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The Lost Mobility: Pastoralism and Modernity in Uttarakhand Himalaya (India)

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The Bhotiyas and the Gujars are two well-known communities which practised transhumance in Uttarakhand Himalaya. Restrictions first began to be imposed on their mobility under a new forestry regime, which was introduced in the late nineteenth century. The Bhotiyas, who were itinerant traders, had to face the challenge of new market forces when the hills became better integrated with the lowlands under the colonial economy. For both communities, the practice of transhumance became very difficult as the areas available to them for grazing shrank rapidly in independent India. They were compelled to change their livelihood strategies under the impact of modernization. The Bhotiyas were quick to adopt modern education and take up new jobs, while the Gujars were slower and now find it difficult to adjust to the new situation.

Keywords: LIVESTOCK; MODERNITY; PASTORALISM; TRADE; TRANSHUMANCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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