Top > African Study Monographs > ASM Supplementary Issue Back Number > No.31 (2005)
DYNAMICS OF CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN PASTORAL SUBSISTENCE AMONG THE RENDILLE IN NORTHERN KENYA: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT AND RESPONSES TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHANGE

SUN Xiaogang
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University


pp.1-94

ABSTRACT
   This study investigates how a pastoralist people of the arid regions of East Africa have coped with complex natural and socio-economic environmental changes by means of a case study of the Rendille people in northern Kenya. The study is based not only on data collected during 18 months' fieldwork, but also on detailed comparisons with previous studies from anthropological and ecological perspectives. The results show that the current pastoral subsistence of the Rendille constitutes a comprehensive system involving both pastoral production and associations with the local economy. The pastoral production system consists of the political and social centers offered by the settlements and the pastoral production sector of the livestock herding camps. Its place in the local economy is refl ected, mainly, by contacts with the developing towns. By continuing with the communal utilization of land and water resources, specializing livestock management tasks in herding camps, and forming cooperative relations that based on important social institutions, the Rendille are able to maintain the flexibility of, and improvement in, livestock management and pastoral strategies. In addition, the process of combining challenging new economic activities and developing pastoral production systems illustrates the dynamics of pastoral subsistence today.

Key Words: Pastoral subsistence; Environmental changes; Livestock management; New economic activities; Rendille.

PDF file of body text (3.217 KB)