Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Nomads are mobile people with no fixed settlement and whose livelihoods integrally involve frequent movement. There are many manifestations of nomadism. Perhaps the most common is pastoral nomadism, but hunter-gatherers can also be nomadic, and shifting cultivators are sometimes described as seminomadic. Throughout the world, Gypsies (and in the West, Travellers) also lead nomadic lifestyles. For anthropologists in search of “the other,” nomads have been clearly fascinating. In this century, nomads have seen many restrictions on their livelihoods, particularly changing property rights that make temporary access to the space and resources they require problematic. Nomads' politics and relations with other groups have been dominated by the evolution of these contests. In part, the conflicts reflect the fact that nomadic use and tenure of property fits uneasily within state frameworks. States have sought to settle and control populations (Maasai pastoralists in Kenya and Tanzania). They have also sought to expropriate resources ...