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Strategic Transhumance

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the temporal, spatial, and strategic arrangements which were essential components of the economy of pastoralism in Zilphukhog. The pattern of annual movement of herds and herders back and forth between a winter tent encampment and summer pastures, with possible intermediate halts in fall and spring pastures, is "nomadism". These features of transhumance were non-random events that had optimal value to their practitioners. Demographic strength appears to be a crucial factor without a minimal population any lone household would have found it unsafe to reside in Zilphukhog. Both nature and man conditioned the inhabitants of Zilphukhog to tread a well-trodden path year in and year out. This entailed a strategic and systematic exploitation of the appropriate pastures and a high degree of interdependence, embodied in the community's dependence upon its demographic strength and unwavering cooperation when moving from one pasture to another.

Keywords: strategic transhumance; summer pasture area; zilphukhog



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