JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World 

JAC Board Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→  Introduction

  • Pastoralism is a way of keeping animals such as cattle, sheep, camels or goats, and involves moving from one place to another in search of water and food.
  • Pastoralism has been important in societies like India and Africa for years.

→ Pastoral Nomads and their Movements in the Mountains

  • Nomads are people who do not live at one place, but move from one place to another to earn their living.
  • The Gujjar Bakarwals of Jammu and Kashmir are great herders of goat and sheep.
  • In winter, when the high mountains were covered with snow, the Gujjars lived along with their herds in the low hills of the Shiwalik range.
  • By the end of April, they began their northern march for their summer grazing grounds. They crossed the Pir Panjal passes and entered the valley of Kashmir.
  • By the end of September, the Bakarwals were on the move again, this time on their downward journey, back to their winter base. When the high mountains were covered with snow, the herds were grazed in the low hills.
  • In a different area of the mountains, the Gaddi shepherds of Himachal Pradesh had a similar cycle of seasonal movement.
  • This pattern of cyclical movement between summer and winter pastures was typical of many pastoral communities of the Himalayas, including the Bhotiyas, Sherpas and Kinnauris. All of them had to adjust to seasonal changes and make effective use of available pastures in different places.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ On the Plateaus, Plains and Deserts

  • Not all pastoralists operated in the mountains. They were also to be found in the pla-teaus, plains and deserts of India.
  • Dhangars were an important pastoral community of Maharashtra. Most of them were shepherds. Some were blanket
    weavers. While others were buffalo herders.
  • The Dhangars stayed in the central plateau of Maharashtra during the monsoon. Nothing but dry crops like bajra could be sown here.
  • By October, the Dhangars harvested their bajra and started on their move to west. After a march of about a month, they reached the Konkan.
  • With the onset of the monsoon, the Dhangars left the Konkan and the coastal areas with their flocks and returned to their settlements on the dry plateau.
  • Other pastoral communities of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were the Gollas (herded cattle), the Kurumas and Kurubas (reared sheep and goats and sold woven blankets).
  • Banjaraswere yet another well-known group of graziers. They were found in the vil-lages of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • In the deserts of Rajasthan, lived the Raikas. They combined cultivation within pastoralism.
  • One group of Raikas known as the Maru (desert) Raikas herded camels and another group reared sheep and goats.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ Colonial Rule and Pastoral Life

  • Under colonial rule, the life of Pastoralists changed dramatically. Their grazing grounds shrank, their movements were regulated, and the revenue they had to pay increased. Their agricultural stock declined and their trades and crafts were adversely affected.
  • The colonial government wanted to transform all grazing lands into cultivated farms.
  • By expanding cultivation, it could increase its revenue collection.
  • Expansion of cultivation inevitably meant the decline of pastures and a problem for pastoralists.
  • The Forest Acts made by the British Government changed the lives of pastoralists. Some
    forest which produced commercially valuable timber like ‘deodar’ or ‘sal’ were declared as ‘reserved’. .
  • In the reserved forests, no pastoral activity was allowed, and in the protected forests, their activities were strictly restricted.
  • In 1871, the British Government in India passed the Criminal Tribes Act. This act classified communities of craftsmen, traders and pastoralists as Criminal Tribes.
  • As a result of this Act, these communities were expected to live only in notified vil¬lage settlements and they were not allowed to move without a permit from the British government.
  • In the mid nineteenth century, Grazing tax was introduced by British Government in most pastoral lands of India.
  • In order to increase income, the British Government imposed tax even on animals. The tax per head of cattle went up rapidly and the system of collection was made increasingly efficient.
  • By the decade of1880s the government began collecting taxes directly from the pastoralists. To enter a grazing tract, the pastoralists had to show their pass and pay the tax.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ How Did these Changes Affect the Lives of Pastoralists

  • Wasteland Rules, Forest Acts, Criminal Tribes Act and imposition of grazing tax affected the lives of pastoralists adversely. These measures led to the serious shortage of pastures, as grazing lands were turned into cultivable land.
  • The shepherds and cattle herders could no longer freely graze their cattle in the forests.
  • Nomadic people had to move frequently from one place to another in search of pastures.
  • Animal stock declined as under-fed cattle died in large numbers during droughts and famines.

→ How Did the Pastoralists Cope with these Changes?

  • Pastoralists coped up with the changes in a variety of ways. Some pastoralists reduced the number of cattle in their herds, since there was not enough pasture to feed large numbers.
  • Some pastoralists discovered new pastures when movement to old grazing grounds became difficult.
  • Over the years, some richer pastoralists began buying land and settling down, giving up their nomadic life.
  • Many poor pastoralists borrowed money from moneylenders to survive. Some of them became labourers, working on fields or in small towns. Yet, pastoralists not only continue to survive in many regions but their numbers have also expanded over recent decades.
  • Many ecologists believe that in dry regions and in the mountains, pastoralism is still ecologically the most practical way of life.
  • Such changes on pastoral communities were imposed not only in our country, but also all over the world.

→ Pastoralistn in Africa

  • Africa is a continent where over half the world’s pastoral population lives.
  • Even today, over 22 million Africans depend on some forms of pastoral activities for their livelihood.
  • The different pastoral communities of Africa are Bedouins, Berbers, Maasai, Somali, Turkna and Boran.
  • Most of them lived in semi-arid grasslands or arid deserts where rain fed agriculture is difficult.
  • They raise cattle, camels, goats, sheep and donkeys and they sell milk, meat, animal skin and wool. Some of them earn through trade and transport.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→  Where have the Grazing Lands Gone?

  • The Maasai are nomadic and pastoral people who depend on milk and meat for livelihood.
  • The Maasai cattle herders live primarily in East Africa : 3,00,000 in Southern Kenya and another 1,50,000 in Tanzania.
  • The new colonial laws and regulations took away their lives in times of drought and even reshaped their social relationships.
  • One of the problems that Maasais have faced is the continuous loss <?f their grazing lands.
  • In 1885, under colonial rule, Maasai land was cut into half with an International boundary between British Kenya and German Tonganyika. The Maasais lost about 60 per cent of their pre-colonial lands.
  • As cultivation expanded, pasturelands were turned into cultivated fields.
  • Large areas of grazing lands were also turned into game reserves like the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti Park in Tanzaniya; pastoralists were not allowed to enter these reserves.

→ The Borders are Closed

  • Pastoral groups were forced to live within the boundaries of special reserves.
  • They were not allowed to move out with their stock without special permits. They were not even allowed to trade and enter the markets in white areas.
  • These restrictions adversely affected both their pastoral and trading activities. Earlier, pastoralists not only looked after animal herds, but they also traded in various products.

→ When Pastures Dry

  • The Maasais were forced to live in drought-prone areas, as a result of this, large num-bers of Maasai cattle died of starvation and diseases. There was a severe decline in the animal stock of Maasais.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ Not All were Equally Affected

  • The colonial rules had unequal effects on elders and warrior groups of Maasai society.
  • The British imposed various restrictions on raiding and warfare. Thus, the traditional authority of both elders and warriors was negatively affected.
  • The chiefs appointed by the colonial government collected wealth overtime. They started to live in towns and got involved in trades. Their families stayed back in villages to look after land and animals.
  • The poor pastoralists did not have the resources to survive in bad times and thus they were forced to do odd jobs like charcoal burners, workers in road and building construction etc.

→ Conclusion

  • Pastoral communities in different parts of the world are affected in a variety of different way by changes in the modem world. New laws and new borders affect the patterns of their movement.
  • They change the path of their annual movements reduce their cattle numbers, pressurise for rights to enter new areas.
  • They put political pressure on the government for relief, subsidy and other forms of support and demand a right in the management of forests and water resources.
  • Economists and environmentalists have increasingly come to recognise that pastoral nomadism is a form of life that is perfectly suited to many hilly and dry regions of the world even today.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ Important Dates and Related Events

  • 1871: The Criminal Tribes Act was passed by the colonial government in India.
  • 1850s- 1880s: The right to collect the tax was auctioned out to contractors.
  • 1880s: The government began collecting taxes directly from the pastoralists. Each of them was given a pass.
  • 1885: The Maasailand (Africa) was cut into two with an international boundary between British Kenya and German Tanganyika.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ Nomads: People who move from one place to another to earn their living.

→ Gujjar Bakarwals: A Nomadic tribe of Jammu and Kashmir.

→ Kafila: Movement of a large number of households on a long journey.

→ Gaddi: The shepherd community of Himachal Pradesh.

→ Bhabar: A dry forested area below the foothills of Garhwal and Kumaun.

→ Bugyal: Vast meadows in the high mountains.

→ Bhotiyas, Sherpas, Kinnauris: Pastoral communities of the Himalayan region.

→ Dhars : Pasture land on the high mountains.

→ Dhangars : Pastoral community of Maharashtra.

→ Kharif: The autumn crop, usually harvested between September and October.

→ Rabi: The spring crop, usually harvested after March.

→ Stubble: Lower ends of grain stalks left in the grounds after harvesting.

→ Gollas,Kurumas,Kurubas: Pastoral communities in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

→ Raikas: A pastoral tribe in Rajasthan.

→ Banjaras: A group of graziers found in U.P., Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

→ Maru: A local name for Rajasthan’s desert.

JAC Class 9th Social Science Notes History Chapter 5 Pastoralists in the Modern World

→ Geneologist: A person who recounts the history of the community by narrating the facts orally.

→ Pastures: Tracts of land that are covered with a variety of grasses, roots and herbs, and wild flowers.

→ Pastoralists: A group of people that earns its living by the rearing of animals like goats, sheep, buffaloes, cows and camels.

→ Customary rights : Rights that people are used to by custom and tradition.

→ Bedouins, Berbers, Maasai, Somali, Boran and Turkang: Pastoral communities of Africa.

JAC Class 9 Social Science Notes

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