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THE MIDDLE EAST HANDBOOK

 

INFORMATION ON STATES AND PEOPLE GROUPS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

 

VOLUME 4 NOMADS OF THE MIDDLE EAST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID ZEIDAN, OM-IRC, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

INTRODUCTION 3

1. ON PASTORAL NOMADS 5

2. NATURE OF EXCHANGES BETWEEN NOMADS &

SETTLED NEIGHBOURS 8

3. STATE VIEW OF NOMADS 11

4. CASE STUDIES OF NOMADIC PEOPLE: 12

4.1 THE RWALA BEDUIN 13

4.2 THE AL-MURRAH BEDUIN 16

4.3 THE DURRANI PASHTUNS 19

4.4 THE SHAHSEVAN 24

4.5 THE BASSERI 26

5. LIST OF NOMADIC PEOPLE GROUPS 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1. Nomadism is not dying out in spite of what many people think. There are Over 200 million nomadic people in the world today. Theirs is a very productive way of life for the semi-arid, marginal regions they live in. They are very resourceful and adaptable people, sadly misunderstood by most governments, aid agencies, missions, etc.

2. Nomadic people are amongst the most unreached people in the world. Most are Muslim. They do not reject Christianity, but rather its sedentary presentation which they view as not suitable for nomads. We haven't given them a fair chance.

3. Our strategies for evangelising settled people are simply no good for reaching nomads - they are too different!

Some unique characteristics: noble nomads see agricultural work as only fit for slaves - "digging in the dirt" they call it. Some would commit suicide rather than engage in sedentary farming. Those who have been forced into farming and wage labour because of the droughts dream of the day they will be able to buy some livestock and resume a nomadic livestyle. Noble nomads rule, teach and pray - we need workers who can visibly slip into these accepted roles. We musn't try and turn them into cultivators - they resent these attempts.

Unless we are willing to create specific strategies for them we are actually saying that the Gospel is only for settled people.

4. Churches in neighbouring settled communities are too church-building conscious, too hierarchical, to suit nomads and their lifestyle. Nomads need a church that is built solely on relationships - no structural and geographical ties. No sacred buildings. Worship anywhere, two or three in His name.

5. Need for research: Who are they? where are they? How many are they? How many are still pure nomads, how many semi-nomads? How many settled? How many still think of themselves as nomads even though they have been forced to forsake their nomadic lifestyle? In some countries, even the educated leadership in power centres still regard themselves as nomads.

6. We need a special kind of recruit for nomadic work. They live in climatically tough areas - extreme heat, drought, sand, dust, no green, no water. Tough also spiritually. Recruits must adapt culturally. Live like nomads, behave like nomads, identify with them.

Good preparation would be to organise groups of young recruits to cross the Sahara with established field travel companies. Need people who hanker for adventure - see how they respond to pressures of desert life. Recruits also needed from riding stables background, livestock breeding background, etc. - tough outback types!

7. Best place to meet nomads is at the wells where they gather naturally. Move from well to well, from market to market.

8. Some possibilities: Grandmother-type missionary ladies are well accepted and have had good results. They pose no threat to accepted order and are respected. If you adopt a nomad child you will be accepted by the nomadic society - another possible approach! Try to be accepted as a Holy Man, Religious Teacher - accepted role amongst Nomads especially for mature older people!

It won't happen overnight - we need a long-term strategy. It can take ten years to win their respect and establish relationships.

 

 

CH. 1 ON PASTORAL NOMADS

 

DEFINITIONS

 

NOMADISM: On the move, wanderers; mobility.

PASTORALISM: main occupation is herding livestock.

Pastoral Nomadism: Move not at random, but in search of pastures for their livestock.

TRIBE: Social organisation based on kinship and common ancestry (real or imagined) with balanced and opposed subdivisions.

 

TYPES OF PASTORAL NOMADISM:

Horizontal - move backward and forward over considerable distances between wells and pasture lands as determined by changing seasons: away from wells and oases in rainy season, back in dry season. Typical of relatively flat desert regions: Beduin, Moors, Tuaregs,

Vertical - migrate between highland summer pastures and lowland winter pastures. Typical of mountainous marginal regions: Berbers, Kurds, Qashqai, Lurs, Shahsevan, Mongol, Pushtun.

 

MAIN ANIMALS: Camels, Horses, Sheep, Goats, Cattle. Also Reindeer, Llamas, etc.

 

TYPE OF LAND INHABITED BY PASTORAL NOMADS: marginal lands economically, socially and politically; regions on the periphery of settled societies. The mobility of nomads enables them to exploit the meagre resources of these marginal lands in a way not possible to settled societies.

 

ORGANISATION AND DECISION MAKING

1. Mobility of pastoral nomads requires an annual pattern of decision making about directions of movement, places of encampment, ways of maintaining group solidarity. Clear systems of authority emerge. Basic political organisation is that of the camping-group headed by a leader (sheikh, katkhoda, grey beard) often from a leading family, restrained by the collective experience of group expressed by its older members and heads of families. Such fractions tend to be linked by intermarriage, claim common ancestry, express their unity in a sense of collective honour, to be defended against that of other groups.

2. Factionl amalgamate or split following rise or fall of respected leaders. A large amalgamation may become a tribe which may include thousands of people scattered over a wide area. A tribe develops and maintains a solidarity of its own, and its leading family can exercise considerable authority. It cannot be as closely united as a fraction.

3. However its membership varies, it tends to express its solidarity in terms of common descent, a tribal name surviving for centuries despite the changes in the group bearing its name.

4. Tribal modes of organisation exist also amongst sedentary groups. The authority of leading families tends to be stronger, and the stratification more pronounced.

5. Key to organisation is the intricate web of relationships that tie every Beduin to an extended family - a fakhida consisting of cousins down to 5th generation. Several fakhidas make up a section or subtribe (fakhd), several fakhds combine in a tribe that claims a common ancestor.

 

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF PASTORAL NOMADS

1. Three main characteristics: Pastoral nomads are people who live a considerable part of the year in portable dwellings, who move from place to place as a way of life, and whose main occupation is livestock raising.

Pastoral nomads have established such a dependent relationship on their domesticated animals that their identity is inseperable from their stock - a deep psychological and sociological necessity.

Essential values firmly oriented to their animals. Dependent on them for food, status, cultural practices.

Fundamental orientation to mobilty, irrepresible readiness to move when necessary, makes pastoral nomads essentially different from other people. In times of drought, warfare, political upheaval, they survive by moving with their livestock.

2. Great variety in habitat - environment, climate - and in herded animals. Nomadism is viable in extremes of cold and heat.

3. Five main zones:

a. Hot dry deserts of Arabia, Sahara, East Africa, South Iran and Baluchistan. Arabian camel typical animal.

b. Lush savannah grasslands of Central Africa and Sudan belt. Cattle main animal.

c. Temperate mountains and valleys of Southwest Asia and Mediterranean Borderlands. Sheep and goats dominant.

d. Extreme continental climate of Central Asia steppes and mountains. Horse favoured. Also Bactrian Camel, sheep, goats, some cattle.

e. Sub-Arctic tundra of northwest Eurasia. Only reindeer cab be herded.

4.Nomadism cannot exist in conditions of forest and humidity where disease and insects and lack of suitable pastures make life intolerable for the animals. Cultivation brings greater rewards.

5. Romantic view corresponds with view nomads have of themselves: leisurely lifestyle, closeness to nature, endurance in face of harsh environment, honour in confrontation, independence.

6. Governments, majority populations and development agencies do not share this view. For them nomads are primitive, unruly, anachronistic, backward, an obstacle to modernisation. Don't respect boundaries, flout state laws, avoid taxes and conscription, engage in smuggling, etc. Do not appreciate nomad's economic role as producers on marginal lands.

7. Nomads minority population in their environment. Settled villages and towns tend to cluster near permanent water sources.

8. Some nomads herd one animal exclusively. Most have mixed herds with one species dominating.

9. Animals are kept for their different products, but also for prestige and ceremonial reasons.

10. Annual cycle of movement depends on variations in terrain and climate: vertical transhumance in mountains where rainfall fairly regular, fixed schedules and dense populations. Horizontal migration in desert areas of unpredictable rainfall.

11. No pastoral nomads wander at random. Territories well defined. Move in response to need for water in desert. In mountains move in response to temperature changes between summer and winter pastures. Mobility also important for political reasons - to avoid government forces, evade domination. Most nomads now move by truck, not camels.

12. Camp size reflects environmental conditions.

13. All nomads depend on settled communities. Pastoral, agricultural and trading worlds all part of one symbiotic economic system.

14. Nomads have made major contributions to Islam. Beduin armies spearheaded conquest of Islamic empire from Spain to India. Later Turkic and Mongol nomads conquered and took over military and political power and empire building. Nomads have often made and unmade dynasties up to twentieth century.

15. City Islam opposed to nomadic way of life: cities seen as cultural and religious centres, nomads as barbarians, predators, threat to agriculture, divisive, unloyal, irreligious, etc.

16. Nomadic energies yoked to religious zeal have erupted in reformist movements and helped found states: Mahdi in Sudan, Sanussiya in Cyrenaica, Wahabism in Arabia.

17. For the first time in history the modern state has the power to get its way with the nomads: modern armies are more than a match to nomadic warriors. Nomads respond by becoming main part of armies in various states.

 

 

 

CH. 2 NATURE OF EXCHANGES BETWEEN NOMADS AND SETTLED NEIGHBOURS

 

 

ECONOMIC EXCHANGES

 

1. Pastoral Nomads have always been part of economic system that included villagers and townspeople. All nomads depend on settled communities in a symbiotic relationship that includes pastoral, agricultural and trading worlds. Nomads emphasise production and exchange economy.

 

2. Nomads sell the products of their herds to villagers. These include:

a. Milk and dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese and ghee. In some areas city based dairies now visit camps and process milk on the spot into cheese which is then sold in towns and villages.

b. Meat (often as live sheep for the markets). Skins, hides, hair, guts.

c. Wool, rugs, carpets.

d. Cash crops they grow: dates, cotton.

e. Nomads may hire out their transport animals - camels, horses - to villagers.

 

3. Villagers and town traders sell to nomads:

a. Cereals (basic staple of nomadic diet) - wheat, barley, usually as flour. Also rice.

b. Coffee, tea, spices, salt.

c. Dates, oil, fat.

d. Craftsmen products such as tools, tent fixtures, etc.

e. Household items.

f. Hay, stubble, fodder.

g. Rent nomads land for grazing, or land and water rights during migration.

h. Offer credit for goods sold.

i. Land for nomads who wish to settle or farm part-time.

 

SOCIAL EXCHANGES

 

1. There is much mutual ignorance, some ill feeling and prejudice and some social interaction between nomads and the settled population. Usually an uneasy peace exists in which nomads and villagers exchange their various commodities.

2. The potential hostility is due to competition between the two groups over marginal lands that lie between the cultivated zone and the pastoral grazing areas. Nomads may also cause damage to village crops if they let their animals stray onto farmer's fields before they are harvested. With growing population pressures conflicts are on the increase. Villagers expand their cultivation into nomad lands, commercial stock breeders send their herds into nomad grazing grounds.

3. Conflict and antipathy do not prevent interaction. Intermarriage takes place - Tapper in "Pasture and Politics" claims nomads give 20% of their daughters to villagers and receive 10% of their wives from villagers. Alliances of convenience are also formed for economic reasons.

4. There is a constant movement of nomads settling down and of villagers becoming nomads.

5. Nomads supply villagers with news and information on the outside world which they glean from their extensive migration and widespread kin networks.

6. Some nomads have relatives in the villages with whom they regularly cooperate in joint ventures. Some wealthier nomads own shares in village lands acting as absentee landlords.

 

POLITICAL EXCHANGES

 

1. Traditionally nomads often dominated settled communities, acting as "King makers and breakers", backing dynasties and changing them. There has always been a competition between nomads and settled communities, the line between grazing and cultivated lands moving in accordance to the strength or weakness of the central government.

2. Nomads had the advantage of mobile and flexible fighters that could melt into the deserts. They could easily evade taxation, disrupt caravans, raid oases. They often demanded and received "protection money" from settled communities, caravan traders, and even governments to ensure the peace.

3. Village leaders would try to create rivalry between nomadic groups through subsidies and other tactics in order to keep them in a state of dependence.

4. Some nomadic leaders settle in towns to have better access to governments and join ruling elite.

 

MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN SOCIAL EXPERIENCES BETWEEN NOMADS AND VILLAGERS

 

1. Living in tents and migrating annually gives nomads a different view of time and space from that of settled people.

2. Nomads have distinct experiences and problems as tent-dwellers, camp-dwellers, migrants, stock-keepers, which are different to those of settled farmers.

3. The main identity markers of nomads tend to be: tents, hearths, herding skills and religious and social rituals and ceremonies.

4. Nomads have a continual choice open to them of changing location and neighbours. They can exploit faraway opportunities, evade danger by scattering, travel across state boundaries, etc.

5. Nomads claim that they are cleaner, healthier, have stricter morals and a direct approach to God. Also that they are braver and more generous.

6. Villagers claim they have a more varied diet, are more orthodox Muslims and better citizens.

7. Migration rituals are the highlight of the nomad's year and give them ecstatic (liminal) experiences linked to a greater sense of community and identity.

8. Nomad women are usually freer and tougher, yet work harder.

9. Villagers are more mosque and Ulama centred.

10. Solitude of herding life, insecurity of pastoral economy, smuggling activities, military involvement, makes nomads more independent, autonomous and able to face risks than settled people.

 

 

CH. 3 STATE VIEW OF NOMADS

 

1. Most states view nomads as anachronistic, backward, unruly, politically threatening, antidemocratic, obsatcles to modernisation, smugglers, tax-evaders, habitat-destroyers. Ambivalent attitude of states to nomads: shameful to have barbarians out there in the wilds: non-modern, difficult to control, political threat, avoid paying taxes. Most states also view nimads paradoxically as good and loyal soldiers and extensively recruit them into security forces.

2. Some governments pay disproportionate attention to nomads, others pretend they don't exist, some attempt to settle them and disarm them, some include them in regime power structures.

3. Most states put pressure on nomads to settle, accept state services and integrate into centralised modern state structures - bureaucracies need to compatmentalise them. Do it in various ways. Reza Shah in 1930s forbade migrations and confiscated lands - major disaster.

4. Some states have helped nomads by building roads, establishing schools and clinics, drilling wells, building houses, provide industrial wage labour, army and police service, improved education and welfare.

5. States usually assume nomads have "corporate identity" and fixed boundaries - often not true.

6. Islamic Republic of Iran has a positive view of nomads and is making special efforts to foster their social, economic and cultural lfe and ensure they receive same services as settled populations.

7. In some states (Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia) nomadic tribes are seen as props of the regime and are extensively recruited into the security forces, many achieving high positions.

8. When states research nomads they come up with scientific arguments: nomads destroy ecology, habitat, overgrazing, deforestation, etc.

9. Nomadic population seems now stable at some 10m in ME. Nomads are settling all the time. Land can carry only so many nomads. Land base diminishing due to development and population explosion. Nomads become farmers, merchants, traders, soldiers, teachers.

 

 

 

CH. 4 SOME EXAMPLES OF NOMADIC PEOPLE

 

SOME BEDUIN TRAITS

1. Ideology of Beduin life: importance of descent and marriage, honor and shame, hierarchy of family, modesty, gender, sexuality, as conceived of in formal relations of Beduin social organisation.

2. As in most egalitarian tribal and chiefdom societies, tyranny is not tolerated, and men and women try to escape it.

3. Arranged marriages frequent cause of personal grief; males escape through polygamy, women have fewer options for rebellion, thus setting stage for verbal rebellion.

4. Importance of Hasham, propriety and modesty basic to Beduin. In daily life it is the form of honor for the weak (both men and women), and symbol of deference to those who have power over you.

5. Sexual mosesty and veiling in relation to deference. Not a primarily Islamic basis, but due to ideology and social organisation of patrilineal system.

6. Use poems in contrast to daily discourse which intends to win respect in conformity to Beduin value of independence. The goals of poetic representations are to win sympathy and get help, persuade and bring about change.

 

 

4.1. THE RWALA BEDUIN (Lancaster: The Rwala Beduin Today).

 

Background:

In mid 70s there were 0.25-0.5 million Rwala. Most Rwala live in Saudi Arabia, but spread out in a vast territorry that extends through Jordan into Syria and Iraq. Until 1958 all Rwala herded camels. Now many herd sheep.

 

Migration Cycle:

Nomadic cycle: Late winter move south to edge of Nafud desert. Late spring and summer move north crossing international boundaries. Rarely migrate as a tribe. Motor transportation displacing camels.

 

Adaptation to modern world:

Beduin society never been static, and Rwala were never sel-sufficient. Assets and options always involved considerations of economic opportunities outside pastoral society. Rwala developed new skills and enterpreneurial activities to cope with demands of modern world: raiding supressed in 30s, state borders, droughts.Took on wage labour with oil companies and in cities, service in Saudi National Guard, smuggling.

 

Organisation

Live in temporary herding camps and in permanent structures. Settlements known as Gawm - indicates conglomeration of people with identity of interest. Each camping cluster works as economic unit. Gawm divided into subgroups.

Rwala utilise complex multiple interrelationships among cooperating group members - patrilineal descent, matrilateral descent, ties created through marriage - to justify particular patterns of coresidence or economic activity. The individual knows exactly which ties he is manipulating in each situation, observers don't. Ambiguity facilitates constructive flexibility in interpreting specific social relationships and responsibilities. Common descent is used to justify loyalties and choices to outsiders, but in practice other relationships also important.

Many relationships referred to as "ibn 'amm" (cousin) to imply very close ties of loyalty. Can be widely used to apply to any Rwala, Bedu, even human being - given shared interests.

Segmentary society - conceive of relationships on basis of shared common descent. Ascending order of inclusion: individuals, households, camps, sections, tribes. Segments at same level equal but opposed in balance.

Rwala have five tribal sections (Fakhds) with fixed tribal genealogy. Beyond this level genealogies are more flexible. Intermarriage offers multiple ways through which individuals claim ties. Lancaster provides illustration of Bedu who could show eleven different paths in which he was related to his wife!

Terms used for various levels: Qabila, Ashira - tribe; Fakhd - section; Ibn 'Amm - minimal section. Must be used with caution because they change meaning in different contexts.

Ibn Amm: literally father's brother's son. Can refer to patrilineal descent, the three-generation groups whose members intermarry extensively; or to economic units whose members cooperate very closely. Acting "as if" one is ibn amm proves the relationship. Genealogy changes to adapt to changing assets and new options.

 

Leadership:

Amir of Shaalan and tribal Sheikhs wield influence economically and politically beyond tribal boundaries. Live in towns, have access to goverment authorities. No formal coercive powers. Maintain leadership through skill at achieving consensus and representing tribe to state authorities, access to information, success at maintaining reputation for managing influence and control over persons and resources in best interests of tribe. More wealthy, but must use wealth in interest of fellow tribesmen. Reputation based on display of Beduin virtues. There are major status differentiations, but theses are conceived as relations of protection and dependence, not domination.

Ideology of honour and respect for personal autonomy interpreted so that recognition of leader's authority seen as voluntary act by reasonable, autonomous persons.

Example: division of labour between Emir of Rwala and his brothers: engaged in overseeing small agricultural holdings, commercial and enterpreneurial activities, smuggling, diplomacy in several neighbouring countries. Act like a unit, exchanging information and providing mutual support. These opportunities seen as open to all on a smaller scale.

 

Identity:

Beduin skills of autonomy and mutual support needed by Rwala today to succeed as enterpreneurs raiding modern capitalist economy.

Being Bedu has nothing to do with particular pastoral system or way of life, it is an attitude, a philosophy, an ideology. Bedu lifestyle a political system and ideology which can be expressed in various ways. Camels were a means to an end: Rwala could only express their ideology of autonomy and personal equality by living in the desert, and to do this they needed camels. Camel pastoralism has often been used as an expression of political response to centralised authority, a means of avoiding control by central governments.

Rwala ideology emphasises equality and personal autonomy of tribesmen, perceives success of some as due to personal honour and skill.

 

 

Economy:

Camels are not very profitable nowadays, and this is the reason for their decline. Bedu look for other ways within the new economic system to maintain their freedom of expression and movement. Bedus are highly adaptive and quick to adapt to and exploit change.

Rwala work in a multi-resource economy. Accumulation of wealth is a means for acquiring a reputation for generosity. Generosity must be constantly reinforced - Rwala need unending source of economic wealth to keep up their reputation! The system is mitigated by the fact that there is no absolute measure of generousity. The man generous to the limits of his moderate means enjoys a reputation equal to that of of a man who has more. To achieve influence one also needs information as a key to success.

Today only a minority of tribesmen herd camels. The majority prefer sheep. Deep wells dug by government and supplementary feeding enable year round herding of sheep in desert. Trucks transport sheep, fodder and water.

The ability to acquire and process information for the good of yourself and your family and have some goods left over for hospitality is still the basis of the successful Rwala. The Bedu have transported their basic skills into the modern era. Transport firms are now run by Bedu. Bedu also form a large part of security forces.

 

Relationship to settled groups:

Rwala always had relationships with towns and villages. The mediation process was carried out through a contract called khuwa: each side behaved as brother to the the other.

 

 

4.2. THE AL-MURRAH (Cole, Nomads of the Nomads: field study 1968)

 

Background:

Among the last of the great camel-herding nomads of Arabia. Some 15,000 in 1968. Live in one of the most forbidding desert regions of the world on the edge of the Rub' al-Khali. Group studied by Cole, Al-Azab, keep camels whereas other sections now herd sheep and goats as well.

Murrah "dirah" territory extends in an arc across west and central borders of Rub' al-Khali.

Deep attachment to their camels, tell stories and make up songs and poems about them. More than just production unit!

 

Economy:

Camel milk important dietary item, along with bread, dates and rice. Food purchased at market towns, especially oasis of Hofuf. Other sources of income: sheep and goat breeding, wage labour in oil fields, salaries as members of Saudi Reserve National Guard.

 

Organisation:

During summer camels untended while owners camp near wells.

Household - Beit. Each Beit possesses private domestic space - dar. A number of Beits form a Camp group. Each tent is an autonomous social and economic unit free to move and form associations with any other tent. These associations based on kinship or friendship or convenience or any mix of them.

Dira and well are associated with distinct lineages, most camp groups composed of close agnatic kinspeople. The Fakhd owns the wells and Dira range. Herds of Fakhd members are marked with same brand.

A number of Fakhds group themselves into Gabilas. Today play little role as they own no resources. Serve as reference groups for lineage identity. Historically important and headed by Amir.

Entire Murra tribe share strong sense of common heritage. Speak one dialect, dress in distinctive style. Marriage within tribe.

 

Leadership:

Amir serves as commander of Murra Reserve Guards Unit. Lives in a black tent. Does not participate in annual migration. Entrusts his herds to care of fellow tribespeople. He distributes government salaries, acts as arbitrator in disputes, deals with crimes, intervenes in every case of a tribesman held by police, meets with high officials and members of royal court to resolve cases.

Power of shaikhs related to success in representing their tribes.

 

 

Relationship to wider community:

In Saudi Arabia there is a cultural unity between nomads and settled populations. Both nomadic and sedentary people are intertwined in a complex network of social, economic and political relationships.

The al-Murrah are the most highly mobile camel nomads in Saudi Arabia, highly integrated into urban based Saudi society, both to meet their economic, social and cultural needs and as a military-political force that bolsters the regime.

First level: the way villages fit into the ecology of pastoral nomadism, lineage structure is unit of social organisation at this level.

B. The tribe as a unit is tied to the regional urban centre which is the locus of many activities necessary to the nomad life and to the success of tribal leaders. Nomads depend on services obtained from urban specialists. Equipment, religious services, legal procedures.

C. Third level is the way in which tribes, taken together as one category in Saudi Arabia, provide the military fondation of the nation state.

 

Migration:

The al-Murrah have designated geographic areas in the Rub' al-Khali, mostly devoid of permanent settled agricultural communities. The nomads leave this area during winter and spring to graze areas outside their territory, and they return to their area in summer. Each well is the property of a Fakhd (maximal lineage) and the group that camps together each summer corrsponds closely to a single lineage.

During the rest of summer the lineage breaks up into herding units up to four households migrating in search of pasture. May travel up to 1000 km before reaching desirable winter pasture, determined by state of grazing and shared with other groups.

Summer is the most difficult time. Grass and shrubs in short supply. Overgrazing around wells. Date palm agriculture in oases near summer wells. Palm groves provide shade and dates for food. Alfalfa planted underneath date palms. Al-Murrah possess four such oases.

 

Attempts to settle:

Al-Murrah attempted partly to settle this century under influence of Ikhwan. Established agricultural settlements where they were ready for immediate call to jihad and could better keep Muslim rituals. Many of these settlements failed because they could not support themselves by primitive agriculture. Eventually they reverted to pastoralism.

Oil income has brought new life to old settlements. Oil income, wage income, military salaries - are all used to develop sheep and goat production for urban markets rather than old reliance on camel breeding only. Trucks are used for transport.

Each oasis is domain of one lineage. Amir al-hijra, from a leading family, is leader of place. Summer time for feasting and socialising. Hospitality competition for status. Four distinct statuses emerge: a. "big men" and shaikhs. b. average tribesmen who partially settle but do not compete in hospitality. c. nomads who camp at wells in the desert and do not participate in oasis life at all. These first three groups have equal status and important urban contacts. d. hired labourers - outsiders from Yemen, Iraq, etc.

 

 

4.3. Durrani Pashtuns of Afghanistan (Tapper & Tapper on Maduzai section of Ishaqzai tribe of Durrani Pashtuns: "Golden - Pegs, Pashtun nomad Women In Afghanistan, Nomadism In Modern afghanistan, Nomads and Nomadism, Introduction: The Nomads Of Iran, Shahsevan Nomads of Moghan, etc.)

 

Background:

Field study based on Saripul region of Jauzjan province in north-central part of Afghanistan. Ethnically mixed area with Uzbeks, Aimaks, Hazara and others. Pashtuns make up over half the population of Afghanistan. Single genealogy unites three major tribal groups, one of which, the Durrani of the west and south provided the Afghan rulers from 1747 to 1978 and constituted an interest group which reaped economic and political priveleges (tax concessions, freedom from conscription) by virtue of descent. Although legistlation provides for equality of all nationals, Durrani domination still pervades all branches of political and administrative life.

Durrani groups vary widely. Some are exclusively tent-dwelling pastoral nomads, others have winter quarters along valley edges and do some dry farming, others acquired fertile lands in river valley and have become semi-sedentary: half settled, half nomad with extensive irrigated fields and large flocks. Maduzai sub-tribe was one of the latter. Families often divide in two: one specialising in pastoralism, the other in cultivation.

The Maduzai settled in northwest Afghanistan in 1915 coming from drought stricken Southwest Afghanistan seeking new pastures. Prospered and bought good land cheaply. Occupy two villages. Speak of themselves as "Maldar": pastoral nomads. Three landowning lineages with 162 households. Remaining 95 households transient landless "clients". In 1970 still heavily involved in pastoralism. Between September and early May flocks are kept in hill-steppe pastures east of the valley. March-May 75% of villagers go to pastures to help whilst lambs are born, wool is shorn, lambskins produced. In Mid May 33% of households accompany flocks on 300 km migration to spend early summer months in central mountains. Others return to village for summer cultivation.

 

Organisation:

Durrani households based on ideal of extended family. Sons remain dependent on father whilst he lives. Households comprise a father and his married sons, or a group of married brothers. In winter most households live in winter village, only a few couples stay in nearby steppe pastures with animals.

Descent is still a fundamental principle of social organisation and determines membership of Durrani tribe and of various tribal divisions.

One or more local descent groups form the core of a subtribe. Subtribes are collections of two or three camps or villages, 100-150 families. Though based on ideology of common descent they are essentially political groups with some territorial unity and potential for joint action. No common property, no common rituals. Organisation and cooperation at local level are unstructured by segmentary opposition or other single principle. Instead they are based on a combination of descent, alliance, and friendship, forming shifting clusters around wealthy and ambitious men.

Vital boundary for Durrani is membership in total ethnic (Pashtun) group. Within this boundary only the household is clearly defined. Ideally households are independent and self-sufficient, but in absence of single organisational principle, dominant theme of social relationships is constant competition with close kin and neighbours for control of both productive and reproductive resources.

Household is ideally an independent and self-sufficient unit under single male leader who controls its productive and reproductive resources (lands, flocks, labour, women, children). Household heads have sole responsibility for women, will never interfere in affairs of other household.

 

Migration:

During spring migration in early March, when pastures turn green following winter rains, most villagers move out in groups of 4 or 5 household camp groups to supervise lambing, milking and shearing. Spring is busiest season of economic year. They undertake the long migration to central parts of country to join sheep in summer pastures, returning to Saripul in August or September. Migration trail is 300 kms and is covered in 20 to 25 stages. Nomads move mostly by night, pitch camp soon after day break. The nomads move up the narrow and spectacular valleys, encountering villages of Uzbeks, Hazara, Aimak, Tajiks. Some are semi-nomadic but only move short distances between altitudes. All are hostile to Pashtun nomads who are seen as intruders. Along the migration routes are numerous shrines and the migration has a character of a pilgrimage. Crossing high mountain passes they finally reach summer pastures in Hazarajat.

Summer quarter camps are small - 1 or 2 households. For women a lonely and exhausting time of year. Every day they milk, churn yoghurt, make kurut (dried whey), and put aside curds. Curd is later boiled in larged cauldrons to clarify them into ghee. The men shear the sheep and this wool is kept for domestic purposes. Much of it is turned into felt rugs.

Return migration begins in July-August and is like a party. Flocks can graze on stubble of harvested fields on way back. Large groups of 20 - 25 households move together.

 

Leadership:

Even poorest Durrani can claim some advantage through tribal association with rulers and local khans.

Saripul region dominated by one powerful Durrani Khan family whose ancestor led migration from southwest and was granted many priveleges from the throne which enabled Khans to gain control of vast areas of productive farmland and tenants, local governorship, and parliamentary seat. Role and behaviour of khans as landowners who oppress non-Pashtuns is much resented by their fellow-tribesmen, who nonetheless need their services as patrons and mediators with the state.

Leadership roles within a subtribe are quite unstructured. Each village or winter camp has an official headman, who if sufficiently wealthy may acquire personal followers and the status of khan. Community decisions are made by councils of Elders and Hajis, representing all households. Autocratic, domineering behaviour is resented and resisited.

 

Villages:

In village men are active in farming wheat, barley, melons, fodder, cash crops like cotton, sesame, linseed. Every household has a mud-brick house, every woman owns a separate room. Harmony is highly valued - all men and all women should ideally eat together.

 

Religion:

Durrani are Sunnis, stress their superior religious descent, claim Durrani custom nearer Islamic orthopraxy than that of Uzbeks. Deride as "non-Islamic" such Uzbek practices as seclusion of women. All Shi'as are called Hazaras.

Men visit mosques for prayers. Women visit shrines for healing, exorcism and for a picnic atmosphere.

Durranis see their customs and beliefs concerning all areas of life as forming a single complex sanctioned by Islam, by the Quran and expounded by their Mullahs. They believe themselves superior to all other groups except the Sayyids.

They are remarkedly conscientious in observing the formal duties of Islam (five pillars), and every settlement has a mosque and a resident Mullah. Durrani Islam is a religion of moderation, piety and sobriety. Extreme emotion or ecstacy are never displayed. Migrations have little ritual content. It is also the religion of the powerful and successful, often culminating in the Haj which marks retirement from competition. Women have no part in mosque centred rituals. Sufism and shrines are domain of women and weak men, those who sense their failure in terms of major cultural expectations.

 

Culture and Identity:

Unlike the situation in Iran, the nomad/settled distinction does not define ethnic bounfdaries. Some Durrani groups are pastoral nomads, others settled cultivators, others a combination of both. They use a variety of criteria for defining their own identity, stressing different ones in different contexts. Pushtun nomads are only distinguishable from their sedentary tribesmen by their pastoralism and mobilty. They share with all Pashtun cultural features such as language, customs and traditions. Thre is much pressure on nomads to shed surplus members into settled society. Sedentarisation occurs at the extremes of socioeconomic spectrum.

To be Durrani one must speak Pashtu and practice Sunni Islam. Most important one must be able to trace pure patrilineal descent within a recognised Durrani tribe from the Pashtun ancestor Qais 'Abd al-Rashid, companion of the prophet. One must never give women in marriage to other ethnic groups.

Maduzai ethnic identity as Duranni is defined mainly by descent and a strict ban on giving their women in marriage to non-Durrani. Within Durrani ethnic group no formal differentiaition by descent or marriage rules. Strong egalitarian ethos - no intsrinsic social differences admitted. All equal by virtue of common descent.

Ethnic and tribal identity expressed by term Qaumi, provides basic framework of social and political interaction. The term Wolus describes united community effort, especially against tyranny of khans and government.

There is a strong ideal of equality amongst Durrani, based on self conception as undifferentiated ethnic group, ideally an endogamous patrilineage of Pashto speaking Sunni Muslims, superior to all other groups. Superiority is further enhanced by privileged position of Durrani in Afghanistan.

Durrani insist that subdivisions of their ethnic group is not relevant for marriage purposes, and all are equal within endogamous ethnic group having complete freedom to marry.

 

Women

For women, main goal in life is a successful marriage with a loving husband and many sons. Marriage is the focus of many of the economic and political pursuits of the Durrani. Involves most elaborate ritual activities - weddings are high points of the year.

 

Economy:

Nomads in Afghanistan fill important economical niche using pastures not otherwise accessible to exploitation. Nomadic family viable only with a minimum of animals below which it cannot survive. Rich men prefer to invest in land rather than flocks and thus become sedentarised. Large scale pastoralism is now an enterprise for wealthy households as droughts and harsh winters can severely deplete livestock. Nomads realise virtues of mixed farmimg, of combining pastoralism with cultivation from a settled base: Land is a golden tent-peg! Maduzai remain pastoralists at heart, but dual economy gives them wider range of solutions to political and economic problems.

Maduzai subtribe as a whole operates in a surplus economy: grain grown in fields and wool and meat from flocks sufficient for their needs. Sale of skins and cash crops enable them to buy definciencies in milk and dairy products,

flour, rice, fat, etc.

Some sheep raised for meat, most are Karakul breed raised for lambskins, an important Afghan export commodity. Men slaughter male lambs and dress and market their skins. They also shear the sheep and sell it to town based merchants. Women milk ewes and turn milk into yoghurt, ghee and dried whey.

 

Stratification:

Wealth differences have widened since they settled and engaged in agriculture. Some own hundreds of animals and over a hundred jerib of land. Many have nothing and depend on selling their labour.

Growing importance of farming and expansion of state bureaucracy have made economic and political inequality an established fact of life. Egalitarian ethic is expressed in highly competitive laissez-faire capitalist economy - ruthless competition. There is increasing economic and political differentiation in Durrani society. Realise that landowning created differences: inheritance, power, wealth pass from father to son. Increasing population, scarcity of resources, growth of stratification, caused a fourfold class structure to emerge that cuts across ethnic divisions: elite, bourgoisie, proletariat, intelligentsia. Pashtun peasants and nomads faced a growing contradiction between their ethnic loyalties and their class position, as they too were liable to oppression by their khans.

In studied sub-tribe, wealthiest quarter owned two thirds of lands and flocks, produced considerable surplus for sale. Poorest quarter had no productive resources and relied for a living on trade or on selling their labour as servants, shepherds, retainers, seasonal farm workers. The poor are weak and unable to attain ideal of self-sufficiency, they become attached to wealthy as clients, tacitly abandoning control over own labour and marriages in return for economic and political security.

 

 

4.4. Shahsevan of Northwest Iran

Shahsevan nomads recognise individual ownership of animals and of grazing rights. Household, clearly defined, occupies one tent, patriarchal, autonomous, exogamous.

Camp groups (2-6) households form on agnatic base for summer grazing, camps on its own, has recognised elder (grey beard). Two or more winter camps of 20-25 households form the basic nomad community and migrate together (150 km migration) as a unit between summer and winter quarters.

 

Leadership:

Authorities deal directly with community elders. Elder has difficult job as official leader, responsible for all dealings with authorities and directing community activities. He and his son must be literate. His lifestyle is considered source symbol of community honour. Must be wealthy enough to entertain important visitors and provide lavish entertainment for feasts. Ensures that all contribute to welfare of those hit by misfortune. Uses skilful persuasion to convince members. Rarely attempts to exercise authority openly, for fear of challenge by rivals for leadership. Different camp leaders and community Elder form hierarchy of authority.

 

Stratification:

There is quite a range of wealth: elder and and one or two others own several hundred sheep and appropriate pasture rights. Several members have no pasture rights, only a dozen sheep, and subsist by selling their labour.

 

Organisation:

Legends of disparate origins have been replaced by invented tradition of common origin. Shahsevan formerly did not even pretend to common origins, though maintaining cultural-political separateness. Above level of community, descent plays little part in Shahsevan political organisation. Different communities, united into tribes, are not systematically allied to each other through descent or marriage ties. Members are linked in personal networks through ties of affinity and friendship, summed up in institutionalised reciprocal feasting obligations.

 

Ritual Life

Shahsevan public ritual life is unusually rich for a nomadic society. Focused mainly on communal and emotionally intense experiences of certain orthodox rituals, little interested in peripheral phenomena. No involvement in Sufi orders.

 

Identity:

Shahsevan conceive themselves as nomadic tented tribesmen, distinct from settled village farmers (Tat). Both Tat and Shahsevan are Turki speaking Shi'as and outside observer would note only smallest diffreneces between them in language, religious belief and practice, oral literature and life cycle ceremonies. Shahsevan claim to observe stricter morals than Tats, achieve more direct approach to God. Tats claim to be more orthodox and law abiding. These are stereotypes, not criteria for membership! Shahsevan see themselves as more religious than others, but as nomads they disdain orthodoxy which they see as deficiency of settled neighbours.

Their typical nomadic dissidence is accompanied by a complex ritual life in which mosque religion is of central importance. Well defined social boundaries and authority patterns are mirrored in ritual forms. Major communal rites, both mosque centred and migratory are observed with emotional intensity and can be interpreted either as rituals of rebellion or of solidarity.

Within their region, all tent-dwelling pastoral nomads are by definition Shahsevan. Settlement leads eventually to detribalisation and loss of Shahsevan identity - they become Tats who are mainly of Shahsevan origin. Shahsevan camps include many groups and individuals of Tat origins.

 

Economic Exchanges:

There are regular exchanges between Shahsevan and Tat individually and in the market. Traders and craftsmen visit camp regularly. Nomads visit towns to shop. Wealthy nomads own village lands. Wealthy Tats send flocks to graze with nomads.

 

Social exchanges:

Beyond formal economic exchanges some socail interaction in feasting contexts, and some judicious marriage alliances, but generally socially distinct.

 

 

 

4.5. Basseri (Barth: "Nomads Of South Persia", late 50s)

 

Background:

Persian speaking tribe of tent-dwelling pastoral nomads, migrate in arid steppes and mountains of Fars province, south, east and north of Shiraz. Were leading part of the Khamseh confederation opposing the Qashqai Turkish-speaking confederation. Tribal migration route considered property of tribe.

 

Rights To Migration Routes (Il Rah):

Do not occupy an exclusive territory, but own right to a migration route "il rah", which they follow every year in their migratory cycle. Varies yearly with availability of grasses and their maturation for grazing. Intricate schedule of migration coordinated by paramount chief, the Khan.

 

Organisation:

Household is a property owning and a production unit. Average household had 100 sheep, can't subsist on less than 60. Each tent occupied by a single household - basic unit of Basseri society.

Reckon their ancestry several generations further back than Shahsevan, mainly to claim rights to grazing areas which are held in common by an Oulad, a lineage group of appr. 90 families, members allocated to group by Chief.

Above level of Oulad, Basseri tribe (some 15,000) is organised on principles similar to Shahsevan: political allegiance of different groups to a powerful chief, with little or no notion of common descent.

During winter, extreme dispersal practiced. Groups of 2-5 tents, herding units, make up camps. All other seasons the camps are larger and number 10-40 tents. This group migrates as a unit - migratory camp, composed of a number of herding ubits. These camps are primary units of nomadic Basseri society - correspond to hamlets or small villages in sedentary society. A clear bounded social group with permanent relations between themselves. Two or more migratory camps form an Oulad.

Basseri herding units and camps are unstructured: component households not necessarily related by male ancestry, but bilateral kin and affines, and they are free to move and join other groups within the Oulad at any time. Quarrels are solved simply by movement, so the communities are not threatened by structural conflicts.

 

Leadership

Nomadic camp community persists only by continuous re-affirmation by all its members. Decide by consensus. Recognised leader in every camp: headman - katkhoda, formally recognised by Basseri chief or state authorities. Where no headman, an informal leader called "white beard" (riz safid). Leader holds camp together by persuasion and formulating unanimous agreements. Office of headman usually inherited in male line. Chief merely assents to group's appointment. Headmen are pretty autonomous of chief - communicate his orders, but exercise discretion in decisions. Headmen need minimum wealth for hospitality and generousity.

Hierarchical system very lax. Each household head has direct access to chief. No basis for exercise of strong leadership by headmen. Camp leader dependent on his ability to influence members, guide and formulate public opinion. Authority derived from sources in the camp: agnatic kinship, matrilateral and affinal relations.

When migrating, leader must every day succeed in obtaining unanimity as to next step. This decision making process fundamental to nomad society. Leader's influence is mainly that of kinship ties and contacts - a web of kinsmen and affines through which he works and dominates (married sons and daughters, in-laws, affines, etc.). Discusses matters and consults privately or in small groups where his kinsmen prevail. Slowly spreads network as his friends help convince others, slowly forms consensus of whole group.

 

Chief:

Political unity under Basseri Chief (Khan) unites them into one tribe in their own eyes. Chief has great prestige and power, and Chief and immediate relatives are Khavanin - a class apart from ordinary Basseris, members of the elite class in Shiraz.

Chief's hospitality must be boundless, provide spectacular gifts too. Such level of consumption demands special sources of income - taxes from individual tribesmen and Oulads, income from village and city holdings and investments. Chief monopolises coercive power. Deals directly with members - not through katkhodas. Chains of communication, not command. Special section of tribe called Darbar act as his personal retinue and militia.

Chief's main functions: alloting pastures and co-ordinating migrations. settling disputes. Representing tribe to sedentary authority. Khan's power broken by Iranian authorities.

Camps, Oulads and sections seek out strong chief and submit to him seeking better protection and safeguarding of interests and potential gain. A "tribe" is a political concept, not an ethnic one! Unity depends not on ethnic loyalty but on allegiance to chief. Often a voluntary flow of commoners from weaker to stronger centre. Such movements are reversible, most tribes experience ups and downs.

 

Stratification:

there is little wealth differentiation among Basseri nomads. Headmen of camps have comparatively little authority, all nomads held equal before chief.

Example: wealthy 55 year old man began career at age of 15 with 20 sheep, his share of inheritance from his father. As his herd grew, he was able to sell 20 a year. With money earned from sales, and from trading in hides, he later was able to buy land and settle in a village. By then he had several hundred sheep, and a number of shepherds to help. This pattern of wealth accumulation, investment in land, and settlement is not unusual.

Settlement:

Nomadic families whose herds prosper try to reduce their risk of sudden loss by investing in other resources. After settling, they may resume nomadism several times throughout their careers. Poor families whose herds fail and settle out of necessity hope to save enough money from wage labour or tenant farming to resume pastoralism which holds a promise of potential high returns. The fact that both rich and poor leave nomadic segment limits extreme differentiation of wealth among pastoralists.

 

Relations with settled communities:

Basseri travel thinly dispersed over areas with large sedentary populations entirely unconnected to tribal organisation. Nomad leaders must deal with them at regular intervals through their chiefs. Paramount chief served as bridge of communication to sedentary population.

 

Religion:

Spring migration is the central rite, in which important social groups (herding unit, camp, tribe, confederacy) are dramatically expressed. Migration rite is a rite of collective solidarity whose unity is based on consensus rather than enforced co-operation.

Basseri are deeply interested in shrines and beliefs and practices on evil eye and supernatural influences. They have no history of religious fanaticism, no claim to special piety or religiosity. As nomads they are proud of their laxity and freedom in matters of religion in contrast to Mullah-dominated settled populations. They value their freedom of settled authorities, both political and religious.

 

 

 

CH. 5 LIST OF NOMADIC PEOPLE GROUPS

 

AFARS

 

TOTAL POPULATION 2 M

ETHNIC EAST CUSHITIC

DISTRIBUTION ETHIOPIA 1.6M; DJIBOUTI 150,000

ERITREA 50,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE AFAR, EAST CUSHITIC

LIFESTYLE CAMEL HERDERS

NOMADS 50%

 

 

 

AFSHAR

 

TOTAL POPULATION 700,000

ETHNIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION IRAN

RELIGION MUSLIM SHI'A TWELVER

LANGUAGE AFSHAR, SOUTH-WEST OGUZ

LIFESTYLE

NOMADS

 

 

BAKHTIARIS

 

TOTAL POPULATION 1 M

ETHNIC IRANIAN

DISTRIBUTION IRAN, WEST IRAN - ZAGROS MOUNTAINS

RELIGION MUSLIM SHI'A TWELVER

LANGUAGE BAKHTIARI - LURI PERSIAN DIALECT

LIFESTYLE GOAT & SHEEP HERDERS, TRANSHUMANT

NOMADS

 

 

 

 

BALUCH

 

TOTAL POPULATION 7.5 M

ETHNIC IRANIAN

DISTRIBUTION PAKISTAN 5M; IRAN 1.5M;

AFGHANISTAN 250,000; GULF STATES &

S. ARABIA 500,000;

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE BALUCH, IRANIAN LANGUAGE

LIFESTYLE

NOMADS

 

 

 

BASHKIR

 

TOTAL POPULATION 1.5M

ETHNIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION RUSSIA

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE BASHKIR, NORTHWEST KIPCHAK

LIFESTYLE SEDENTARY PASTORALISTS AND SETTLED

FARMERS

NOMADS

 

 

BASSERI

 

TOTAL POPULATION

ETHNIC

DISTRIBUTION IRAN, SOUTHWEST

RELIGION

LANGUAGE

LIFESTYLE

 

 

BEDUIN

 

TOTAL POPULATION 20 M

ETHNIC ARAB

DISTRIBUTION S. ARABIA 4M; SUDAN 5M; YEMEN 1M;

EGYPT 1.2M; MAURITANIA 1M; SYRIA 1M;

OMAN 800,000; ALGERIA 600,000

KUWAIT 500,000; JORDAN 350,000;

IRAQ 200,000; UAE 250,000;

LYBIA 220,000; TURKEY 150,000

MOROCCO 100,000; ISRAEL 100,000

QATAR 50,000; TUNISIA 50,000

WB & GAZA 50,000;

LANGUAGE ARABIC

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LIFESTYLE CAMEL, SHEEP & GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS 25% - 50%?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEJA

 

TOTAL POPULATION 1.85M

ETHNIC CUSHITIC

DISTRIBUTION SUDAN 1.7M; ERITREA 50,000; EGYPT 100,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE TO-BEDAWIYE, CUSHITIC, NORTHERN

LIFESTYLE CAMEL, SHEEP AND GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS

 

 

BERABER

 

TOTAL POPULATION 3.8M

ETHNIC BERBER

DISTRIBUTION MOROCC0 MIDDLE ATLAS MOUNTAINS 3.3M

ALGERIA 500,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI MALIKI

LIFESTYLE SEMI-NOMADIC

NOMADS

 

 

DINKA

 

TOTAL POPULATION 3.3 M

ETHNIC NILOTIC

DISTRIBUTION SUDAN

RELIGION CHRISTIAN, ANIMIST

LANGUAGE DINKA, EASTERN-SUDANIC

LIFESTYLE CATTLE BREEDING, TRANSHUMANT

NOMADS

 

 

GALLA

 

TOTAL POPULATION 19M

ETHNIC CUSHITIC

DISTRIBUTION ETHIOPIA 19M KENYA 65,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI SOME CHRISTIAN

LANGUAGE GALLA, CUSHITIC EASTERN

LIFESTYLE CATTLE BREEDERS AND FARMERS

NOMADS

 

 

 

GYPSIES

 

TOTAL POPULATION 3 - 4 M IN ME

ETHNIC INDO/EUROPEAN

DISTRIBUTION IRAN 1.2M CENTRAL ASIA EGYPT 1.8M

IRAQ 50,000 TURKEY 50,000 SYRIA 50,000

LEBANON ISRAEL LYBIA TUNISIA ALGERIA

MOROCCO AFGHANISTAN PAKISTAN

NAMES AFGHANISTAN-INDIA GUJARI; PAKISTAN, IRAN, SYRIA

ARMENIA - LOM; IRAN - GHORBATI, KOWLI

RELIGION MUSLIM

LANGUAGE ROMANY (INDO-EUROPEAN), ARABIC, IRANIAN,

LIFESTYLE PEDDLING, TINKERS, HORSE TRADERS,

BLACKSMITHS, ENTERTAINERS, FORTUNE

TELLERS, ETC - NOMADIC.

NOMADS

VERY LITTLE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON GYPSIES. MARGINALISED, MISTREATED AND IGNORED BY CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS.

 

 

KAZAK

 

TOTAL POPULATION 10 M

ETHNIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION KAZAKSTAN 6.9M; XINGIANG 1.2M

MONGOLIA 130,000; UZBEKISTAN 880,000

TURKMENISTAN 110,000;

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE KAZAK, TURKIC, NORTHWEST KIPCHAK

LIFESTYLE TRADITIONALLY NOMADIC AND SEMI-NOMADIC. VAST ÿÿÿÿ MAJORITY NOW SETTLED - URBANISED AND RURAL. A

FEW STILL NOMDADIC. HOW MANY? WHERE?

NOMADS ?

 

 

KIRGIZ

 

TOTAL POPULATION 3M

ETHNIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION KIRGIZSTAN 2.3M; XINGIANG 200,000

TURKMENISTAN 110,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LIFESTYLE TRADITIONALLY NOMADS RIGHT UP TO MODERN

TIMES. SETTLED BY SOVIETS. SOME STILL

TRANSHUMANT NOMADS. HOW MANY?

NOMADS ?

 

 

 

 

KURDS

 

TOTAL POPULATION 25M

ETHNIC IRANIAN

DISTRIBUTION TURKEY 12.3M: IRAN 6M; IRAQ 4.1M

SYRIA 1M; KUWAIT 220,000; ARMENIA 70,000

LEBANON 70,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI MAJORITY

MUSLIM SHI'A TWELVER LARGE MINORITY

EXTREME SHI'A: ALEVI, YEZIDI, AHL-I-HAQ

MINORITIES

LANGUAGE KURDISH, (IRANIAN SUB-GROUP OF INDO-

EUROPEAN), VARIOUS DIALECTS

LIFESTYLE TRADITIONALLY NOMADIC. MOST TODAY SETTLED

FARMERS AND CITY DWELLERS. SOME NOMADS

LEFT. HOW MANY?

NOMADS ?

 

 

 

LURS

 

TOTAL POPULATION 2.7 M

ETHNIC/LINGUISTIC IRANIAN

DISTRIBUTION IRAN, SOUTHWEST - CENTRAL ZAGROS

RELIGION MUSLIM SHI'A TWELVER

LANGUAGE LURI

LIFESTYLE SETTLED FARMERS, SOME NOMADIC PASTORALISTS

SHEEP HERDERS

NOMADS 25%?

 

 

 

MOORS

 

TOTAL POPULATION 4.5 M

ETHNIC ARAB/BERBER INCLUDES WHITE MOORS AND BLACK MOORS

DISTRIBUTION MOROCCO 2.5M; MAURITANIA 1.9M

SAHEL STATES 200,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE HASSANIYA ARABIC

LIFESTYLE CAMEL, SHEEP AND GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS 85% IN 1960; 36% IN 1976; 12% IN 1988;

SOCIAL ORGANISATION TRIBAL AND CASTE; CASTES INCLUDE WARRIOR (HASSAN) TRIBES; RELIGIOUS HOLY (ZAWIYA) TRIBES; HERDING (ZENAGA) TRIBES; HARRATIN FARMERS (FORMER SLAVES);

 

 

 

PUSHTUN

 

TOTAL POPULATION 26M

ETHNIC/LINGUISTIC IRANIAN

DISTRIBUTION PAKISTAN 17M; AFGHANISTAN 9M;

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE PASHTO, IRANIAN

LIFESTYLE CAMEL, SHEEP & GOAT HERDERS, SOME FARMERS

AND TRADERS. MANY SETTLED

NOMADS ?

 

 

QASHQAI

 

TOTAL POPULATION 850,000

ETHNIC/LINGUISTIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION IRAN

RELIGION MUSLIM SHI'A TWELVER

LIFESTYLE TRANSHUMANT SHEEP & GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS ?

 

 

SHAHSEVAN

 

POPULATION 360,000

ETHNIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION IRAN - NORTHWEST

RELIGION MUSLIM SHI'A TWELVER

LIFESTYLE MANY NOW SETTLED

NOMADS ?

 

 

 

SHAWIYA

 

TOTAL POPULATION 1.7M

ETHNIC BERBER

DISTRIBUTION ALGERIA - AURES MOUNTAINS

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI MALIKI

LANGUAGE SHAWIYA, BERBER

LIFESTYLE TRANSHUMANT SHEEP & GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS ?

 

 

SHLUH

 

TOTAL POPULATION 5.3M

ETHNIC BERBER

DISTRIBUTION MOROCCO - HIGH ATLAS

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI MALIKI

LIFESTYLE TRANSHUMANT, SEMI-SETTLED SHEEP & GOATS

NOMADS ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOMALIS

 

TOTAL 11.5M

ETNIC CUSHITIC

DISTRIBUTION SOMALIA 7.5M; ETHIOPIA 3.2M; DJIBOUTI 330,000

KENYA YEMEN

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE SOMALI, CUSHITIC - EASTERN

LIFESTYLE TRANSHUMANT CAMELS, SHEEP & GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS 75%?

 

 

 

 

TUAREGS

 

POPULATION 2M

ETHNIC BERBER

DISTRIBUTION MALI 650,000; NIGER 650,000;

BURKINA-FASSO 390,000; ALGERIA 50,000

LIBYA 100,000

MAURITANIA 50,000; MOROCCO

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE TAMASHEK, BERBER

LIFESTYLE CAMEL, SHEEP AND GOAT HERDERS

NOMADS 50% ?

 

 

TIGRE

 

POPULATION 1.35M

ETHNIC CUSHITIC

DISTRIBUTION ERITREA 650,000; ETHIOPIA 500,000

SUDAN 200,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LANGUAGE TIGRE, CUSHITIC

LIFESTYLE MAINLY NOMADS IN ARID LOWLANDS OF NORTHEAST

ERITREA AND SOUTHEAST SUDAN.

NOMADS 50%?

 

 

 

TURKMEN

 

 

TOTAL 5.2M

ETHNIC TURKIC

DISTRIBUTION TURKMENISTAN 2.7M; IRAN 1.2M;

AFGHANISTAN 400,000; IRAQ 375,000

TURKEY 300,000; SYRIA 110,000

UZBEKISTAN 100,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SHIA MAJORITY, LARGE SUNNI MINORITY.

LANGUAGE TURKMEN, SOUTHWEST OGUZ.

LIFESTYLE TRADITIONALLY NOMADIC, SETTLED BY SOVIETS IN

TURKMENISTAN. MOST IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAN. IRAQ

ALSO SETTLED. SOME NOMADS LEFT. HOW MANY?

WHERE?

NOMADS ?

 

UIGURS

 

 

LIFESTYLE MAINLY SEDENTARY. SOME NOMADS IN SOUTH TAKLANMAKAN DESERT

 

ZENAGA

 

POPULATION 100,000

ETHNIC BERBER

DISTRIBUTION MOROCCO 25,000; MAURITANIA 25,000

LIBYA 25,000

RELIGION MUSLIM SUNNI

LIFESTYLE ?

NOMADS ?