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The Change in their Lives

As centuries rolled by the lives and habits of the pastoralists changed considerabily.
  • The life of poor pastoralists who depended only on their livestock, was difficult.
  • Most often, they did not have the resources to tide over bad times.
  • In times of war and famine , they lost every thing.
  • They had to go looking for work in towns. Some found a living as charcoal burners and others did odd jobs.
  • The lucky could get more regular work in road or building constructions.

The social changes in Maasai society occurred at two levels

1. At first, the traditional difference based on age, between the elders and warriors, was  disturbed, though it did not break down entirely.

2. Secondly, a new distinction between the wealthy and poor pastoralists developed.


So, we see that the pastoral communities in the different parts of the world were affected in a variety of ways, by the changes in the modern world. New laws and new borders affected the patterns of their movement. With increasing restriction in their mobility, pastoralists found it difficult to move in search of pasture. As pastoral lands disappeared, grazing became a problem. Times of drought became times of crisis, when cattle died in large numbers.

Pastoralists are not relics of the past. They are not people who have no place in the modern word. Environmentalists and economists have increasingly come to recognize that pastoral nomadism is a form of life that is perfectly suited to many hilly and dry regions of the word.


Maasai Society

Pastoralists Today : -

There are an estimated 190 million pastoralists in the world. The majority of them suffer from the effects of settlement, encroachment on their traditional pastures, lack of infrastructure, hostile market mechanisms.

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