Rick Mc Callister
rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu
Sat Feb 27 19:21:01 UTC 1999
[ moderator re-formatted ]
>Yes, the assertion that pastoral nomadism *Has* to follow from
>sedentary agriculture bothers me as well.
>There are, I believe, models that demonstrate otherwise.
Unless you count raising the horses they rode, the Plains Indians
were not true pastoralists. They were essentially nomads with horses --that
were introduced from outside.
The bison they relied on for meat, clothing and tools were not
domesticated or semi-domesticated pastoral animals.
And more importantly, those Plains Indians who were not
agriculturalists used those horses to trade with and raid agriculturalists:
e.g. the relationship between the Comanches and the Pueblo Indians.
So, in this sense, horse-supported nomadism did rely on
pre-exisiting sedentary agriculture.
In a sense "nomadic pastoralism" seems to me an oxymoron in that
pastoralism is a semi-sedentary existence based on a fixed circuit between
Summer/dry season and Winter/rainy season pastures while nomadism refers to
a complete lack of fixed abode or pasture grounds.
I would look more at the Saami and other Arctic area reindeer
herders as a possible example of "nomadic pastoralism" unconnected to
sedentary agriculture. Due to the climate, I imagine that neolithic
agriculture was impossible or impractical and herding developed from
hunting. But, on the other hand, I believe they do have fixed pastoral
circuits --which would eliminate any sense of nomadism.
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