Ecology of African Pastoralist Societies

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A comprehensive survey and analysis of the literature and debates surrounding African pastoralist societies by a leading anthropologist of African pastoralism. Katherine Homewood traces the origins and spread of pastoralism on the African continent before examining contemporary pastoralist environments and livelihoods. There are separate discussions of herd biology, pastoralist demography, and the impact of development and change on pastoralist systems.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A tour de force, if one considers the vast amount of material it covers, and the clear and balanced summaries it provides of recent literature and debates. A compendium of information about cattle-herding groups in Africa, and about approaches to understanding their history and ecology. Clear and well judged summaries of the current state of knowledge.”
— David Turton, Senior Associate, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford

“Katherine Homewood has done a tremendous service for those of us who study pastoralist societies and ecology in Africa. Her new book, Ecology of African Pastoralist Societies, aggregates in one source the important literature and theoretical insights about pastoralism on the continent, including studies and data from the often overlooked region of North Africa.”
African Studies Review

“Ecology of African Pastoralist Societies is an expansive discussion of the ecology, history, and anthropology of pastoralism in Africa. Wide reference is made to ecology, demographics, history, anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, nutrition, entomology, veterinary medicine, and other subjects. The book is highly recommended to anyone interested in the importance of pastoralism in Africa whether it involves cattle, camels, or other herding animals…. I expect that this book will be a definitive work on the scholarship of African pastoralism for years to come.”
International Journal of African Historical Studies

“Homewood is a well-known human ecologist and pastoral scholar. She draws on the depth of this knowledge to create an easy to read and comprehensive book on African pastoral systems that multiple audiences can enjoy.”
African Studies Quarterly

“I think this book will serve to allow anyone, researcher or otherwise, develop a deeper understanding of the history, ecology, practices, and processes of change that characterize African pastoralist societies…. this is an extremely well researched, well organized, and quite readable book that makes a valuable contribution to the literature.”
Human Ecology

“Here is a comprehensive, clear-eyed look at the ecology and strategies of African pastoralists in managing their livestock to sustain human life in some of the most difficult landscapes on the continent…Photographs, maps, and an extensive bibliography are essential aids for students and professionals considering the study of African pastoralists in the past and present, as well as their uncertain future. Highly recommended.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821418413
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 2/17/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Homewood is a professor of anthropology at University College, London.

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Table of Contents

List of photographs, figures, tables & boxes

Photographs & map of African Pastoralist Societies

1 Introduction to the ecology of African Pastoralists 1

2 Origins & spread of African Pastoralism 10

3 Pastoralist environments, constraints & strategies 50

4 Contemporary pastoralist systems 94

5 Pastoral livelihoods & economy 132

6 Biology of the herds 158

7 Pastoral food systems, diets & nutrition 177

8 African pastoralist demography 199

9 Diversification, development & change in pastoralist systems 227

Bibliography 253

Index 287

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