The Pastoral Continuum: The Marginalization of Tradition in East Africa

Overview

Spencer presents the definitive study of the ways of life of the cattle-herding peoples of East Africa, drawing on many years of research. This region has offered a prime example of a traditional culture resisting the inevitability of change; it provides the best-known and most extensive instance both of cattle-pastoralist society and of social organization based primarily on age. The Pastoral Continuum examines the richness and resilience of the culture of these peoples, illuminates the role of indigenous ...

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Overview

Spencer presents the definitive study of the ways of life of the cattle-herding peoples of East Africa, drawing on many years of research. This region has offered a prime example of a traditional culture resisting the inevitability of change; it provides the best-known and most extensive instance both of cattle-pastoralist society and of social organization based primarily on age. The Pastoral Continuum examines the richness and resilience of the culture of these peoples, illuminates the role of indigenous practices and institutions in adaptation and survival, and offers a unique view of the place of pastoralism in the modern world and its prospects for the future.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Maps
List of Tables
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Dimensions of Pastoral Society in East Africa 7
1 Pastoralists and Spirit on Enterprise 9
2 Polygyny and the Manifestations of Inequality 51
3 The Dynamics of Age Systems in East Africa 93
Pt. II Opportunism and Adaptation to the Pastoral Niche: The Case of the Chamus of Lake Baringo 129
4 The Chamus Tradition of Pre-Pastoral Origins 131
5 The Thrust of Pastoral Innovations 150
6 The Emergence of Individualism and New Forms of Inequality 174
Pt. III The Marginalization of Pastoralism 205
7 Population Growth, Development, and the Malthusian Dilemma 207
8 Pastoralists and the Threshold of Change and Inequality 231
9 The Shadow of Islam and the Spread of the Desert 247
References 269
Subject Index 289
Name Index 298
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