin and others to a previously unstudied population. Mandaville also looks at the long history of Bedouin plant nomenclature, finding that very little has changed among the names and classifications in nearly eleven centuries.
An essential volume for anyone interested in the interaction between human culture and plant life, Bedouin Ethnobotany will stand as a definitive source for years to come.
The Ecology of Pastoralism
P. Nick Kardulias University Press of Colorado, 2015 Library of Congress SF140.P38E36 2015 | Dewey Decimal 636.0845
In The Ecology of Pastoralism, diverse contributions from archaeologists and ethnographers address pastoralism’s significant impact on humanity’s basic subsistence and survival, focusing on the network of social, political, and religious institutions existing within various societies dependent on animal husbandry.
Pastoral peoples, both past and present, have organized their relationships with certain animals to maximize their ability to survive and adapt to a wide range of conditions over time. Contributors show that despite differences in landscape, environment, and administrative and political structures, these societies share a major characteristic—high flexibility. Based partially on the adaptability of various domestic animals to difficult environments and partially on the ability of people to establish networks allowing them to accommodate political, social, and economic needs, this flexibility is key to the survival of complex pastoral systems and serves as the connection among the varied cultures in the volume.
In The Ecology of Pastoralism, a variety of case studies from a broad geographic sampling uses archaeological and contemporary data and offers a new perspective on the study of pastoralism, making this volume a valuable contribution to current research in the area.
Those who herd in the vast grassland region of Inner Asia face a precarious situation as they struggle to respond to the momentous political and economic changes of recent years. In The End of Nomadism? Caroline Humphrey and David Sneath confront the romantic, ahistorical myth of the wandering nomad by revealing the complex lives and the significant impact on Asian culture of these modern “mobile pastoralists.” In their examination of the present and future of pastoralism, the authors recount the extensive and quite sudden social, political, environmental, and economic changes of recent years that have forced these peoples to respond and evolve in order to maintain their centuries-old way of life. Using extensive and detailed case studies comparing pastoralism in Siberian Russia, Mongolia, and Northwest China, Humphrey and Sneath explore the different paths taken by nomads in these countries in reaction to a changing world. In examining how each culture is facing not only different prospects for sustainability but also different environmental problems, the authors come to the surprising conclusion that mobility can, in fact, be compatible with a modern and urbanized world. While placing emphasis on the social and cultural traditions of Inner Asia and their fate in the post-Socialist economies of the present, The End of Nomadism? investigates the changing nature of pastoralism by focusing on key areas under environmental threat and relating the ongoing problems to distinctive socioeconomic policies and practices in Russia and China. It also provides lively contemporary commentary on current economic dilemmas by revealing in telling detail, for instance, the struggle of one extended family to make a living. This book will interest Central Asian, Russian, and Chinese specialists, as well as those studying the environment, anthropology, sociology, peasant studies, and ecology.
Social scientists theorizing about political economy and the allocation of resources have usually omitted migrant communities from their studies. In Greener Pastures Arun Agrawal uses the story of the Raikas, a little-known group of migrant shepherds in western India, to reexamine current scholarship on markets and exchange, local and state politics, and community and hierarchy. The Raikas are virtually invisible in the regions through which they travel, as well as to the wider Indian society, yet they must operate as part of these larger spheres for their economic survival.
Agrawal analyzes the institutions developed by the shepherds to solve livelihood problems. First, by focusing on the relations of the shepherds with their landholder neighbors, he explains why the shepherds migrate. He shows that struggles between these two groups led to a sociopolitical squeeze on the access of shepherds to the fodder resources they need to feed their sheep. Then, in an examination of why the shepherds migrate in groups, he demonstrates how their migratory lives depend on market exchanges and points to the social and political forces that influence prices and determine profits. Finally, he looks at decision-making processes such as division of labor and the delegation of power. Politics is ubiquitous in the interactions of the shepherds with their neighbors and with state officials, in their exchanges in markets and with farmers, and in their internal relations as a community.
Interspersing the words of the Raikas themselves with a sophisticated deployment of political theory, Agrawal has produced a volume that will interest scholars in a broad range of academic disciplines, including Asian studies, political science, human ecology, anthropology, comparative politics, rural sociology, and environmental studies and policy.
A Baluch tribesman follows his goats as they search for a bit of vegetation; a Turkana youth guards his father's cattle against theft by raiders.... These pastoral inhabitants of mountain and desert waste are considered to be among the most geographically, economically, and politically peripheral of peoples, yet they are not entirely isolated from broader sociopolitical and economic forces. The lives of modern pastoralists are greatly affected by the policies of nations and the demands of world markets. They may face military control, forced settlement, stock reduction programs, or even efforts at "development" by governments claiming sovereignty over the lands they roam.
The authors of this collection of essays examine the impact of capitalism on nineteenth- and early twentieth century pastoralists and discuss the historical transformations that have occurred in the lives and societies of herding peoples around the world. They argue that pastoralists were not simply passive recipients of change imposed by capitalist polities and that historical and economic factors impinging on their societies were as important as ecological ones. Collectively, these papers demonstrate that twentieth-century pastoralists and their nineteenth-century predecessors should not be seen as immutably locked in a pastoral "mode of production" but rather as actively negotiating encounters between themselves and the expanding power of capitalist states.
Eastern African pastoralists often present themselves as being egalitarian, equating cattle ownership with wealth. By this definition “the poor are not us”, poverty is confined to non-pastoralist, socially excluded persons and groups.
Exploring this notion means discovering something about self-perceptions and community consciousness, how pastoralist identity has been made in opposition to other modes of production, how pastoralists want others to see them and how they see themselves.
This collection rejects the premise of pastoral egalitarianism and poses questions about the gradual creep of poverty, changing patterns of wealth and accumulation, the impact of diminishing resources on pastoral communities and the impact of external values of land, labor, and livestock.
The dominant trend in pastoralist studies has long assumed that pastoralism and pastoral gender relations are inherently patriarchal. The contributors to this collection, in contrast, use diverse analytic approaches to demonstrate that pastoralist gender relations are dynamic, relational, historical, and produced through complex local-translocal interactions. Combining theoretically sophisticated analysis with detailed case studies, this collection will appeal to those doing research and teaching in African studies, gender studies, anthropology, and history. Among the topics discussed are pastoralism, patriarchy, and history among Maasai in Tanganyika; women's roles in peacemaking in Somali society; the fertility of houses and herds; gender, aging, and postchildbearing experience in a Tuareg community; and milk selling among Fulani women in Northern Burkina Faso.