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Homewood, KM; (2018) Pastoralism. In: The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. (pp. 1-10). Wiley Green open access

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Pastoralism comprises livestock production systems based on mobile herds grazing or browsing natural vegetation across extensive rangelands. These encompass tropical and subtropical arid and semiarid lands, temperate steppe, Alpine, and high‐latitude systems. In these environments, plant growth is commonly variable, unpredictable, and patchy in time and space. Cultivation is risky, but pastoralism based on mobile herds can sustain livelihoods on low‐potential lands. Indigenous pastoralist systems emerged independently in several places around the Old and New Worlds. While the rangelands of the Americas, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were colonized by Western‐dominated cattle and sheep ranching, this entry focuses on more locally rooted pastoralism. Despite site‐specific biophysical, social, and historical factors shaping pastoralist systems, their mobility and reliance on natural vegetation entail common correlates. This entry looks at the ecological and economic characteristics of pastoralism; its social, cultural, and political correlates; and present‐day development and change in postcolonial and post‐Soviet contexts.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Pastoralism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea1559
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea1559
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Africa, borders, Central Asia, commons, development, domestic economy (household), herd, livelihood, mobility, rangeland
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066269
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