Accepted Paper:

Human history of nomadism and sedentarism among nomadic peoples  

Author:

Kazunobu Ikeya (National Museum of Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:

Nomadism and sedentarism are key concepts reconstructing cultural history of the world. This study was undertaken to generalize the patterns and factors of sedentarization, and social changes after them. The differences and similarities of the impact of sedentarism among nomadic peoples are discussed.

Paper long abstract:

Nomadism and sedentarism are key concepts reconstructing and considering cultural history of the world. Nomadic peoples have repeatedly migrated and settled since ancient times according to natural disasters, economic changes, and socio-political circumstances. This study was undertaken to generalize the patterns and factors of sedentarization and concentration, and social changes including spatial perceptions and cultural identity after them. Previous studies are well known to have used three anthropological approaches for studies of sedentarization: human history, political ecology, and comparative studies. The author has studied three types of sedentarization occurring at different times among the Central Kalahari San in Southern Africa and the Mlabri in Thailand. 1) Semi-sedentarized people with a complex economy including hunting, gathering, farming, and livestock breeding, 2) Sedentarized people under the influence of government policy, and 3) Concentrated people after a resettlement scheme of government. Moreover, the author has observed patterns of sedentarization and concentration of Somali or Chukchi pastoralists, Matagi mountain farmers, homeless people, and people affected by tsunami damage and radioactive contamination from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Results of these studies clarify the comparative framework and model of the relations between sedentarization and social changes through the use of ethnographic materials. The differences and similarities of impact of sedentarism with hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, farmers, sea nomads, and town dwellers are discussed from the perspective of the environmental history of Earth.

Panel P038
Sedentarization and concentration among nomadic peoples (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)