Nomads on Notice
In "Nomads on Notice," anthropologist Daniel Stiles describes the changing lifestyle of the Gabbra pastoralist. They are one of the numerous nomadic societies that are at odds with the industrial world. The unforgiving territory of Northern Kenya is divided among several tribes. They are all very fierce when it comes to defending their territory. This is very similar to what we have learned in class, relating to the Warrior Groups. The Warrior Groups are usually young males, around twelve years of age, whom protect their land, animals, and people. This region consists of 35,000 Gabbra pastoralists. They claim the dry and salty mud flats of the Chalbi Desert and the eastern shore of Lake Turkana. The Gabbra must move often, up to ten times a year. This is due to the scarcity and temporary nature of water sources and vegetation. Camps would usually split and travel in smaller groups to accommodate the carrying capacity of the land. This is considered Pastoralism, another topic we have learned in class. Pastoralism is the ownership and control over domesticated animals that appear to be about ten thousand. They have more material items than hunting and gathering, but not as much as agriculturalists do. The Gabbra have very few possessions and can pack a settlement and be on their way within a number of hours. Gabbra societies are lead by married men. Their levels of authority are based on their age, how old they are. The main animals of Gabbra society are camels, goats, cattle, and sheep. The animals that provide milk are usually kept at the main camp. The animals that do not give milk are sent off to distant camps called fora, to prevent overgrazing. The fora serve as the border of tribal territories and they are run by young warriors, so they can prevent raids by other tribes. Pastoral societies travel in small groups, usually less than one hundred. They travel frequently, usually every season, to find the most nourishing land for their...
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