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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pastoral identity and reluctance to change: the Mbanderu of Ngamiland
Author:Almagor, UriISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Geographic term:Botswana
animal husbandry
Abstract:The author defines a pastoral society as a society where the social, psychological and economic spheres are so interwoven that any attempt to separate them even for analytical purposes will be partial and artificial, for the obvious reason that livestock are the embodiment of three essential spheres: subsistence, social relationships and values. The author therefore distinguishes between the aspects of cattle as a commodity, that is, the exchangeability of livestock for money with which the pastoralists can buy various goods and products, and cattle as a social currency, which refers to the transactions and exchanges of cattle between individuals and groups in the community. Finally, livestock is a significant and dominant feature in the pastoralists' system of values, and references to 'interest in cattle', 'pastoral values', 'sentimental attachment to animals' and 'identification' are just a few of the expressions which reveal and form part of a value scheme which is livestock-centred. The fact that these three features are tightly interwoven does not, in itself, imply that such a society will oppose any change. In this essay the author discusses an individual case of pastoral identity among the Mbanderu cattle herders living around Lake Ngami. Maps, notes, ref.