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Pastoralism in Africa: Past, Present and Future

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Pastoralism in Africa

Past, Present and Future

Edited by Michael Bollig, Michael Schnegg, and Hans-Peter Wotzka

544 pages, 72 figures & illus., 12 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-908-4 $179.00/£132.00 Hb Published (July 2013)

eISBN 978-0-85745-909-1 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


While the volume will be of interest primarily to African specialists, students of pastoralism also will find it instructive. End-of-chapter reference listings, a compact index, and 100 tables, maps, and photos support the papers. · Choice

“The book is massive – 525 pages of text including notes and references – and covers pastoral systems across the continent, from the early Holocene in the Eastern Sahara to contemporary pastoralists in North-western Namibia. The breadth and depth of the archaeological and ethnohistorical case studies is impressive and clearly one of the strengths of the volume.” · Nomadic Peoples

“ [The volume’s] coverage is impressive in scope and it should serve as an important reference for those interested in the deep history of African pastoralism and the tremendous extent of its influence today. The volume makes a strong contribution to the archaeological, historical and ethnographic literatures on African pastoralism and coheres as a collection worth far more than the sum of its individual papers. The book is beautifully produced and is highly recommended for scholars of pastoralist systems in Africa, as well as for those elsewhere who might turn to the African case for deeper insight into the successes, failures and futures of pastoralist societies worldwide.”  ·  Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa


Pastoralism has shaped livelihoods and landscapes on the African continent for millennia. Mobile livestock husbandry has generally been portrayed as an economic strategy that successfully met the challenges of low biomass productivity and environmental variability in arid and semi-arid environments. This volume focuses on the emergence, diversity, and inherent dynamics of pastoralism in Africa based on research during a twelve-year period on the southwest and northeast regions. Unraveling the complex prehistory, history, and contemporary political ecology of African pastoralism, results in insight into the ingenuity and flexibility of historical and contemporary herders.

Michael Bollig is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Cologne. His publications include Risk Management in a Hazardous Environment: A Comparative Study of Two Pastoral Societies (Springer, 2006); The Practice of War: Production, Reproduction and Communication of Armed Violence (with A. Rao and M. Böck, Berghahn Books, 2007); and African Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Approaches (with O. Bubenzer, Springer, 2009).

Michael Schnegg is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Hamburg, Germany. His research aims to understand how people in Sub-Saharan Africa value, use, and govern ecosystem services in an increasingly deterritorialized world.

Hans-Peter Wotzka is Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne. His publications include Aridity, Change and Conflict in Africa (with Michael Bollig, Olaf Bubenzer and Ralf Vogelsang, Heinrich-Barth-Institut, 2007) and Proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Archaeology of the Fourth Nile Cataract (Heinrich-Barth-Institut, 2012).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Environmental Studies (General)
Area: Africa


Chapter 1. Specialisation and Diversification among African Pastoral Societies
Michael Bollig and Michael Schnegg


Chapter 2. Herders Before Pastoralism – Prehistoric Prelude in the Eastern Sahara
Rudolph Kuper and Heiko Riemer

Chapter 3. 'I hope Your Cattle Are Well' – Archaeological Evidence for Early Cattle-Centred Behaviour in the Eastern Sahara of Sudan and Chad
Friederike Jesse, Birgit Keding, Tilman Lenssen-Erz and Nadja Pöllath

Chapter 4. Trajectories to Pastoralism in Northern and Central Kenya: an Overview of the Archaeological and Environmental Evidence
Paul Lane

Chapter 5. From first Stock Keepers to Specialised Pastoralists in the West African Savanna
Veerle Linseele

Chapter 6. A Short History of Early Herding in Southern Africa
Karim Sadr


Chapter 7. Establishing a Pre-Colonial 'Modern' Cattle and Gun Society: (Re-)pastoralisation, Mercantile Capitalism and Power Amongst Herero in Nineteenth Century Central Namibia
Dag Henrichsen

Chapter 8. The Emergence of Commercial ranching Under State Control and the Encapsulation of Pastoralism in African Reserves
Christo Botha

Chapter 9. Land, Boreholes and Fences: the Development of Commercial Livestock Farming in the Outjo District, Namibia
Ute Dieckmann

Chapter 10. The Political Ecology of Specialisation and Diversification: Long-term Dynamics of Pastoralism in East Pokot District, Kenya
Michael Bollig and Matthias Österle

Chapter 11. Social-Ecological Change and Institutional Development in a Pastoral Community in North-Western Namibia.
Michael Bollig

Chapter 12. Pastoral Belonging: Causes and Consequences of Part-Time Pastoralism in North-Western Namibia
Michael Schnegg, Julia Pauli and Clemens Greiner


Chapter 13. State, Conflict and Pastoralism in Contemporary Eastern Chad: The Case of Zaghawa-Tama Relationships
Babett Jánszky and Grit Jungstand

Chapter 14. Unofficial Trade When States are Weak: The Case of Cross-Border LivestockTrade in the Horn of Africa
Peter D. Little

Chapter 15. Pastoralism and Trans-Saharan Trade: Transformation of a Historical Trade Route between Eastern Chad and Libya
Meike Meerpohl

Chapter 16. Pastoralism and Nature Conservation in Southern Africa
Susanne Berzborn and Martin Solich


Chapter 17. The Indigenization of Pastoral Modernity: Territoriality, Mobility, and Poverty in Dryland Africa
John G. Galaty

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