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A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s,
pastoral nomads Nomadic pastoralism is a form of pastoralism when livestock are herding, herded in order to seek for fresh pastures on which to Grazing, graze. True nomads follow an irregular pattern of movement, in contrast with transhumance where seasonal pastur ...
(owning
livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictabl ...
), and
tinker Tinker or tinkerer is an archaic term for an itinerant An itinerant is a person who travels habitually. Itinerant may refer to: *"Travellers" or itinerant groups in Europe *Itinerant preacher, also known as itinerant minister *Travelling sale ...

tinker
s or
trader
trader
nomads. In the twentieth century, population of nomadic pastoral tribes slowly decreased, reaching to an estimated 30–40 million nomads in the world . Nomadic hunting and gathering—following seasonally available wild plants and game—is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Pastoralists raise herds, driving or accompanying in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. Nomadism is also a
lifestyle Lifestyle often refers to: * Lifestyle (sociology), the way a person lives * ''Otium'', ancient Roman concept of a lifestyle * Style of life (german: Lebensstil), dealing with the dynamics of personality Lifestyle may also refer to: Business and ...
adapted to infertile regions such as
steppe In physical geography, a steppe () is an ecoregion characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes. Steppe biomes may include: * the montane grasslands and shrublands biome * the temperate grassland ...

steppe
,
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα ...

tundra
, or
ice and sand
ice and sand
, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources. For example, many groups living in the tundra are
reindeer herders The reindeer (''Rangifer tarandus''), also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North ...
and are semi-extra nomadic, following forage for their animals. Sometimes also described as "nomadic" are the various
itinerant An itinerant is a person who travels habitually. Itinerant may refer to: *"Travellers" or itinerant groups in Europe *Itinerant preacher, also known as itinerant minister *Travelling salespeople, see door-to-door, hawker (trade), hawker, and peddler ...
populations who move among densely populated areas to offer specialized services (
craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself wit ...
s or
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

trade
s) to their residents—external
consultant A consultant (from la, consultare "to deliberate") is a professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and tr ...
s, for example. These groups are known as " peripatetic nomads".


Common characteristics

A nomad is a person with no settled home, moving from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word "nomad" comes ultimately from the classical Greek word νομάς (''nomás'', "roaming, wandering, especially to find pasture"), from Ancient Greek νομός (''nomós'', "pasture"). Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Animals include camels, horses and alpaca. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Some nomads may live in homes or homeless shelters, though this would necessarily be on a temporary or itinerant basis. Nomads keep moving for different reasons. Nomadic foragers move in search of game, edible plants, and water. Aboriginal Australians,
Negrito The term Negrito () refers to several diverse ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical so ...

Negrito
s of Southeast Asia, and
San
San
of Africa, for example, traditionally move from camp to camp to hunt and gather wild plants. Some tribes of the Americas followed this way of life. Pastoral nomads, on the other hand, make their living raising livestock such as camels, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or yaks; these nomads usually travel in search of pastures for their flocks. The
Fulani The Fula, Fulani, or Fulɓe people ( ff, Fulɓe, ; french: Peul, links=no; ha, Fulani or Hilani; pt, Fula, links=no; wo, Pël; bm, Fulaw) are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel The Sahel (; ar, ساحل ' , "coast, shore") is ...
and their cattle travel through the grasslands of
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
in western Africa. Some nomadic peoples, especially herders, may also move to raid settled communities or to avoid enemies. Nomadic craftworkers and merchants travel to find and serve customers. They include the
LoharLohar or ''Lohara'' or Panchal or BlackSmith also called iron workers are social group of people in india. They are mainly associated with work as blacksmiths. The term lohar was mainly originated for blacksmith, weapon caster associated with hindu ...

Lohar
blacksmiths of India, the
Romani Romani may refer to: Ethnicities *Romani people The Romani (), also known as the Roma, are an Indo-Aryan people, traditionally nomadic itinerants living mostly in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several ...

Romani
traders, Scottish travelers, Irish travelers. Most nomads travel in groups of families, bands, or
tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living o ...

tribes
. These groups are based on kinship and marriage ties or on formal agreements of cooperation. A council of adult males makes most of the decisions, though some tribes have chiefs. In the case of Mongolian nomads, a family moves twice a year. These two movements generally occur during the summer and winter. The winter destination is usually located near the mountains in a valley and most families already have fixed winter locations. Their winter locations have shelter for animals and are not used by other families while they are out. In the summer they move to a more open area that the animals can graze. Most nomads usually move in the same region and don't travel very far to a totally different region. Since they usually circle around a large area, communities form and families generally know where the other ones are. Often, families do not have the resources to move from one province to another unless they are moving out of the area permanently. A family can move on its own or with others; if it moves alone, they are usually no more than a couple of kilometers from each other. The geographical closeness of families is usually for mutual support. Pastoral nomad societies usually do not have a large population. One such society, the
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to the Inner Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, Mongolia an ...

Mongols
, gave rise to the largest land empire in history. The Mongols originally consisted of loosely organized nomadic tribes in Mongolia, Manchuria, and Siberia. In the late 12th century,
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian alphabet, writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most ...

Genghis Khan
united them and other nomadic tribes to found the
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
, which eventually stretched the length of Asia. The nomadic way of life has become increasingly rare. Many countries have converted pastures into cropland and forced nomadic peoples into permanent settlements. Modern forms of nomadic peoples are variously referred to as "shiftless", "
gypsies The Romani people The Romani (), also known as the Roma, are an Indo-Aryan people, traditionally nomadic itinerants living mostly in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally id ...

gypsies
", "
rootless cosmopolitan Rootless cosmopolitan (russian: безродный космополит, translit=bezrodnyi kosmopolit) was a pejorative Soviet epithet which referred mostly to Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or ...
s", hunter-gatherers, refugees and urban
homeless Homelessness is the condition of lacking stable, safe, and adequate housing. People can be categorized as homeless if they are: * living on the streets (primary homelessness); * moving between temporary shelters, including houses of frien ...

homeless
or
street-people
street-people
, depending on their individual circumstances. These terms may be used in a derogatory sense.


Hunter-gatherers

Nomads (also known as foragers) move from campsite to campsite, following
game A game is a structured form of play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content serv ...
and wild
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
s and
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers A flower, som ...

vegetable
s. Hunting and gathering describes early people's subsistence living style. Following the development of agriculture, most hunter-gatherers were eventually either displaced or converted to farming or pastoralist groups. Only a few contemporary societies are classified as hunter-gatherers; and some of these supplement, sometimes extensively, their foraging activity with farming or keeping animals.


Warfare

According to Gérard Chaliand,
terrorism Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the ...
originated in nomad-warrior cultures. He points to
Machiavelli
Machiavelli
's classification of war into two types, which Chaliand interprets as describing a difference between warfare in sedentary and nomadic societies:
There are two different kinds of war. The one springs from the ambition of princes or republics that seek to extend their empire; such were the wars of Alexander the Great, and those of the Romans, and those which two hostile powers carry on against each other. These wars are dangerous but never go so far as to drive all its inhabitants out of a province, because the conqueror is satisfied with the submission of the people...The other kind of war is when an entire people, constrained by famine or war, leave their country with their families for the purpose of seeking a new home in a new country, not for the purpose of subjecting it to their dominion as in the first case, but with the intention of taking absolute possession of it themselves and driving out or killing its original inhabitants.
Primary historical sources for nomadic steppe-style warfare are found in many languages: Chinese, Persian, Polish, Russian, Classical Greek, Armenian, Latin and Arabic. These sources concern both the true
steppe nomads The Eurasian nomads were a large group of nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer ...
(
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group indigenous peoples, native to the Inner Mongolia, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, Mongolia an ...

Mongols
,
Huns The Huns were a nomadic people A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation which regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, pastoral ...

Huns
,
Magyars Hungarians, also known as Magyars ( ; hu, magyarok ), are a nation and ethnic group native to Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország) and Kingdom of Hungary, historical Hungarian lands who share a common Hungarian culture, culture, Hungarian histor ...

Magyars
and
Scythians The Scythians (from grc, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉 The ancient Egyptian Hill-country or "Foreign land" hieroglyph (𓈉) is a member of the sky, earth, and water hieroglyphs. A ...
) and also the semi-settled people like Turks,
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, , ) or Crimeans ( crh, , ), are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from C ...

Crimean Tatars
and
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = Wedding ceremony in the national Russian tradition. , population = 134 million , popplace = 117,319,000 , region1 = , pop1 = 7,170,00 ...

Russians
who retained or, in some cases, adopted the nomadic form of warfare.


Pastoralism

Pastoral nomads Nomadic pastoralism is a form of pastoralism when livestock are herding, herded in order to seek for fresh pastures on which to Grazing, graze. True nomads follow an irregular pattern of movement, in contrast with transhumance where seasonal pastur ...
are nomads moving between pastures. Nomadic
pastoralism Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry where domesticated animals known as livestock are released onto large vegetated outdoor lands (pastures) for grazing, historically by nomadic people who moved around with their herds. The species invol ...
is thought to have developed in three stages that accompanied
population growth Population growth is the increase in the number of people in a population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size ...
and an increase in the complexity of
social organization In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The te ...
. Karim Sadr has proposed the following stages: * Pastoralism: This is a
mixed economy A mixed economy is variously defined as an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon ...
with a
symbiosis Symbiosis (from Ancient Greek, Greek , , "living together", from , , "together", and , bíōsis, "living") is any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between two different Organism, biological organisms, be it Mutualism (biolog ...

symbiosis
within the family. * Agropastoralism: This is when symbiosis is between segments or clans within an
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
. * True Nomadism: This is when symbiosis is at the regional level, generally between specialised nomadic and agricultural populations. The pastoralists are sedentary to a certain area, as they move between the permanent spring, summer, autumn and winter (or dry and wet season) pastures for their
livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictabl ...
. The nomads moved depending on the availability of resources.


Origin

Nomadic pastoralism seems to have developed as a part of the secondary products revolution proposed by
Andrew Sherratt Andrew George Sherratt (8 May 1946 – 24 February 2006) was an English archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch ...

Andrew Sherratt
, in which early
pre-pottery Neolithic The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) represents the early Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It i ...
cultures that had used animals as live meat ("on the hoof") also began using animals for their secondary products, for example,
milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, any ...

milk
and its associated
dairy products Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such a ...
,
wool Wool is the textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitt ...
and other animal hair, hides and consequently
leather Leather is a strong, flexible and durable material obtained from the tanning Tanning may refer to: *Tanning (leather), treating animal skins to produce leather *Sun tanning, using the sun to darken pale skin **Indoor tanning, the use of arti ...

leather
,
manure Manure is organic matter Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter refers to the large source of Carbon compounds, carbon-based compounds found within natural and engineered, terrestrial, and aquatic environments. It is m ...

manure
for
fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several distinct physical con ...

fuel
and
fertilizer A fertilizer (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American E ...

fertilizer
, and traction. The first nomadic pastoral society developed in the period from 8,500 to 6,500 BCE in the area of the southern
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
. There, during a period of increasing aridity,
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) is part of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) represents the early Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that ...
(PPNB) cultures in the Sinai were replaced by a nomadic, pastoral pottery-using culture, which seems to have been a cultural fusion between a newly arrived
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
people from Egypt (the
Harifian Harifian is a specialized regional cultural development of the Epipalaeolithic of the Negev Desert. It corresponds to the latest stages of the Natufian culture. History Like the Natufian, Harifian is characterized by semi-subterranean house ...
culture), adopting their nomadic hunting lifestyle to the raising of stock.Patterns of Subsistence: Pastoralism
/ref> This lifestyle quickly developed into what Jaris Yurins has called the circum-
Arabian The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciati ...

Arabian
nomadic pastoral techno-complex and is possibly associated with the appearance of
Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family A language is a structured system of communication u ...

Semitic languages
in the region of the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and s ...
. The rapid spread of such nomadic pastoralism was typical of such later developments as of the
Yamnaya The Yamnaya culture (/ˈjamnaja/), from Russian Я́мная культу́ра, or Yamnaya Horizon, (mistakenly) Yamna culture, (translated) Pit Grave culture, or Ochre Grave culture, was a late Copper Age to early Bronze Age The Bronze ...
culture of the horse and cattle nomads of the Eurasian steppe, or of the
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Mongol
spread of the later
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
.
Trekboer The Trekboers ( af, Trekboere) were nomadic pastoralist Nomadic pastoralism is a form of pastoralism Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, ...
in southern Africa adopted nomadism from the 17th century.


Increase in post-Soviet Central Asia

One of the results of the
break-up of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal political, e ...
and the subsequent political independence and economic collapse of its
Central Asian Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continent ...
republics has been the resurgence of pastoral nomadism. Taking the
Kyrgyz people The Kyrgyz people (also spelled Kyrghyz, Kirgiz, and Kirghiz) are a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (d ...

Kyrgyz people
as a representative example, nomadism was the centre of their economy before Russian colonization at the turn of the 20th century, when they were settled into agricultural villages. The population became increasingly
urbanized ''Urbanized'' is a documentary film A documentary film is a non-fictional film, motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a Recorded history, historical record". Bill Nich ...
after World War II, but some people still take their herds of horses and cows to high pastures (''jailoo'') every summer, continuing a pattern of
transhumance Transhumance is a type of pastoralism or nomadism, a seasonal movement of livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. In montane regions (''vertical transhumance''), it implies movement between higher pastures in summer and lower val ...

transhumance
. Since the 1990s, as the cash economy shrank, unemployed relatives were reabsorbed into family farms, and the importance of this form of nomadism has increased. The symbols of nomadism, specifically the crown of the grey felt tent known as the
yurt A traditional yurt (from the ) or ger () is a portable, round tent covered with skins or and used as a dwelling by several distinct in the . The structure consists of an angled assembly or latticework of wood or for walls, a door frame, rib ...

yurt
, appears on the national flag, emphasizing the central importance of nomadism in the genesis of the modern nation of
Kyrgyzstan russian: Киргизская Республика, Kirgizskaya Respublika , image_flag = Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg , image_coat = Emblem of Kyrgyzstan.svg , symbol_type = Emblem , motto = " ...

Kyrgyzstan
.


Sedentarization

From 1920 to 2008, population of nomadic pastoral tribes slowly decreased from over a quarter of
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
's population. Tribal pastures were nationalized during the 1960s. The National Commission of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
registered the population of Iran at 21 million in 1963, of whom two million (9.5%) were nomads. Although the nomadic population of Iran has dramatically decreased in the 20th century, Iran still has one of the largest nomadic populations in the world, an estimated 1.5 million in a country of about 70 million. In
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
where the major agricultural activity was nomadic herding, forced collectivization under
Joseph Stalin ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. He held power both as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952 ...
's rule met with massive resistance and major losses and confiscation of livestock. Livestock in Kazakhstan fell from 7 million cattle to 1.6 million and from 22 million sheep to 1.7 million. The resulting famine of 1931–1934 caused some 1.5 million deaths: this represents more than 40% of the total population at that time. In the 1950s as well as the 1960s, large numbers of
Bedouin The Bedouin, Beduin or Bedu (; , singular ; , singular ) are nomadic Arab Tribes who have historically inhabited the desert regions in the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Upper Mesopotamia, and North Africa. However, the Arabian Peninsula is th ...

Bedouin
throughout the Middle East started to leave the traditional, nomadic life to settle in the cities of the Middle East, especially as home ranges have shrunk and population levels have grown. Government policies in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, oil production in
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
and the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
, as well as a desire for improved standards of living, effectively led most Bedouin to become settled citizens of various nations, rather than stateless nomadic herders. A century ago nomadic Bedouin still made up some 10% of the total
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arab
population. Today they account for some 1% of the total. At independence in 1960,
Mauritania Mauritania (; ar, موريتانيا, ', french: Mauritanie; Berber languages, Berber: ''Agawej'' or ''Cengit''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: ''Moritani''; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Gànnaar''; Soninke language, Soninke: ''Murutaane''), officially ...

Mauritania
was essentially a nomadic society. The great
Sahel drought The Sahel (; ' , "coast, shore") is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of Ecotone, transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central ...
s of the early 1970s caused massive problems in a country where 85% of its inhabitants were nomadic herders. Today only 15% remain nomads. As many as 2 million nomadic
Kuchis Kochis or Kuchis (: کوچۍ Kuchis) are pastoral nomads belonging primarily to the . In the southern, western and northern regions of they are also referred to at times as maldar (: مالدار maldar, "herd-owner"). Some of the most nota ...
wandered over
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
in the years before the Soviet invasion, and most experts agreed that by 2000 the number had fallen dramatically, perhaps by half. The severe
drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorolog ...

drought
had destroyed 80% of the livestock in some areas.
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
experienced a serious food crisis in 2005 following erratic rainfall and
desert locust The desert locust (''Schistocerca gregaria'') is a species of locust, a periodically swarming, short-horned grasshopper in the family Acrididae. They are found mainly in Africa, through Arabia and West Asia, and extending into parts of South Asi ...
invasions. Nomads such as the
Tuareg The Tuareg people (; also spelt Twareg or Touareg; endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify ...
and
Fulani The Fula, Fulani, or Fulɓe people ( ff, Fulɓe, ; french: Peul, links=no; ha, Fulani or Hilani; pt, Fula, links=no; wo, Pël; bm, Fulaw) are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel The Sahel (; ar, ساحل ' , "coast, shore") is ...

Fulani
, who make up about 20% of Niger's 12.9 million population, had been so badly hit by the Niger food crisis that their already fragile way of life is at risk. Nomads in
Mali Mali (; ), officially the Republic of Mali (french: République du Mali; bm, ߡߊߟߌ ߞߊ ߝߊߛߏߖߊߡߊߣߊ, Mali ka Fasojamana, ff, 𞤈𞤫𞤲𞥆𞤣𞤢𞥄𞤲𞤣𞤭 𞤃𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭, Renndaandi Maali, ar, جمهورية م ...

Mali
were also affected.


Lifestyle

Pala nomads living in Western Tibet have a diet that is unusual in that they consume very few vegetables and no fruit. The main staple of their diet is ''
tsampa Tsampa or Tsamba (; ne, साम्पा; ) is a Tibetan and Himalayas, Himalayan staple foodstuff, particularly prominent in the central part of the region. It is glutinous meal made from roasting, roasted flour, usually barley flour and som ...
'' and they drink
Tibetan Tibetan may mean: * of, from, or related to Tibet * Tibetan people, an ethnic group * Tibetan language: ** Classical Tibetan, the classical language used also as a contemporary written standard ** Standard Tibetan, the most widely used spoken dialec ...

Tibetan
style
butter tea Butter tea, also known as ''po cha'' (, "Tibetan tea"), ''cha süma'' (, "churned tea"), Chinese language, Mandarin Chinese: ''sūyóu chá'' (wiktionary:酥, 酥wiktionary:油, 油wiktionary:茶, 茶) or ''gur gur cha'' in the Ladakhi language, is ...
. Pala will eat heartier foods in the winter months to help keep warm. Some of the customary restrictions they explain as cultural saying only that ''drokha'' do not eat certain foods, even some that may be naturally abundant. Though they live near sources of
fish Fish are aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the ...
and
fowl Fowl are bird Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high rate, a four-chambered , and a strong yet lightweight . Birds live worldwide and range in size from the ...

fowl
these do not play a significant role in their diet, and they do not eat
carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, rabbi ...
animals,
rabbit Rabbits, also known as bunnies or bunny rabbits, are small mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication ...

rabbit
s or the wild asses that are abundant in the environs, classifying the latter as
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
due to their cloven hooves. Some families do not eat until after the morning milking, while others may have a light meal with butter tea and ''tsampa''. In the afternoon, after the morning milking, the families gather and share a communal meal of tea, ''tsampa'' and sometimes
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell ...

yogurt
. During winter months the meal is more substantial and includes meat.
Herder A herder is a pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herd A herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wildness, wild or Domestication, domestic. The form of collective animal behavior associ ...

Herder
s will eat before leaving the camp and most do not eat again until they return to camp for the evening meal. The typical evening meal may include thin stew with ''tsampa'', animal fat and dried
radish The radish (''Raphanus raphanistrum ''Raphanus raphanistrum'', the sea radish, wild radish, white charlock or jointed charlock, is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. One of its subspecies, ''Raphanus raphanistrum'' subsp. ''sativ ...

radish
. Winter stew would include a lot of meat with either ''tsampa'' or boiled flour
dumpling Dumpling is a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling, or of dough with no filling. The dough can be based on bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a ...

dumpling
s. Nomadic diets in
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
have not changed much over centuries. The Kazakh nomad cuisine is simple and includes meat, salads, marinated vegetables and fried and baked
bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history, it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world. It is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant impor ...

bread
s.
Tea Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease. Cure, or similar, may also refer to: Places * Cure (river), a river in France * Cures, Sabinum, an ...

Tea
is served in bowls, possibly with sugar or
milk Milk is a nutrient A nutrient is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, any ...

milk
. Milk and other
dairy A dairy is a business enterprise Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profi ...

dairy
products, like
cheese Cheese is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and conta ...

cheese
and
yogurt Yogurt (; , from tr, yoğurt) also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell ...

yogurt
, are especially important. ''
Kumiss ''Kumis'' (also spelled ''kumiss'' or ''koumiss'' or ''kumys'', see other s and s below under – kk, қымыз, ''qymyz'') mn, айраг, ''ääryg'') is a traditionally made from or . The drink remains important to the peoples of the ...
'' is a drink of
fermented Fermentation is a metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling ...

fermented
milk.
Wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport A combat sport, or fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport that usually involves one-on-one combat. In many combat sports, a contestant wins by scoring more points than the opponent or by disabling the oppon ...

Wrestling
is a popular sport, but the nomadic people do not have much time for leisure. Horse riding is a valued skill in their culture.


Perception

Ann Marie Kroll Lerner states that the pastoral nomads were viewed as "invading, destructive, and altogether antithetical to civilizing, sedentary societies" during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. According to Lerner, they are rarely accredited as "a civilizing force". Allan Hill and Sara Randall observes that the western authors have looked for "romance and mystery, as well as the repository of laudable characteristics believed lost in the West, such as independence, stoicism in the face of physical adversity, and a strong sense of loyalty to family and to tribe" in the nomadic pastoralist societies. Hill and Randall observes that nomadic pastoralists are stereotypically seen by the settled populace in Africa and
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
as "aimless wanderers, immoral, promiscuous and disease-ridden" peoples. According to Hill and Randall, both of these perceptions "misrepresent the reality".


Contemporary peripatetic minorities in Europe and Asia

Peripatetic minorities are mobile populations moving among settled populations offering a
craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself wit ...
or
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

trade
. Each existing community is primarily endogamous, and subsists traditionally on a variety of commercial or service activities. Formerly, all or a majority of their members were itinerant, and this largely holds true today. Migration generally takes place within the political boundaries of a single state these days. Each of the peripatetic communities is multilingual, it speaks one or more of the languages spoken by the local sedentary populations, and, additionally, within each group, a separate dialect or language is spoken. They are speaking languages of Indic origin and many are structured somewhat like an
argot A cant is the jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside t ...
or secret language, with vocabularies drawn from various languages. There are indications that in northern Iran at least one community speaks
Romani language Romani (; also Romany, Romanes , Roma, Gypsy; rom, rromani ćhib, links=no) is an Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan ISO 639 macrolanguage, macrolanguage of the Romani people, Romani communities. According to ''Ethnologue'', seven varieties of ...
, and some groups in Turkey also speak Romani.


Dom people

In Afghanistan, the Nausar worked as tinkers and animal dealers. Ghorbat men mainly made
sieve A sieve, fine mesh strainer, or sift, is a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material or for characterizing the particle size distribution of a sample, using a screen such as a woven mesh or net or perforated sheet material. ...

sieve
s, drums, and bird cages, and the women peddled these as well as other items of household and personal use; they also worked as moneylenders to rural women. Peddling and the sale of various goods was also practiced by men and women of various groups, such as the Jalali, the Pikraj, the Shadibaz, the Noristani, and the Vangawala. The latter and the Pikraj also worked as animal dealers. Some men among the Shadibaz and the Vangawala entertained as monkey or bear handlers and snake charmers; men and women among the Baluch were musicians and dancers. The Baluch men were warriors that were feared by neighboring tribes and often were used as mercenaries. Jogi men and women had diverse subsistence activities, such as dealing in horses, harvesting,
fortune-telling Fortune telling is the practice of predicting information about a person's life. Melton, J. Gordon. (2008). ''The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena''. Visible Ink Press. pp. 115-116. The scope of fortune telling is in principle identical w ...
,
bloodletting Bloodletting (or blood-letting) is the withdrawal of blood Blood is a body fluid Body fluids, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, i ...

bloodletting
, and
begging Begging (also panhandling) is the practice of imploring others to grant a favor, often a gift of money In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms ...

begging
. In Iran, the Asheq of Azerbaijan, the Challi of Baluchistan, the Luti of Kurdistan, Kermānshāh, Īlām, and Lorestān, the Mehtar in the Mamasani district, the Sazandeh of Band-i Amir and Marv-dasht, and the Toshmal among the Bakhtyari pastoral groups worked as professional musicians. The men among the Kowli worked as tinkers, smiths, musicians, and monkey and bear handlers; they also made baskets, sieves, and brooms and dealt in donkeys. Their women made a living from peddling, begging, and fortune-telling. The Ghorbat among the Basseri were smiths and tinkers, traded in pack animals, and made sieves, reed mats, and small wooden implements. In the Fārs region, the Qarbalband, the Kuli, and Luli were reported to work as smiths and to make baskets and sieves; they also dealt in pack animals, and their women peddled various goods among pastoral nomads. In the same region, the Changi and Luti were musicians and balladeers, and their children learned these professions from the age of 7 or 8 years. The nomadic groups in Turkey make and sell cradles, deal in animals, and play music. The men of the sedentary groups work in towns as scavengers and hangmen; elsewhere they are fishermen, smiths, basket makers, and singers; their women dance at feasts and tell fortunes. Abdal men played music and made sieves, brooms, and wooden spoons for a living. The Tahtacı traditionally worked as lumberers; with increased sedentarization, however, they have taken to agriculture and horticulture. Little is known for certain about the past of these communities; the history of each is almost entirely contained in their oral traditions. Although some groups—such as the Vangawala—are of Indian origin, some—like the Noristani—are most probably of local origin; still others probably migrated from adjoining areas. The Ghorbat and the Shadibaz claim to have originally come from Iran and Multan, respectively, and Tahtacı traditional accounts mention either
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
or Khorāsān as their original home. The Baluch say they were attached as a service community to the Jamshedi, after they fled Baluchistan because of feuds.


Kochi people


Romani people


Yörüks

Yörüks are the nomadic people who live in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
. Still some groups such as Sarıkeçililer continues nomadic lifestyle between coastal towns
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
and
Taurus Mountains The Taurus Mountains (Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Gr ...
even though most of them were settled by both late
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
and
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...
republic. Bukat People of Borneo The Bukat people of Borneo in Malaysia live within the region of the river Mendalam, which the natives call Buköt. Bukat is an
ethnonym An ethnonym (from the el, ἔθνος 'nation' and 'name') is a name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given ...
that encapsulates all the tribes in the region. These natives are historically self-sufficient but were also known to trade various goods. This is especially true for the clans who lived on the periphery of the territory. The products of their trade were varied and fascinating, including: "...resins (damar, ''Agathis dammara; jelutong bukit, Dyera costulata,'' gutta-percha, ''Palaquium'' spp.); wild honey and beeswax (important in trade but often unreported); aromatic resin from insence wood (''gaharu, Aquilaria microcarpa);'' camphor (found in the fissures of ''Dryobalanops aromaticus);'' several types of rotan of cane (''Calamus rotan'' and other species); poison for blowpipe darts (one source is ''ipoh'' or ''ipu'': see Nieuwenhuis 1900a:137); the antlers of deer (the sambar, ''Cervus unicolor);'' rhinoceros horn (see Tillema 1939:142); pharmacologically valuable bezoar stones (concretions formed in the intestines and gallbladder of the gibbon, ''Seminopithecus,'' and in the wounds of porcupines, ''Hestrix crassispinus);'' birds' nests, the edible nests of swifts (''Collocalia'' spp.); the heads and feathers of two species of hornbills (''Buceros rhinoceros, Rhinoplax vigil)''; and various hides (clouded leopards, bears, and other animals)." These nomadic tribes also commonly hunted boar with poison blow darts for their own needs.


Image gallery

File:Nomad camp near Tingri Tibet. 1993i.jpg, Nomad camp near
TingriTingri may refer to: *Tingri County, county in Tibet *Tingri (town), main town in Tingri County See also *Tingry, France