Who are Nomads?

I wander here, I wander there

My feet are bare, but I don’t care!

I stay when the food is around,

No more food, I leave the ground.

Nomads camping

Image Credit: Flicker User Hamed Saber,via CC

Who am I?

A Nomad.

Nomads are people that do not stay in one place and wander in search of food. They usually have a herd of cattle that they move around with themselves. They do not have permanent settlements  and make temporary houses.

We all know that the Early men were nomads. They lived in trees and caves. These people did not know agriculture. They stayed in one place as long as there was a steady source of food supply. Once the food was scarce they moved to another place rich in food supply. They had domesticated the dog and cattle. The cattle provided them with milk and meat and the dog was a good hunting companion. So they got their protein and calcium but what about carbohydrates? Well, roots, berries nuts and fruits provided them with sufficient nutrition.

Do Nomads exist in these times as well? Yes, they do. Around 30 -40 million people, follow the nomadic lifestyle. These nomads live in groups called bands or tribes. They can mostly be divided into three groups – Hunters and gatherers, pastoral tribes and peripatetic nomads.. While early men were mostly hunters and gatherers, the nomads in today’s times are mostly pastoral tribes. The pastoral nomads raise their cattle and live in communities. When the pastures deplete they move to greener pastures. Some nomads like the Mongolian tribes only move when there is a change of season.  Some of the nomads are also craftsmen or merchants and they move around to make a sale of goods. These nomads that sustain by selling their crafts are called peripatetic tribes. Romani gypsies would be a good example of peripatetic tribes.

The Nomads of these times have also modernized a bit with time. Some of them use motorized vehicles to move from one place to another, put up tents or camps. They follow the rules of their community chiefs but not the government. Of course, that makes the government sad.

tribal man

Image Credit: Flickr User Retlaw Snellac Photography,via CC

Some of the most traditional famous tribes –
The Awa Guaja – Living in the rain forests of Eastern Brazil this tribe is  nearest to hunters and gatherers. Women collect wild fruits while men hunt on the prey. The destruction of rain forests is a significant threat to their lifestyle and existence.

The Agtas – Nestled in the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Agta tribe have survived for 30,000 years. They run when they are attacked.  They don’t move around much as their lands are fertile. Their main food is  fish, honey, wild fruits, roots, boars and deer meat.

The Masai – The famous African  tribe lives in southern Kenya. With half a million people in the tribe. It is one of the biggest tribes there is. Livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep are the primary source of income for the Masai. Cattle and children are most important for them.

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