Throughout the world's arid regions, and particularly in northern and eastern Africa, formerly nomadic pastoralists are undergoing a transition to settled life. Pastoral sedentarization represents a response to multiple factors, including loss of livestock due to drought and famine, increased competition for range land due to growing populations, land privatization or appropriation for commercial farms, ranches, and tourist game parks, and to fear of increasing violence, ethnic conflict, and civil war. Although pastoral settlement is often encouraged by international development agencies and national governments as solutions to food insecurity, poor health care and problems of governance, the social, economic and health concomitants of sedentism are not inevitably beneficial. Biosocial studies presented in this volume, for example, point to greater nutritional and health benefits among nomadic livestock keepers, but increased opportunities in education, employment, and food security in towns.
This book examines from an interdisciplinary perspective pastoral sedentarization in one region of Africa - Marsabit District in northern Kenya - an isolated and arid region bordering Ethiopia and which contains multiple pastoral groups including Rendille, Samburu, Ariaal, Borana and Gabra peoples. Within this locale, we present recent studies conducted by cultural and biological anthropologists, veterinary biologists, economists, geographers and medical and community health personnel, linked by the common goal of delineating the consequences, both positive and negative, of settlement for formerly nomadic pastoral populations. For many of these former pastoralists, settled life does not necessarily constitute a break with their pastoral kin and neighbors, but represents one more opportunity with which to survive in a difficult physical and social environment.
From the reviews of the first edition: "This book brings together chapters on various research projects in the semi-arid Marsabit district in northern Kenya. ! The chapters cover a variety of issues on aspects of human welfare ! . Overall the book is a set of fascinating accounts that demonstrate the difficulties in conceptualizing and measuring 'development' let alone in devising interventions to improve people's lives in marginal semi-arid lands." (Sara Randall, Population Studies, Vol. 60 (3), 2006) "This book is a compendium of studies on the pastoralists of Northern Kenya ! . This book combines state of the art review with primary research ! . is a milestone in our knowledge and understanding of contemporary pastoralism in sub-Saharan Africa in general, and of the biosocial correlates of sedentarization for women and children in Northern Kenyan pastoralist groups in particular. It will be of importance to researchers, students, policymakers, and practitioners in African drylands development." (Katherine Homewood, Human Ecology, 2006)
Introduction: The Social, Health, and Economic Consequences of Pastoral Sedentarization in Marsabit District, Northern Kenya.- The Setting: Pastoral Sedentarization in Marsabit District, Northern Kenya.- Time, Terror, and Pastoral Inertia: Sedentarization and Conflict in Northern Kenya.- Ecological and Economic Consequences of Reduced Mobility in Pastoral Livestock Production Systems.- Cursed if you do, Cursed if You Don?t: The contradictory Processes of Pastoral Sedentarization in Northern Kenya.- Once Nomads Settle: Assessing the Process, Motives, and Welfare Changes of Settlements on Mount Marsabit.- From Milk to Maize: The Transition to Agriculture for Rendille and Ariaal Pastoralists.- Women?s Changing Economic Roles with Pastoral Sedentarization: Varying Strategies in Alternate Rendille Communities.- The Effects of Pastoral Sedentarization on Children?s Growth and Nutrition among Ariaal and Rendille in Northern Kenya.- Health and Morbidity among Rendille Pastoralist Children: Effects of Sedentarization.- Sedentarization and Seasonality: Maternal Dietary and Health Consequences in Ariaal and Rendille Communities in Northern Kenya.- Development, Modernization, and Medicalization: Influences on the Changing Nature of Female "Circumcision" in Rendille Society.- Female Education in a Sedentary Ariaal Rendille Community: Paternal Decision-Making and Biosocial Pathways.
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