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Animal Husbandry

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Chapter Summary

The pastoralists in Zilphukhog lived predominantly from their bovine animals known as yak (male) and dri (female), being the domestic breed of Bos grunniens. This chapter demonstrates how manipulative and skillful the pastoral nomads were in their choice of the most ecologically adaptable and economically viable animals. Regardless of the size of his herd, a nomadic dependent was always determined to invest his wealth in dri and yak. They constituted the existential basis of his pastoral life. The dri produced milk and calves (bili) which were essential for pastoral nomadic continuity. The yak's utility consisted of its being a pack animal (for domestic and paid transport), the use of its hair (for shelter, blankets, etc.), and its meat, tail and hide because of their indispensability the pastoral nomads were loath to dispose of them until and unless their usefulness had been exhausted through natural attrition, age or injuries.

Keywords: animal husbandry; dri; yak; zilphukhog



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